I have a “rule” when it comes to picking a name for something – a domain name for a website, a product name, an email address, etc.
Never pick a name that you have to spell every time you speak it, and/or have to explain how to pronounce every time you write it.
I try to follow this for all of my blogs, web projects, etc. And I explain it to people when I’m helping them get started with a blog or a podcast or something. But it’s amazing how often this rule gets violated in the world today.
A couple of examples:
I’d pick on Flickr here, but they’ve become so popular that I only have to explain the “no e” thing to non-geeks. But I will pick on Zooomr. Besides the vowel atrophy, how many people have gone to “zoomr.com” (only two o’s, not three, but the natural way to try and spell it) by mistake? It’s not the photo sharing site you were looking for. You learn after the first few times to type it correctly, but every time I tell someone about Zooomr, I end up saying “zee oh oh oh em arr dot com”, or having to explain that there are three o’s instead of two. Zooomr breaks the rule!
Another example (just to pick on my employer a little bit! ;-)) is Intel’s “Viiv” technology. Almost invariably, when you see it written, it’s immediately followed by the text (“sounds like five”) or some other clue as to how to pronounce the word. And I often have to spell it out (“vee aye aye vee”) when I’m talking to someone about it. Nevermind the fact that most people don’t quite know what it means, anyway… Viiv breaks the rule, too.
If possible, you should avoid living on a street that you have to spell out, too, or you’ll be saying “Brynn road that’s bee arr why en en road…” every time you order pizza.
This should apply to naming your children, too, but far be it from me to try to tell people how they should or shouldn’t name their kids. If they want to use a “unique” spelling or name, who am I to stop them? Keighleigh? Sihndee? Whatever you want. Can you tell that Rachel and I have been talking about names for our soon-to-be-born baby?
Follow this naming rule, and you’ll save whole seconds every time you use the name, either written or spoken, by not having to spell it out. Over the course of your lifetime, this could add up to years that would have otherwise been wasted! Feel free to thank me any way you see fit – I take PayPal! 😉