Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sound barrier

Was reading my fellow namasutrist's (?) most informative find on material names, the preceding one, when I had this epiphany of sorts. I haven't researched it all that much, hardly actually, but I have a theory on names, which needs more than a bit of time to prove. (And perhaps a lot less to disprove.) Still, I'm going to put it out for those of you who care enough to think about these things. Take a nuther look at these names (I've aligned them into two categories for the purposes of my fledgling theory): in the first corner we have Lycra, Velcro, Tyvek, Formica, Kevlar, Spandex and in the other corner Teflon, Nylon, Cellophane, Styrofoam, Tweed, Linoleum. Maybe it's not that obvious, but put very, very simply what I'm saying is this: 'Hard' sounds like, for instance, 'k' suit a particular kind of product better and soft sounds, like 'ph', for instance, work better for another kind of product. Moving forward, the next time you visit a 'fine dining' resto, yeah, those places where they give you very little for way too much, look carefully at the menu card. I'd be surprised if you found too many dishes with 'hard' sounds in their names. Next, go to a hardware store. There's a distinct likelihood you'll find more 'hard' sound names there. The human mind attaches certain product qualities to the sounds built into a brand name. A brand name that doesn't consider these aural quirks of the brain, trained perhaps to feel this way over years of brand-naming, will be attempting to fight an uphill battle to make an impression. My hypothesis is certain sounds make more sense for certain product categories. Perhaps it's a naming theory someone might find worthwhile to research and debunk. It involves a far bit of research all right. Something I'm too hard-pressed to undertake gratis. (What to do, we all have our day jobs that take up the majority of our time.) Image from here.