Date: Wed, 8 Jan 1997 11:52:20 -0500


Subject: More on [AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]

Today's _Wall Street Journal_ features, in the center of the front

page of the business section (p. B1), an article by their Rodney

Ho titled "Was That Cybernet Inc. or Interweb Co.?" It's about the

difficulty many technology companies have in finding a name that

describes them and is "hot" yet is still distinctive. (I will add

that nobody confuses Dragon Systems [see sig line] with any other

speech recognition company.)

The last two paragraphs of the article, on p. B2, discuss the use

of "[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]" in names. (This is probably copyright 1997 by The Wall

Street Journal.)


Naming experts note one dubious trend: a new fascination with

nonalphabetical symbols. The Fall Internet World trade show in New

York featured five companies that use the common electronic-mail

symbol, "[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]," in their names, including [AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]Revolution Inc. and

[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]Siquis, a subsidiary of Sequis Ltd., a Baltimore ad agency.

Just try to look such companies up in a telephone book. Phone

companies are coping by translating the symbol back into English,

so that [AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]Revolution becomes AtRevolution. Miles Rose, president of

[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]Revolution in New York, admits that to the uninitiated, the names

is flawed. "On the other hand, everyone we deal with is on the

Internet," he says. "If you're not, you don't have any reason to

talk to us."


Of course, the phone companies have been doing this with numbers

for years. Look for the "99" steak house in the N's, spelled out.

New trend? Well, maybe as a trend, but not per se. I remember feeling

jolted by "Gulf + Western", and that was probably in the sixties.

And, of course, "&" ("ampersand" -- said to be ".... W, X, Y, Z,

and per-se 'and'") has been legitimate in corporate names since way


Mark A. Mandel : mark[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]

Dragon Systems, Inc. : speech recognition : +1 617 965-5200

320 Nevada St., Newton, MA 02160, USA :

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