If there’s one thing I demand in my washcloths
It’s bibulousness. And definitely not plasm. This delightful translation comes courtesy of my local dollar store.
The surprise is that “bibulous,” meaning highly absorbent, is quite appropriate. Unsure what they were thinking with “plasm,” though.
When I was 28, I came down with a strange illness that took two months to diagnose. To distract myself from the awful possibilities – leukemia, lupus and other scary things – I immersed myself in a book, Gödel, Escher and Bach by Douglas Hofstadter.
Wickedly brilliant and challenging, it kept my conscious mind conveniently engaged throughout the whole, frightening episode. (This summer, my son has been wrapped up in my now dilapidated copy. Happily, the state of his health had nothing to do with it.)
Coincidentally, astonishingly, Hofstadter was only 27 himself when he wrote this Pulizer Prize-winning book, one that appeared to examine patterns in mathematics, art and music. It seems, though, that his readers got it wrong. It was really about the way the mind works.
Fast Company on the naming process
If developing the next hot brand name were easy, you wouldn’t need a mammoth budget. Here’s a fascinating article on the process from Fast Company magazine.
Living in a bilingual household, and I must confess to being the least bilingual of the five, I am daily exposed to two vocabularies, English and French. Perhaps it’s my anglophone outsider’s perspective, but certain words in French just seem far nicer than the things they represent.
Take the everyday term la poubelle; French for garbage. The pou part is perfectly in character. It’s that belle (or beautiful) inside that seems to oppose the notion of the fly-catching bin at the end of your driveway. Picture rubbish in ballet slippers. Worth a smile, every time you say it.
In my experience, even articulate people can become phobic when trying to write their own biography for a pitch, presentation or online blurb. Especially if the bio needs to venture outside the box.
Here’s a simple strategy that might get you started or take your writing in a new direction.
The challenge of originality
This quote made me chuckle. It reflects the challenge that creative minds face all the time – whether trying to bring a new product to market or trying to convince a client that a new name doesn’t announce itself, right on the page.
“Don’t worry about people stealing an idea. If it’s original, you will have to ram it down their throats.”
– Howard Aiken, US computer scientist (1900 - 1973)
Santa Suit silliness
Here’s me – and 1,499 of my favourite Santas – trying to break a Guinness World Records, well, record for having the most Santas in a 5K race. It was a ridiculously silly and ridiculously fun way to celebrate the end of 2009 with family and friends.
One can’t have been watching the events south of the border over the past few weeks without noting the power of words; words in the hands of a skilled speechwriter.
After being caught up in the drama of the Democratic National Convention (a telling contrast in tone to the relative sobriety of the Republican event unfolding now), I was curious about how Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama went about the writing process. He does have speechwriters, yet for his big convention closer it appears he did much of the drafting himself.
And, guess what? Oratory matters. Thinking matters more.
What could you call this but a “blog.” The word itself is so newly coined that trying to replace blog with another term – like jottings or journal—becomes an exercise in confusion. A blog by any other name would still be a web log.
It’s like that in branding, too. Sometimes people develop new names simply for the sake of change. New taglines, too. Yet there are times when I’m a fan of the “if it ain’t broke” philosophy.