Date: Wed, 8 Jan 1997 11:52:20 -0500 From: Mark Mandel 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 back. Mark A. Mandel : mark[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] Dragon Systems, Inc. : speech recognition : +1 617 965-5200 320 Nevada St., Newton, MA 02160, USA : Personal home page: