The stairwell of the apartment we rented in Paris held this trademark gem:

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You would think this would be a shining example of a brand that’s absolutely incapable of crossing the Atlantic thanks to its English meaning. (I’m not sure if its significance is the same to British English speakers; if it is, the poor mark shouldn’t even be able to cross the Channel!) However, the mark has been registered here in the US, and Puky products are apparently available for sale here in the US. I just can’t imagine how successful a product bearing that name could be. Then again, Acne Jeans are so hot these days …

 

Remember my kvetching about Acne Jeans and what a ridiculous name it is? Sure you do. And it still is ridiculous, IMHO. Well, hold on to your emesis basins, because here comes another one, straight out of the pages of Marie France magazine. The latest kids’ jeans brand:

         Finger in the Nose

Where do I begin? Is this name meant to evoke the endearing nature of a child performing a digital excavation of his nasal passages? I’m just not buying it. But take a look at the website and its charmingly mangled English: “[E]ach material choice has been tought [sic] to guarantee children a good feeling in their jeans whatever if it’s a slim, straigh [sic] or comfort fit.” A good feeling in children’s jeans is probably not what we want to be touting here. But there’s more: Finger in the Nose promises that these jeans are “[a] simple yet clever product, capable of following the child everywhere and for a long time to go.” So basically these are stalker/molester jeans? A good translator would’ve gone a long way here.

What a beautiful progression a French child can undergo: From Finger in the Nose to Acne. What’s next for jeans for the middle aged? My suggestion: Lumbago. You’re welcome.

  

Was it only a year and a half ago that we experienced the trauma of the opening day of Heathrow’s Terminal 5 in London on our way to Paris?  Oy.  In the words of Samuel Goldwyn, we’ve all passed a lot of water since then.  Anyway, after that trip I wrote a post about the ACNE Jeans display we saw at Le Bon Marche in Paris, and for those who don’t feel like clicking on the link to reread it, suffice to say I expressed great derision for the mark.

Well, lo and behold, the New York Times has an article today about exactly that Acne Jeans company.  The Times, kinder than I am, merely dubs the name “off-putting.”  But what they do reveal is the etymology of the name: It is an acronym for “Ambition to Create Novel Expressions.”  Yes, take a deep breath.  It’s that lame. 

My mission now?  To create an award that will serve as the anti-Alt-0174 award for the crappiest name.  Whatever it will be named, I think Acne wins, with bonus points for its clunky acronym.