Friday, October 7, 2011
I gravitate toward magazine stories about middle grounds, and I am especially intrigued by tales that tie the corporate to the poetic. That happens in John Colapinto's October 3 New Yorker piece titled "Famous Names." The article takes a look the fascinating world of brand naming—who does it, how it gets it done, what sounds mean, what customers see (and hear).
Tucked into the piece is this little nugget about 1957, the Ford Motor Company, and poet Marianne Moore. Ford was seeking a name for "the first affordable automobile." He turned to many, including Moore. He asked her, according to Colapinto's story, for a name that would "convey, through association or other conjuration, some visceral feeling of elegance, fleetness, advanced features and design."
Moore's responses probably do not bode well for a poet at work in corporate America (perhaps I shouldn't tell clients about my secret second life). Still, I find them dear and quaint, and share them with you here:
Andante con Moto