Make Names out of Words

I am still annoyed with Bjarne Stroustrup for naming his C-with-classes C++ rather than D, P, C2, or Objectastic-C. It isn’t just that no-one seems to have been able to decide whether C++ code files should be called foo.cpp, foo.cxx,, or foo.C, it is hard to punctuate sentences mentioning it, and that you end up with names like C++/CLI, and so on. What makes it worse is that it inspires people to name their languages things like [incr Tcl], C# (which is spelled C# but pronounced C♯), and . To say nothing of More Th<n, Yahoo!, Samsung Ch@t 335, etc.

The latest eejit who thinks it would be hilarious to make an unspellable name for their new product is Google with Google+ and their +1 button. OK, I suppose Google+ is marginally less obnoxious than C++, in that is is a proper noun, and if I want to I can type Googleplus and it is still recognizable, whereas Cplusplus (or Ceeplusplus) is not. I am particularly annoyed with +1 and their intention that we use it as a verb and say things like ‘I like totally +1’ed your post lol j/k’. It also has the same problem of ambiguity as Facebook’s ‘like’, when links to a news report of an atrocity is followed by ‘47 people liked this’. Worse in a way, because before Google appropriated it, writing +1 was short for ‘I vote for this’.

What Google mean is that you want to promote this item in search results, so perhaps it could have been labelled Promote or PIS (‘Dude, did you see the video of a cat boxing a rabbit?’ ‘I’ve already PISSed on it, bro!’). Or perhaps Recommend, as I have seen on some more dignified sites.

Given that Google are unlikely to take my advice, perhaps we can agree that the verb for applying the button labelled +1 is simply ‘plus’, on the grounds that it is easier to see how to spell plussed and plussing than +1ed and +1ing. Or perhaps we should send Google away to have a rethink.

If you are naming a new product, service, or verb, please do not consider non-word-based solutions. Make names spellable and pronounceable, and make verbs conjugatable.