Earlier this year, I mentioned how one dictionary is allowing Wiki posts, for the sake of etymology. One interesting word that I have noticed, for which I have not checked for, is heart, as a verb and a substitute for love.
They say, ‘I heart this dress.’
Maybe the word love has been corrupted by the likes of Kevin Roberts for Lovemarks, or maybe it just doesn’t mean the same as it once did. Or, maybe it’s a useful way of raising the traditional meaning of love, by introducing a verb that has a slightly lighter meaning.
Many years ago, a famous designer said that the ‘I love New York’ symbol—the ‘I heart NY’—would be considered classical literature in 100 years, with kids no longer reading, and watching MTV. That hasn’t come to pass—kids have been developing Harry Potter Syndrome thanks to the weight of Joanne Rowling’s books—but it shows how we have converted a symbol into a word, rather than the other way around.
It’s not just the power of logos and symbols, but a shift in the way we comprehend everyday speech, perhaps through texting or access to dingbats and Wingdings.
The earliest example of this that I can recall (at this late hour) was in the mid-1990s, when Peugeot showed a convertible called the vingt-cœur (but in English, the company insisted it was the two-oh-heart—probably because the French pun didn’t translate, and it sounded too much like wanker). The number plate and badging showed just that: 2, 0 and a heart symbol. The car eventually became the Peugeot 206 CC.
This hasn’t come from another generation’s speech or a foreign language, which is how we normally get our words, but a graphic.
I am a pretty staunch defender of English usage, sticking to Hart’s Rules, but this change is fairly important, a lot more than abbreviations in texting (which will disappear as technology improves—mark my words).
Will the most famous logos make the leap into verb form? A few years ago we did have ‘Did somebody say McDonald’s?’ but it’s a noun, just like Apple—the pun is there but it’s not as clever. Will the squiggle that denoted the Artist Formerly Known as Prince be a candidate, or will we one day say, ‘Did you swoosh?’ when asking someone if they have bought new trainers from a company in Oregon? Posted by Jack Yan, 11:48
Update: Business Week has an article on Milton Glaser, the creator of the New York logo, as referred by the eDes!gn Blog.Post a Comment
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