Tuesday, 4 March 2003

Bau: haus

Had a lovely chat with my friend Jiaying yesterday about, amongst other topics, architecture and design in Singapore, and we were discussing the upcoming One North (I think it has some pretentiously punctuated version of its name, "one.north" or the like), which is a Zaha Hadid space, if I'm not wrong. We talked about the names of the One North buildings - e.g. there's a "fusionopolis" where people can be "fusionairies". Now, this murdering of the English language has got to stop already! Don't people have instincts about what sounds aesthetically pleasing? It smacks a little of Trying Too Hard To Be With It. Especially when, of the big tech companies I can think of, not many have forced faux-trendy names - Sun? Oracle? Dell? All very pleasing to the ear. Even Yahoo!'s name is a literary reference. And it hasn't escaped my attention that the ones with names that tried too hard - anything with an "@" sign (Excite@Home), an "e" + product (the unmissed eToys.com; eBay doesn't sell bays, so it escapes this category), or a "Web" (WebTV, Webvan) - often failed. Maybe the names reflected a failure to treat tech like a real business, working in the real world?

Incidentally, speaking of tech company names, I wonder whether "google" will ever take over as the spelling of choice for "googol" in the sense of "10 to the 100th power".



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