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From Altoids to Zima: The Surprising Stories Behind 125 Famous Brand Names

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From Altoids to Zima: The Surprising Stories Behind 125 Famous Brand Names Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Ever wondered what the Ms in M&Ms stand for?

If Scotch tape was invented in Scotland?

Why a cereal that contains neither grapes nor nuts is called Grape Nuts?

Who thought Gap was a good name for a clothing store?

From the Adidas we wear to the Volkswagens we drive, the daily lives of Americans are dominated by the manufacturers' trademarks that adorn nearly everything we own. Food, clothes, cars, household furnishings, even cell phones are all chosen by brand name. Yet many of these trademarks and product names pose mysteries.

But not when Evan Morris, creator of the award-winning The Word Detective website, is on the case! In From Altoids to Zima he reveals the fascinating, often wacky stories behind 125 brand names. Organized by product categories — food and drink; clothing; technology, toys, and assorted bright ideas; cars; and drugs and cosmetics — the story of each product is told with Morris's trademark wit and humor, complete with sidebars that highlight brand names that have become "genericized" (aspirin); a "What Were They Thinking?" honor roll of strange and often disastrous product names (Edsel); what happens when good brand names go bad (Kool-Aid after the Jonestown mass suicide); and debunked urban legends (the combination of Pop Rocks and soda that was rumored to be lethal).

Review:

"Once upon a time, naming a product was as simple as taking the name of its maker and adding a short descriptive tag line, like in the case of Smith's Pure and Effective Cough Syrup. But this practice changed during the 1800s, says Morris (The Word Detective), when marketers started to take into account the high illiteracy rate among consumers. Hence, logos were born. Nowadays, companies spend exorbitant amounts hiring consultants to create new words for their products. In this slim but fascinating book, Morris reveals the history behind some of the most recognizable product names. Many still bear the name of their maker, such as Chef Boyardee, who was an actual person named Hector Boiardi. Others, like WD-40, refer to the product's development process: the creators of WD-40 were looking for a 'water displacement' substance to repel moisture, and after forty attempts, the product was perfected. Still other product names have nothing to do with their creators or their purpose. Starbucks, for instance, stems from 'the coffee-loving first mate in Herman Melville's classic novel Moby-Dick,' and Google is an adaptation of 'googol,' a word made up by a mathematician's nine-year-old nephew to represent a 'very, very large number, ten raised to the hundredth power.' The book contains a wealth of product information, but it is Morris's jaunty prose and humorous sidebars-on topics ranging from unfortunately named companies like Poolife to the association of product names and urban legends (i.e., Pop Rocks killed Mickey)-that make this a delightful read." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

Ever wondered what the Ms in M&Ms stand for?

If Scotch tape was invented in Scotland?

Why a cereal that contains neither grapes nor nuts is called Grape Nuts?

Who thought Gap was a good name for a clothing store?

From the Adidas we wear to the Volkswagens we drive, the daily lives of Americans are dominated by the manufacturers' trademarks that adorn nearly everything we own. Food, clothes, cars, household furnishings, even cell phones are all chosen by brand name. Yet many of these trademarks and product names pose mysteries.

But not when Evan Morris, creator of the award-winning The Word Detective website, is on the case! In From Altoids to Zima he reveals the fascinating, often wacky stories behind 125 brand names. Organized by product categories — food and drink; clothing; technology, toys, and assorted bright ideas; cars; and drugs and cosmetics — the story of each product is told with Morris's trademark wit and humor, complete with sidebars that highlight brand names that have become "genericized" (aspirin); a "What Were They Thinking?" honor roll of strange and often disastrous product names (Edsel); what happens when good brand names go bad (Kool-Aid after the Jonestown mass suicide); and debunked urban legends (the combination of Pop Rocks and soda that was rumored to be lethal).

Table of Contents

Contents

Introduction

Food and Drink

Clothing

Technology, Toys, and Assorted Bright Ideas

Cars

Drugs and Cosmetics

Bibliography

Acknowledgments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780743257978
Author:
Morris, Evan
Publisher:
Touchstone Books
Subject:
General
Subject:
Brand name products
Subject:
Popular Culture - General
Subject:
General Reference
Subject:
Sociology - General
Edition Description:
B102
Publication Date:
20041131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
208
Dimensions:
7 x 5 in 8.015 oz

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Linguistics » Specific Languages and Groups
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
Reference » General
Reference » Trivia
Reference » Words Phrases and Language

From Altoids to Zima: The Surprising Stories Behind 125 Famous Brand Names New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$14.99 In Stock
Product details 208 pages Fireside Books - English 9780743257978 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Once upon a time, naming a product was as simple as taking the name of its maker and adding a short descriptive tag line, like in the case of Smith's Pure and Effective Cough Syrup. But this practice changed during the 1800s, says Morris (The Word Detective), when marketers started to take into account the high illiteracy rate among consumers. Hence, logos were born. Nowadays, companies spend exorbitant amounts hiring consultants to create new words for their products. In this slim but fascinating book, Morris reveals the history behind some of the most recognizable product names. Many still bear the name of their maker, such as Chef Boyardee, who was an actual person named Hector Boiardi. Others, like WD-40, refer to the product's development process: the creators of WD-40 were looking for a 'water displacement' substance to repel moisture, and after forty attempts, the product was perfected. Still other product names have nothing to do with their creators or their purpose. Starbucks, for instance, stems from 'the coffee-loving first mate in Herman Melville's classic novel Moby-Dick,' and Google is an adaptation of 'googol,' a word made up by a mathematician's nine-year-old nephew to represent a 'very, very large number, ten raised to the hundredth power.' The book contains a wealth of product information, but it is Morris's jaunty prose and humorous sidebars-on topics ranging from unfortunately named companies like Poolife to the association of product names and urban legends (i.e., Pop Rocks killed Mickey)-that make this a delightful read." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , Ever wondered what the Ms in M&Ms stand for?

If Scotch tape was invented in Scotland?

Why a cereal that contains neither grapes nor nuts is called Grape Nuts?

Who thought Gap was a good name for a clothing store?

From the Adidas we wear to the Volkswagens we drive, the daily lives of Americans are dominated by the manufacturers' trademarks that adorn nearly everything we own. Food, clothes, cars, household furnishings, even cell phones are all chosen by brand name. Yet many of these trademarks and product names pose mysteries.

But not when Evan Morris, creator of the award-winning The Word Detective website, is on the case! In From Altoids to Zima he reveals the fascinating, often wacky stories behind 125 brand names. Organized by product categories — food and drink; clothing; technology, toys, and assorted bright ideas; cars; and drugs and cosmetics — the story of each product is told with Morris's trademark wit and humor, complete with sidebars that highlight brand names that have become "genericized" (aspirin); a "What Were They Thinking?" honor roll of strange and often disastrous product names (Edsel); what happens when good brand names go bad (Kool-Aid after the Jonestown mass suicide); and debunked urban legends (the combination of Pop Rocks and soda that was rumored to be lethal).

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