Silliness, period.

Jeff Jarvis has a pithy rant against corporate fussiness over how their names get spelt. Apparently, “AOL” has just become “Aol.” with some hoohah about the importance of the period, or full stop as they may or may not allow us Brits to call it. This kind of thing has always made me laugh.

Years ago, when dinosaurs walked the land, I worked for an ad agency called Valin Pollen. It insisted on always presenting its name in capitals: VALIN POLLEN. You don’t need much imagination to imagine the impact of VALIN POLLEN trumpeting its self-importance this way, in every single document spewing out of the bank of word processors (heady technology in those days). It seemed out to keep tripping over a large VALIN POLLEN recommendation to its far, far bigger and richer clients, most of whom were happy to settle for modest upper-and-lower case.

VALIN POLLEN was a remarkable place to work in all sorts of ways. But I don’t think many of us really thought this capital letter vanity was much of an idea. At least, I didn’t find myself in the pub with any who did.

Jeff, needless to say, finds all this name fetishism absurd. One of his commenters alludes to the notion that having rigid control over your logo/name is meant to imply you have the same rigorous control over your organisation.

Now even supposing that were true, does anyone really think that’s such a good thing these days?

And sorry but I can’t resist the obvious Python reference.

1 thought on “Silliness, period.

  1. Viv McWaters

    Thanks Johnnie – this made me laugh, and reminded me of endless debates (also in the dinosaur era) about the great lower case or upper case c – LandCare or Landcare.


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