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Thread: Why are things intentionally misspelled?

  1. #1
    *Retired* The_LED_Museum's Avatar
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    Shrug Why are things intentionally misspelled?

    Here's a good one for all of the Spelling Police out there: Why are products given intentionally misspelled names?

    Below are just a smattering of examples:

    Pak-Lite instead of Pack-Light
    QuiqLite instead of QuickLight
    Val-Pak instead of Val-Pack
    Fresh Pac Apples instead of Fresh Pack Apples
    Blu-Ray instead of Blue-Ray

    The most commonly misspelled words I've come across are "light", "quick", and "pack".

  2. #2
    Glowing admin B@rt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why are things intentionally misspelled?

    My guess is to make it stand out.
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    Default Re: Why are things intentionally misspelled?

    So the vendors could get trademarks.

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    Default Re: Why are things intentionally misspelled?

    You can evidently get trademarks on anything. You stand a better chance of avoiding conflict if you use an odd spelling.

    Pacific Bell Telephone Company paid several hundreds of thousands of dollars to a firm that came up with Pacific Telesis as a new name. It was 1) different 2) unused world wide and 3) resembled the original name enough to leverage good will and 4) had some meaning in latin.

    It was commonly shortened to PacTel.

    Hell, I could have done better than that for a lot cheaper. Like lunch and a gift certificate.
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    Christo Pull Hair Re: Why are things intentionally misspelled?

    Those deliberately mispelled (called phonetic) words were thought to be a bit more slick and progressive by marketeers a few decades ago. Now maybe, it just saves a tiny bit of time.....

    p.s.-on the subject of the most common word being spelled wrongly on CPF it has got to be: lense -properly spelled lens -without that last "e".
    The last 100 times I've seen it used in posts, it has been misspelled about 85 times.
    Doug

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    Default Re: Why are things intentionally misspelled?

    Quote Originally Posted by vcal
    Those deliberately mispelled (called phonetic) words were thought to be a bit more slick and progressive by marketeers a few decades ago. Now maybe, it just saves a tiny bit of time.....

    p.s.-on the subject of the most common word being spelled wrongly on CPF it has got to be: lense -properly spelled lens -without that last "e".
    The last 100 times I've seen it used in posts, it has been misspelled about 85 times.
    I didn't even know I was misspelling it. It seems lense only applies to those being used to form an image. I'll be sure to drop that last e from now on.

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    Default Re: Why are things intentionally misspelled?

    Sometimes companies intentionally misspell words in product names to avoid regulations, i.e., to screw the public. For example, McD's used to call their "milkshakes" chocoshakes, or some such, because the FDA requires milk to be in a milkshake. Their "shakes" were concocted from corn syrup, artificial flavorings, and other chemicals, but no milk products. (Same reason Wendy's calls their dessert a "Frosty", not a milkshake or ice cream). So, a lot of uninformed consumers assumed they were getting milkshakes when in actuality it was just a high calorie chemical cocktail with a lot of air whipped into it. Remember that the next time you see words like "cheezburger" (no cheese), or "bac-o-bits" (no bacon).

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    Default Re: Why are things intentionally misspelled?

    Another thing commonly spelled incorrectly on CPF is PETA, which people keep spelling as PITA. PITA is a type of flat bread, and PETA is an acronym standing for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which is a group, generally thought of as a bunch of psychopathic "beehaches" (you know what I mean), that takes an extremist route while fighting for animal rights.

    I see this mispelled on CPF so often, that I actually wonder if there is a reason people could be doing this on purpose.

    Regarding the deliberate misspellings in product names, I actually find the misspelled words to be more catchy to my eyes, except in the case of Quiqlite, I think QuikLite looks catchier. (QwikLite looks better, to me, also)

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Why are things intentionally misspelled?

    Quote Originally Posted by BigBaller
    I didn't even know I was misspelling it. It seems lense only applies to those being used to form an image. I'll be sure to drop that last e from now on.
    Here's a little correction to my last post:
    There actually is some legitimacy in the lens(e) spelling, as I just dicovered in one of my old references. It's obsolete, but still legit.
    Doug

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    Default Re: Why are things intentionally misspelled?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trashman
    Another thing commonly spelled incorrectly on CPF is PETA, which people keep spelling as PITA. PITA is a type of flat bread, and PETA is an acronym standing for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which is a group, generally thought of as a bunch of psychopathic "beehaches" (you know what I mean), that takes an extremist route while fighting for animal rights.
    PITA is also an abbreviation for 'pain in the a**'.

