Spotted in Denmark: Two brands that fall into the category that Nancy Friedman calls “imperative-verb business names.” I like to call them hortatory marks.
The first is the fabulous hotel we stayed in, STAY Copenhagen. No, the name wouldn’t work in the US. “Where’d you stay?” “STAY.” “No, I asked you.” You get the picture. No matter, it was a fantastic sleek, Danish modern (duh) hotel where they upgraded us to the penthouse suite for no apparent reason, and where we luxuriated in style with views of the up-and-coming neighborhood and the river. Not to mention the heartbreakingly attractive staff and the cute grocery store downstairs with fresh strawberries to die for … Okay, I digress. But STAY plays cute with its name, as you can see here on the Do Not Disturb sign:
And if you plunk around on its website, you’ll see they really leverage the “stay” wording, in a way that I’d hate for a US trademark client but can be much more permissive about where English doesn’t reign entirely supreme.
In the same imperative vein, we were exhorted to have lunch at Yo! Sushi at the Copenhagen airport:
My reaction? More like Yo! I’m still hungry but I have no money left!
Our beloved 10th grade English teacher, Mr. Sexauer (I kid you not!) is responsible for probably fully half of my prodigious vocabulary. Every week he assigned a list of spelling and vocabulary words from the book we were reading, and we dutifully memorized those definitions verbatim.* So when I was uploading this photo and considering what to write in light of my scatology theme, I had a flashback to one of those tests:
Yes, that’s right: Eschatology – “the study of great ends.”
Thanks, folks, I’ll be here all week. Don’t forget to tip your server.
* I’m really not kidding. To wit: “Epigram – witty pointed saying.” “Sophistry – unsound series of clever-sounding reasoning.” “Atavistic – return to the primitive.” Mr. S generally presented the definition of this last one by jumping down on all fours underneath an unwitting student’s desk. There truly was nothing like 10th grade honors English at Fox Lane High School back in the 70s.
Hey, Copenhagen, just an FYI:
We don’t abbreviate “cocktails” as “cock’s” and even if we did? We (and I mean the non-apostrophe abusers among us) would not use the apostrophe.
P.S. My friend and EU trademark guru Peter Olson says the place is quite good!