Dash in company name?

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dryp
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Posted Wed Sep 10, 2008 3:32PM

Hi! Need a little help from you english speaking iStockers!


I'm doing some logowork for a danish company that wants to do business with the rest of the world. There's a dash (-) in the company's name, and now one of their english speaking contacts says that in english you READ the dash, when you read the company name. If this is true, the company name makes no sense, so - do you really read "dash" when you see a "-" in a company name?


Thanks in advance. Examples would be helpful


Dan
kelvinjay
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Posted Wed Sep 10, 2008 3:51PM

You mean like Coca Dash Cola?


Doesn't seem to have done them any harm
Mouse-ear
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Posted Wed Sep 10, 2008 11:31PM

Posted By dryp:

Hi! Need a little help from you english speaking iStockers!


I'm doing some logowork for a danish company that wants to do business with the rest of the world. There's a dash (-) in the company's name, and now one of their english speaking contacts says that in english you READ the dash, when you read the company name. If this is true, the company name makes no sense, so - do you really read "dash" when you see a "-" in a company name?


Thanks in advance. Examples would be helpful ;-)


Dan

Are you sure you don't mean hyphen rather than dash? Dashes are longer and are used between words; hyphens are short and used within words.

Hyphens virtually always occur at internal boundaries within a hyphenated word or name. It's probably best to imagine how someone would read the name with a space substituted for the hyphen to get an idea of how an English speaker would naturally read it.

There are companies using names that break tradition and getting away with it. For example, I've just received the latest in a series of botched energy bills from a large - and currently rather profitable - energy supplier here in the UK called E.ON, pronounced (I presume) the same as aeon. They also seem to spell it on their bills in lower case with the full stop (or dot or whatever it is) at mid-height (like the dots you see standing for spaces in word-processor programs when you click the show-all-characters button). I don't think there's much danger of mispronunciation in a case like this.
dryp
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Posted Thu Sep 11, 2008 12:08AM

kelvinjay>
Good point!


Mouse-ear (is that with a hyphen? )>
You're right, it's a hyphen we're talking about. Maybe I should change the hyphen to a raised dot instead. Then it would still technically spoken be a hyphen, but visually it would be "read" as a space? Thanks for your help


Dan
Whiteway
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Posted Thu Sep 11, 2008 12:33AM
I'd stick with the hyphen. How would you do an Internet search for a raised dot?

My Internet provider is OneTel. Or One-Tel. Or One.Tel. Frankly, it gets confusing.
dryp
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Posted Thu Sep 11, 2008 12:49AM

Whiteway>


Of course you're right, I just meant to change the graphical details of the logo, not changing the name itself. Seeing a logo as a little piece of art it would be okay with some artistic freedom, that could be making the hyphen slightly shorter, close to the length of a raised dot.


Unfortunately I'm not allowed to show you the logo at this point


Dan
Whiteway
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Posted Thu Sep 11, 2008 1:57AM
Posted By dryp:
...I just meant to change the graphical details of the logo, not changing the name itself.

However...won't people use the logo as their idea of the name, when writing or typing it out? This is where I see it as potentially confusing.
Mouse-ear
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Posted Thu Sep 11, 2008 8:17AM

Posted By Whiteway:
Posted By dryp:
...I just meant to change the graphical details of the logo, not changing the name itself.

However...won't people use the logo as their idea of the name, when writing or typing it out? This is where I see it as potentially confusing.

Yeah, like Whiteway, I think it could be confusing if it's not visually clear that the character/symbol in the logo is a hyphen. Imagine the name were, for example, Ac-me, and the hyphen in the logo looked more like a mid-height dot. If my first acquaintance with the company is through the logo and I want to find out more online, I go to my favourite search engine, enter the A, the C and then wonder what the hell to enter next. By the time I've decided, I've seen an advert for the Ac-me's biggest German competitor, which has no weird symbols in its name at all, and ordered from them!

I've worked for an outfit that has: 1) always had names that sound as though they ought to be hyphenated but aren't; but 2) never included anything other than regular letters and spaces in its name, even in logos. I nowadays never underestimate the value of a short, easy to pronounce, easy to spell-on-a-keyboard name that can be reliably scribbled down correctly spelt on paper by someone hearing it for the first time. Is it Bang and Olufsen, Bang & Olofsen, Bang and Olafsen?

(Our current name has 60 characters and spaces in it. Doesn't half trip me up when I have to answer the question, Who do you work for? at an exhibition or what have you before I've had a couple of cups of coffee.)
Atlantagreg
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Posted Thu Sep 11, 2008 12:05PM

Wait ... does this mean that I shop at Wal-dash-mart?


 
RobertH2255
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Posted Thu Sep 11, 2008 12:35PM
We see the dash (or hyphen), we read the dash (or hyphen) but we don't say the dash (or hyphen) unless you are Atlanta-dash(or hyphen)-greg.
PrairieArtProject
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Posted Thu Sep 11, 2008 3:39PM
But the original question is, "Do we read the hyphen or dash?" and the answer is, no we don't.
SoopySue
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Posted Thu Sep 11, 2008 4:17PM

You do, however, have difficulties when spelling out the name on the phone, e.g. for website or email address. I thought I was oh, so clever getting v-liz.com (shorter than Virtual Liz) when I found Liz Claibourne had all the sensible 'Liz'es.


"Liz at v hyphen liz, yes, just the letter v, no, not vee; no, hyphen, like a wee dash, no, not an underscore ..."
dryp
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Posted Fri Sep 12, 2008 12:31AM

tracyjayhawk>
Exactly, and I'm very happy with that answer


SoopySue>
So true


Thank you all for your great help!


Dan
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