NameSummit 2017: A Digital Branding Conference, New York, NY, August 7-8 2017

From the 7th to the 8th of August 2017, NameSummit 2017, an international conference on domain names, will be held at the Hilton Midtown Manhattan.  The purpose of this conference is to provide a forum for experts in digital branding to discuss the latest trends in domain name selection and marketing.  Information about the conference program and registration process can be found at the website.

NameSummit 2017 is bringing the best of the entrepreneurial and digital branding worlds to share their expertise in establishing a digital presence that excites, inspires, and generates ROI.  Building a digital brand — from domain name selection and market analysis, to creating a comprehensive web presence — requires stamina, strategy, and constant attention to trends.  NameSummit 2017’s digital branding and domain industry leaders are here to show beginners and pros how to bring their businesses to market, capture customer engagement, and keep them connected.

TOTh 2017: 11th International Conference on Terminology and Ontology, Chambéry, France, June 8-9 2017

From the 8th to the 9th of June 2017, the University of Savoie in Chambéry, France will be hosting the 11th International Conference on Terminology and Ontology (TOTh). The theme for this year’s conference is “Theories and Applications”.  Details about the conference can be found at the website, and the program can be downloaded here.

The conference is intended to bring together researchers, professionals and, more generally, all those whose concerns are related to language and knowledge engineering. The conference will cover areas like language for special purposes, specialized lexicography, translation, corpus analysis, lexicon, dictionary, and terminology.

New York City dog names: Max, Leia, and Spock

Databases of baby names are easy to find, but what about dog names? The New York City Health Department has made public its database of dog names collected from licenses.The interactive map lets you explore with your mouse or search for specific names. Each bubble on the map represents a dog name by frequency of occurrence – foe example, there are 1,195 dogs named Bella and 1,153 named Max, but only 7 named Spock and just one named Kirk. (Well, there is only one Captain Kirk.) Check it out and see how popular your favorite puppy names are in NYC!





Bonnie + Clyde = 3 capybara babies that need names


Last year, the Toronto High Park Zoo become the unwitting center of a crime scene when Zoo officials reported that not one but two of its residents had escaped. The furry fugitives known to officials as “Bonnie” and Clyde” were members of the South American rodent clan known as Capybara.  For those who have never come across this group name before, Capybara are BIG in the world of rodentia and have been known to reach 200 pounds! (Think GINORMOUS guinea pig.  And yes, before you ask, “ginormous” IS in the dictionary…along with humongous.) Given their conspicuous appearance, it probably comes as no surprise that the two love-struck runaways were eventually captured and returned to the zoo in the late Spring of 2016.  However, nearly a year later, the dynamic duo is making headlines again.  It seems that Bonnie and Clyde are now the proud parents of three baby capybara. Zoo officials have taken suggestions from the public for names for these rodent triplets and will announce the winners very soon!

Rose Hork and Stanky Bean: What happens when a neural network names paint colors

Janelle Shane, a research scientist with a penchant for silliness, decided to train a neural network to generate new paint colors, complete with appropriate names. The results are hilariously bad, and range from the impenetrable (“Dondarf” for a lovely shade of cornflower blue) to the almost-there (“Ghasty Pink”, the color of Pepto-Bismol). Ars Technica has the details on how she did the training.

Her conclusions: “1. The neural network really likes brown, beige, and grey; 2. The neural network has really, really bad ideas for paint names.” Professional namers need not worry about losing business to AI just yet.

(She has also done a similar experiment with superhero names, and it went about as well as you would expect.)


MOAB: How “the mother of all” became a name

In 2003, the United States tested a new weapon for possible use during the Iraq War.  That weapon was officially named the GBU-43/B Massive Ordinance Air Blast or “MOAB” for short.  Over time, that acronym underwent a curious onomastic shift in which the root full-form was replaced by a new name: “Mother of All Bombs”. According to the Business Insider journalist, Mark Abadi, this nickname was coined as a play on Saddam Hussein’s 1991 prediction that the Gulf War would be remembered in history as “the mother of all battles”.  That phrase caught on fire and soon everything was being described as “the mother of all…”.  14 years later, this name re-surfaced once again when the US dropped the largest non-nuclear bomb, or the “mother of all bombs”, in northeast Afghanistan. The Oxford Dictionaries blog has a detailed history of the phrase.

Animal Naming: International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature

Ever wonder who or what is responsible for making sure that every living creature has an official scientific name?  Just one of the scholarly societies that helps to shoulder this momentous task is the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature or ICZN. The ICZN is responsible for ensuring that the system of names used for the animal kingdom is internationally uniform and accepted.  Founded in 1895, the ICZN currently is made up of 27 members from 18 different countries around the world.  Given the millions different recognized animal species that walk, crawl, hop, slither, swim, glide, pounce, or wiggle about on, over, or below the Earth’s surface today, the commission certainly has its work cut out for it.  Interested in learning more about the types of names that can be proposed, the animals waiting for a new or revised moniker, or the buying and selling of scientific names?  The answers to those questions and many, many more, can be found here.

Persuasive Cartography: The PJ Mode Collection

Contrary to popular belief, maps do not offer a neutral, objective view of the world but reflect the sociocultural perspectives, personal political opinions, religious beliefs, and underlying commercial objectives of the people who create them.  In cooperation with Cornell University, map specialist PJ Mode has assembled a fascinating collection of more than 800 examples of persuasive cartography. Visitors to this historical e-collection will be surprised and quite likely shocked by the power of cartography to affect public opinion. Browse the collection or learn more here.

“Every map has a Who, What, Where and When about it. But these maps had another element: Why? Since they were primarily “about” something other than geography, understanding the map required finding the reasoning behind it. Each time I acquired one of these maps, I tried to solve that puzzle. As the internet developed, it became easier to come across these “curiosities” – and easier to research their raison d’etre.”

-PJ Mode

Zuul crurivastator: “Ghostbusters” inspired new dinosaur name

PHOTO: Zuul was clad in bony armour from the snout to the end of the tail. (Supplied: Danielle Dufault/Royal Ontario Museum)

Scientists have named a spiky, tank-like dinosaur that wielded a sledge-hammer tail after the fanciful beast Zuul from the blockbuster film Ghostbusters — but it turns out this dinosaur was more of a leg-buster. Fossils of the four-legged, plant-eating dinosaur, called Zuul crurivastator, were unearthed in the US state of Montana. The dinosaur was about six metres long, weighed 2,200 kilograms and lived 75 million years ago. The species name translates to “destroyer of shins” in Latin, a name inspired by the club at the end of the dinosaur’s tail. This article at Scientific American has all the details.

Winning names in RCMP “Name the Puppy” contest

The votes have been counted and the winners are final! The Dog Training Centre of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Alberta, Canada received more than 20,000 onomastic entries for the 13 adorable (and we mean REALLY adorable) German shepherd pups born at the Centre this year. According to the contest rules, the puppies’ names had to begin with the letter “k”.  The winning names are Koda, Kai, Kullu, Kage, Kammo, Kato, Kayla, Kazoo, Kate, Kaos, Kaya, Knight, and Karma. If you would like to see one of the baby photos and shots of the now pre-teen Canine cops, click here.