Lexicon® Blog

Archive for December, 2012|Monthly archive page

Semantics At Your Fingertips

In Brand Name Development, Brand Naming, Branding, Business, corporate naming, Naming, Trademarks on December 12, 2012 at 3:00 am

A recent study has concluded that letters on the right-hand side of the keyboard are more likely to be associated with positive meanings than letters on the left-hand side. A Wired article (The QWERTY Effect: How Typing May Shape the Meaning of Words, 3/7/2012) quotes one of the study’s authors as saying,:

We know how a word is spoken can affect its meaning. So can how it’s typed. As we filter language, hundreds or thousands of words, through our fingers, we seem to be connecting the meanings of the words with the physical way they’re typed on the keyboard.

half-qwertyThis caught our eye here at Lexicon Branding, the pioneer of deploying sound symbolism for brand names that will sound light and energetic like Swiffer or copious and relaxing like Dasani.

As it happens, the QWERTY study has been questioned by other experts. One challenger argues that any effect is tiny (on the order of .1%) and not statistically significant. (For a summary and other references, see Mark Liberman’s post on Language Log.)

It’s not our place to comment on the scientific controversy, but we couldn’t help noting that some of our most successful brands —Febreze, Swiffer, Dasani, BlackBerry — are typed mainly with the left hand, and exclusively so in the case of Febreze.

It’s probably just a coincidence that Lexicon’s president and founder, David Placek, also happens to be left-handed.

— Will Leben, Director of Linguistics