The Lords of the Words

I looked up at the monitors that ring the newsroom Monday night and saw Jim Nantz hawking a company I’d never heard of.


I’d never heard of Insperity before, and there’s a good reason why.  Until this month, it was called “Administaff.”  The company changed its name, and hired Jim Nantz to tell the world.  Why?

“Insperity captures the power and growth potential of our new strategy, and serves to eliminate any confusion about who we are and what we do,” said Jay E. Mincks, executive vice president of sales and marketing.  (Houston Chronicle)

Of course it does.  Certainly there can be no confusion about what a company called Insperity does.  Though I do wonder how many bottles of bourbon were consumed coming up with the new name.  (“We’re inspired!  We’re into prosperity!  We’re Insperity!”)

But Insperity is just a made up name.  The Associated Press is toying with real words, and is apparently waging a war against hyphens.

As of last Saturday, the AP declared that e-mail is now email, hand-held is now handheld, cell phone is now cellphone, and smart phone is now smartphone.

With whom (and I’m thinking ‘whom’ is on the endangered list) do the AP Stylebook (one word) editors confer?  The dictionary people?

Frankly, I think they took a payoff (also one word) from the Twitter people.  Fewer characters to put in tweets.

Speaking of which, Twitter celebrated its fifth anniversary Monday.  I think in cyber years that makes it 50.

Anyone been on MySpace (yup, one word) lately?


About Gerry

I've been covering Connecticut news and sports since 1974. I know, I don't look that old.
This entry was posted in Diatribes, Digital World, Media, Noticed and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to The Lords of the Words

  1. Well stated, Gerry.
    Now you just may have to explain to some younger folks what MySpace is (or was).

  2. Mary says:

    Boy I feel old, just trying to keep up, I wonder if (spellcheck, spell check, spell-check) is current, good thing you keep on top of these things for us Gerry.

  3. Steve Shaw says:

    How come whenever you hear about a mass murderer being arrested, authorities always quote the “manifesto” appearing on their MySpace page? I guess you know the cyberworld (one word!) has passed you by when only criminals use your social media service.

  4. Li'l Em-Spell says:

    It is generally accepted that the AP style manual’s main, perhaps sole, purpose is to reduce the number of characters used in order to conserve space for advertising in the print media. Thus, words are crashed together, hyphens are eliminated, and the comma before the “and” in a series of three or more items (like the one in this sentence) is verboten.

    Good writers use the Chicago Manual of Style. Newspaperwritersdont.

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