    Intentional misspelling gives it a somewhat 'unique' name...

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    Default Re: Why are things intentionally misspelled?

    On the topic of misspellings, I quite often see the word "teh" being used instead of "the". Is this an intentional misspelling or just typing too fast? I think the word I see being misspelled the most though has got to be "lose". It's often being spelled "loose". I sometimes catch myself typing the wrong one too, oops.

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    Default Re: Why are things intentionally misspelled?

    Misspellings in media and product names engender an image that is rebellious, playful, and individualistic ... an image companies hope is transferred to the actual product.

    A good example of a similar (but not nomenclature) imagery is found in the elaborate advertisements for the humble underarm deodorant, where buxom lasses fling themselves wantonly at any young male who uses the product being advertised. The image shown is hopefully transferred to the product, so when the customer sees a chemical stick in a plastic tube used to inhibit odor-causing bacteria with that particular brand name on it, he makes the connection to the images portrayed in the ad, and buys it.

    I'm a sucker for a pretty girl. I'm generally disgusted and repelled by the deliberate misspellings of words in product names. (Clever puns are a different matter.)

    There is enough inadvertent misspelling in the world already without the wretched buffoonery of doing it on purpose. (Wordplay and subtle jokes, of course, are high art and do not apply.)
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    Default Re: Why are things intentionally misspelled?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayman
    On the topic of misspellings, I quite often see the word "teh" being used instead of "the". Is this an intentional misspelling or just typing too fast?
    It could either be intentional or a mis-type. The 'teh' word is equivalent to the word 'the' in 'leet'(elite) talk...

    Don't mind my intentional use of the single qoute over the double-qoute character.

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    Default Re: Why are things intentionally misspelled?

    Technical words cannot be trademarked or copyrighted. Worked for a company that started out calling itself Xenon. Until the company expanded to the USA. Xenon was not allowed otherwise scientists would not be able to refer to the rare gas as xenon. Or flashlight manufacturers not able to sell their wares c/w xenon bulb. The company changed it's name to Zenon. Sounds the same spelled slightly different.
    Bayer had to call Asprin Aspirin. Sounds the same spelled slightly different.

    Do not know how Apple computer or Surefire got away with it. Maybe "Sure fire" is not allowed but "surefire" is.
    Last edited by LEDninja; 11-28-2005 at 06:35 AM.

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    Default Re: Why are things intentionally misspelled?

    Cute names with funny spelling can sometimes backfire. Does anyone know how often Nite-ize Pock-its are spelled wrong on CPF. I have to grab a pouch to make sure I get it right.

    I have to grab a Night-eyes Mini-pockets (spelling?) pouch. LOL
    Last edited by LEDninja; 11-28-2005 at 07:45 AM.

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    Default Re: Why are things intentionally misspelled?

    I was thinking about some of the other common scams that are used to trick consumers in supermarkets. Anytime you see the word "flavored", you're probably getting ripped off. "Chocolate flavored" cookies or whatever normally won't have any chocolate in it. It has some artificial chemical flavoring that tastes similar to chocolate, thus it is "chocolate flavored". Products that are genuine don't use the word "flavored" in their title. When you think you're buying fruit juice but the name includes "drink", "punch", or "cocktail", etc., in it's title, it's not real. If it doesn't say "juice", it isn't.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Why are things intentionally misspelled?

    Quote Originally Posted by The_LED_Museum
    Why are products given intentionally misspelled names?
    It's kewler.

    "Night Eyes" is teh ghey. "Nite-Eyez" is teh r0xX0r!!!eleventy-one!!!

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    Default Re: Why are things intentionally misspelled?

    Quote Originally Posted by lightmeup
    Sometimes companies intentionally misspell words in product names to avoid regulations, i.e., to screw the public. For example, McD's used to call their "milkshakes" chocoshakes, or some such, because the FDA requires milk to be in a milkshake. Their "shakes" were concocted from corn syrup, artificial flavorings, and other chemicals, but no milk products. (Same reason Wendy's calls their dessert a "Frosty", not a milkshake or ice cream). So, a lot of uninformed consumers assumed they were getting milkshakes when in actuality it was just a high calorie chemical cocktail with a lot of air whipped into it. Remember that the next time you see words like "cheezburger" (no cheese), or "bac-o-bits" (no bacon).
    I think the McDonald's shake thing is an urban legend:
    http://www.snopes.com/horrors/food/mcdshake.htm

    Their current shakes contain milk and cream:
    http://www.mcdonalds.com/app_control...s.index.html#6

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    Default Re: Why are things intentionally misspelled?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hookd_On_Photons
    It's kewler.

