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February 20, 2009

Brand Names and Silly Spelling: Is this the End?

guitarhero.gifBloggers are up in arms over the misspelling of the rock group Lynyrd Skynyrd's name on the new Guitar Hero: Metallica box.

The misspelling (Lynyrd Skynrd, minus one "y") was spotted by Rolling Stone and the mistake was quickly fixed - Activision, the game developer and publisher of Guitar Hero, even confirmed that the final box art has rectified the problem.

This is just an example of poor proofing, even Lynyrd Skynyrd admits that the name is hard to spell and pronounce. Their first album was actually "pronounced 'lĕh-'nérd 'skin-'nérd" and the name itself was originally Leonard Skinnerd, after a hated gym teacher that the original band members endured at Robert E Lee High School in Jacksonville, Florida.

More interesting is the idea that stress created by the recession is making us all less accepting of poor spelling when it comes to brand names. MSNBC reports that some customers will not patronize Krispy Kreme or restaurants with menus that have been hastily written ("Try our Sweat and Sour Chicken!").

In addition, blogs and web sites that castigate poor spellers are on the rise and Facebook has a group called "I Judge You When You Use Poor Grammar." There's even blogs called The Grammar Vandal and the "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks.

This all makes me wonder, when it comes to product naming and branding, has the recession put an end to silly spellings for good?

Dunkin' Donuts... better watch out.

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Posted by William Lozito at February 20, 2009 8:02 AM
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