August 4, 2010

Of Points and Corners

What’s common to starting a business venture, having a child, and building a home? Sure, it involves considerable thinking and planning (and pangs even!). But something, an urge, more fundamental that accompanies it? Naming. Naamkaran. Simple. ;-)

Most of us are aware of branding and brand names. Those who’ve done their MBA would’ve had classes on it and the importance of having a good name for your product/brand. It should be simple; possibly with two syllables; it should be easy to pronounce; should not have undesirable meaning in other languages; it could possibly convey what the business stands for or indirectly indicate it… Not that I’m going to give you branding gyaan or advice over here. For all these discussions on branding, naming and the like, you’ll find that for some it’s a much more simple affair.

Think about the shops/stores in your area or town. The big ones or the small. Many, you’d notice, are more concerned about running their business and making something out of it, rather than breaking their heads over fancy (and sometimes unpronounceable and seemingly meaningless) names for their shops. That’s the Points and Corners I’m talking about. It’s pretty simple right? Affix a ‘Point’ or a ‘Corner’ at the end of what you sell/do and voila! You have a name. Cloth Point, Stitch Point, Net Point, Cyber Point, Juice Point, Laundry Point… You see! Replace all these with ‘Corner’ too. You’ve another set of names that are good to go (not that these stores will be located near a corner as such). These are the most generic suffixes you’ll see for shop names. There are more. Some of them which I happened to notice are –

  • Point, Corner, Centre - Now you begin to wonder whether geometry and naming are connected!
  • Café - Doesn’t matter that you don’t sell anything related to food there, it’ll still be called a café. Talking of which, wonder who coined the term ‘Net Café’.
  • Shop - Can't get simpler than this!
  • Shoppe - It means ‘shop’ and is pronounced that way too (not shop-i or shop-ay), but I guess it gives it a classier touch!
  • Mart – of course, made famous by Wal-Mart (you see why they took a simple name)
  • Bazaar – made famous by Big Bazaar (ditto)
  • Mall - not 'moll' (those who've sat in MRS's class know what I'm talking about!)
I’m always on the look-out for such simple generic suffixes (or prefixes even). If you happen to come across some, let me know!

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