    "Night Eyes" is teh ghey. "Nite-Eyez" is teh r0xX0r!!!eleventy-one!!!

    Whatever works 4 U.
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    Default Re: Why are things intentionally misspelled?

    Now that we're on the topic of spelling, I keep wondering why a certain flashlight reviewer keeps typing toliet instead of toilet....

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    Default Re: Why are things intentionally misspelled?

    Quote Originally Posted by greg_in_canada
    I think the McDonald's shake thing is an urban legend:
    http://www.snopes.com/horrors/food/mcdshake.htm

    Their current shakes contain milk and cream:
    http://www.mcdonalds.com/app_control...s.index.html#6

    Greg
    Yeah, the current ones are called milkshakes. Seems odd that they would change the name unless it relieved them of liability for getting lactose intolerant people sick. I know they taste one Hell of a lot better than they used to.

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    Default Re: Why are things intentionally misspelled?

    One reason that no one has mentioned is 'spahm' filters on email. The combination of IP hacks designing messed up email systems AND so many hapless users who don't know how to configure the usually lame spam tools that they have at their disposal has caused many to intentionally misspell words just so their legitimate message may get through the gauntlet of real world hackery.

    I read a number of newsletters whose authors have resorted to misspelling to keep from having their letters bounced.

    'Free' is a good example of a word that will get a legitimate email bounced by many email accounts.

    FAREE = FREE

    Heaven help you if you send an email with a joke that includes the word 'VIAGRA.' If it's not bounced the person you send it to likely won't ever read it anyway because their INBOX will always be so hopelessly choked with spam that they probably will never see it.

    Also, what about text messaging?

    Check out this synopsis of Romeo and Juliet as written for text messaging, as reported by Techdirt.com:
    "FeudTween 2hses- Montague&Capulet. RomeoMfalls_<3w/_JulietC@mary Secretly Bt R kils J's Coz &&is banishd. J fakes Death. As Part of Plan2b-w/R Bt_leter Bt It Nvr Reachs Him. Evry1confuzd-bothLuvrs kil Emselves."
    I misspell words for the old fashioned reason -- ignorance.
    Last edited by Sub_Umbra; 11-28-2005 at 10:40 AM.

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    Default Re: Why are things intentionally misspelled?

    "Dat duz itt, 'dem spellin' poelice R watchin' en I iz bust'd.
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    Default Re: Why are things intentionally misspelled?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayman
    On the topic of misspellings, I quite often see the word "teh" being used instead of "the". Is this an intentional misspelling or just typing too fast? I think the word I see being misspelled the most though has got to be "lose". It's often being spelled "loose". I sometimes catch myself typing the wrong one too, oops.
    Happens often to me (both), and it is when I am typing too fast and miss the mistake upon proofreading

    And yeah ... Craig ... it is toilet ...

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    Default Re: Why are things intentionally misspelled?

    slightly OT... Don't get me started on the misuse of Affect vs. Effect...

  26. #26

    Default Re: Why are things intentionally misspelled?

    Definitely OT, since the thread pertains to deliberate misspelling:

    Accomodating Brocolli in the Cemetary : Or Why Can't Anybody Spell

    ...and a related topic, for you punctuation Nazis (oh no, I Godwined the thread):

    Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation

  27. #27

    Default Re: Why are things intentionally misspelled?

    Anyone else noticed the increase in spelling mistakes on the local and national news over the past couple of years? Also noticed a spelling mistake in a network-aired commercial for a nation-wide retailer over the weekend.

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    Default Re: Why are things intentionally misspelled?

    Quote Originally Posted by lightmeup
    Yeah, the current ones are called milkshakes. Seems odd that they would change the name unless it relieved them of liability for getting lactose intolerant people sick. I know they taste one Hell of a lot better than they used to.
    The snopes reason makes sense to me "It's true McDonald's does not refer to its "shakes" as "milk shakes," preferring not to confuse consumers who might otherwise be expecting a beverage made with ice cream."

    Greg
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  29. #29
    Flashaholic* greenlight's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why are things intentionally misspelled?

    How about stupid signs at the store? "pumpkin orange" right next to "white pumpkin"

    Or "limes large" when they are regular sized and there are no others to choose from.

    Or BnlsRRchBFRst is some kind of meat.

    Argh..!!

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Why are things intentionally misspelled?

    I don't know if milkshakes contain milk, but I'm pretty sure the shake part is a lie. Stirred maybe, not shaken.

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