Forgive me if this is considered off topic, I looked through all of the stack exchange sites and this seemed like the closest fit. If someone can recommend a more appropriate site, let me know and I'll repost.

I work in an environment that is particularly prone to overuse of acronyms which to me seems pretty old fashioned. My impression is that the modern trend is to use names that perhaps aren't as descriptive, but are a little bit more "cute" than an acronym.

I've come up with 4 categories of names:

Descriptive acronyms that don't make any sort of clever word

These names are created by just coming up with a short description of what the thing is, and then using the resulting acronym. Examples include:

  • IBM
  • CUDA
  • HTML

Acronyms that make some other word

These names describe the product, but some of the descriptiveness of the name may be sacrificed in order to come up with some clever word. Examples include:

  • JMP (pronounced Jump) (statistical software, I don't even know what it stands for)
  • Yahoo (Yet another hierarchical officious oracle)

Names that are related to what they do, but not an acronym

I tend to like these. The name is somewhat related to what the thing is, but is not a full description of if. Examples include:

  • Mockito
  • Explorer

Names that are just names and have nothing to do with the actual thing

These names are just words. I don't know how they get inspired, but it doesn't seem like they decrease people's ability to remember what they represent. Examples include:

  • Firefox
  • Google Guice (this one is a little different because the normal spelling would be Juice)
  • Jenkins

I'm wondering if anyone knows if there has ever been a study to determine if certain types of names are more appealing than others, or more importantly to me, if certain name types make it easier for the users to remember what a product does. My products mostly get used by other engineers, and the marketing aspect isn't quite as important to me, but I would love to find some evidence to indicate that all these acronums

  • I've heard of the letter <g> and <j> used in a name, people will remember it better. But I can't quote something about that. Apr 26, 2017 at 19:20
  • This is a broad and contentious argument to spark next time you go out with your branding and psychology friends. The short answer is, there's no short answer. If you edit your question just right, you might get it to stick on Psychology & Neuroscience. Apr 26, 2017 at 21:30


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