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November 19, 2007

ANdAZ Hotels: Starting a New Spelling Trend?

Hyatt_logo.gif Hyatt chose a name meaning "personal style" for its new chain of "unpretentious, eco-friendly" hotels -- and may be starting a new trend in alternative spelling by rendering "Andaz" as "ANdAZ." That's right: instead of mid-word capitals, a trend we're all familiar with by now, there's a mid-word lower-case letter.

Andaz.gif Fortunately for our autocorrect options, the hotel chain seems happy to use the spelling "Andaz." One presumes the designer was aiming for hip, trendy, and attention getting, rather than puzzling, but the effect is to slow down the reader's eye in ways contrary to the naturally quick flow of the syllables.

What, one wonders, looking at "ANdAZ," are "AN" and "AZ" and how does the "d" connect them? Is this one word or two? Either way, it misses the opportunity for a play on "dazzle," though one could argue that Hyatt's Flash animation intro is meant to do just that.

The Red Hot Curry blog points out that the Andaz name reverses another trend: whereas once Indian hotel owners used English names, now an Anglo chain believes an Indian name will attract the right clientele. "Andaz" is Hindi, or Urdu, or both -- difficult for anyone not familiar with either the Nastaliq or Devanagari scripts to see whether "personal style" is a correct translation.

In a way, it hardly matters, except to Urdu speakers who might be annoyed by a misuse of the word.

The name is short, phonetic, easy to pronounce, and has a Z in it connoting innovation, as our proprietary consonant study revealed.

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Posted by Diane Prange at November 19, 2007 10:23 AM
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