Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Marc Siry called on bloggers to post our opinions on what he calls "name mockery." You know, changing the name of something, especially a brand, in order to mock it. Like Star-yucks, WinDoze, MicroSloth, etc.

And he's right, it is asinine. And childish. I vividly recall the "chicken a la barf" served at my elementary school's hot lunch. I've never even tried chicken a la king because I always flashback to that name and I just can't bring myself to order it.

Adults who use name mockery in lieu of actual criticism are just showing their level of immaturity. Same for acronym mockery, like Fix It Again, Tony for Fiat.

And yet, nearly all of us do this. Come on, haven't you ever used one of these? Maybe ironically, maybe rarely. But never?

It's all part of snarking instead of offering cogent criticism. Or maybe the snark is intended to be the criticism, funny and a little mean-spirited, but certainly getting the point across. If I worked in the affected industries, I'd be checking sites like Television Without Pity and Go Fug Yourself to see what people were saying about my work. Since I don't, I read 'em for entertainment. If either site dropped the snark in favor of relevant critiques complete with ideas for improvement, I doubt they'd have a tenth of the readership.

The other reason for name mockery in place of real commentary is that the victim brand can't defend itself, as it could against real criticism. Starbucks could reply to a comment about the burnt flavor of their beans with information on how they're processed and what "true" coffee connoisseurs "should" be looking for. But what are they going to say to "Star-yucks?"

-- We are not yucky!
-- Are too!
-- Are not!
-- Are too!
-- Mom! He's calling us yucky!

Guess this just means we're all immature. Nyah nyah na nyah nyah...

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At 4/27/2007 8:07 PM, Blogger mmclaurin said...

They are Star-yucks, though.

Frankly, I think the baristas don;t care, and the high powered suits with the pony tails that make the millions from the stock and profit sharing care even less. But that's just my cynical take.


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