Tuesday, August 17, 2004

50th Column Post! Big Reader Survey! Dining and Dancing Under the Stars!! (Happening Somewhere Not Here How Could It?)

Yes, this is the historic 50th Column*Which post, an event that -- if I may borrow from Mark Twain -- certainly will confound my enemies and surprise my friends. But even as this blog, Tarzanesque, once more throws itself into the void, grabs, swings, holds on and arrives safely at the other side, THERE ARE RUMBLINGS AMONG THE FAITHFUL.

Brother Greg Pabst, whose contrapuntal comments on my posts are but one of the charms of Column*Which, DOESN'T LIKE THE NAME COLUMN*WHICH.

I quote:

And one more thing: I mourn the demise of "Is this a column (which) I see before me?"It's reference to the Macbeth murders describes exactly the ambiguous reluctance the writer so often feels when coming up to bat against the coercive-infinitive verb* "to write.""Just put your fingers on the keys and wait for tiny drops of blood to form on your brow."* just one of the secret rules of psychological grammar. Like the Southern ambiguous future imperative, "I'm fixin' to get ready to go."

Well, you know changing the name was kind of a joke, a travesty of all those companies who once made toilet paper but now make fuel rods for nuclear plants and who need a kind of noncommittal name. The first thing that comes to mind is Standard Oil becoming Esso becoming Exxon. A quick google to find other examples came up with a lovely description of why vague to the point of meaningless is good:

Watch out for pitfalls when creating a trademark. Avoid picking a mark that is too descriptive; a name that describes little of the goods or services being sold will receive stronger legal protection. For example, YAHOO! has virtually no logical relationship to Internet search engines. As such, YAHOO! is a very strong trademark. The strongest names from a legal perspective are those that have no meaning; that is, made-up words, which are called fanciful trademarks. You will recognize that some of the strongest brand names are meaningless except as trademarks--Kodak, Exxon, and Xerox are examples. Because fanciful marks receive strong legal protection, in the long run, they also are good from a marketing perspective.

So from that perspective -- say, if I branch out into nuclear toilet paper -- Column*Which leaves me plenty of wiggle room. So, dear reader, you decide. Is it to be Column*Which or Is This a 'Column' Which I See Before Me?

The whole world is watching.

Meanwhile, here's some of that dancing I was talking about. Just click.


G Pabst said...

Revered One,
Don't feed your branding babble to me! I'm up to HERE in it.

Xerox? I knew Xerox. Xerox was a friend of mine! And, well, you know...

OK. Let's make up a word. (A Creative Director I once worked with had a word-wheel that would do such a thing. Creepy!)

I suggest:
Fudrucker. What? It's already taken. Damn!

How 'bout:
mecronas (tm). Sounds almost science-fictiony. High tech. Very future, you know what I mean? Better get it in front of a focus group.

Or how about:
All rights reserved. Sounds pretty ominous from a legal standpoint. Protect you from all the lawerly slings and arrows. And thus connects to Shakespeare. I like it!

Is this a column I see before me... Has an intimate feel to it. And the elipsis can be seen as an almost homage to...


elipsis (tm)
All rights reserved.

Done. I'll send you my bill.
Pleasure doing business with you...

Space Ghost said...

As one who stumbled upon this marvelous pseudo-column only today, I fear my input is somewhat less important than that of a long-term reader, (although I intend to become one). That said, I have two opinions. First, I understand the deep desire to change something, a title say, simply for the sake of change. The urge can be quite powerful. Second, Column*Which strikes one as a more exclusive title, being based on the original title, which, if not kept, will surely sink into oblivion.