A Naming Exercise

Jason English

We've done this before, deciphering famous people's famous initials. My lasting memory from round one? Receiving angry emails about how I capitalized edward estlin cummings. People weren't pleased and let me know it. We need some sort of Firefox plugin that checks for unauthorized capitalization and threatens to quit.

Today we'll be deciphering the alphabet soup that is corporate America, plus examining the origins of non-acronym company names. Several of these companies claim to have dropped the names that formed their initials. This is a practice I do not accept. So save your, "AARP is no longer known as the American Association of Retired Persons" emails (and your "AARP is not part of corporate America" emails, too.)

3M - Minnesota Manufacturing & Mining
BASF - Badische Anilin und Soda Fabriken
HSBC - Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation
AARP - American Association of Retired Persons
A&W Root Beer - Named for founders Roy Allen and Frank Wright
Alcoa - Aluminum Company of America
AMC - American Multi-Cinema
Arby's - I thought it was Roast Beef. But I learned it really came from the founding Raffel Brothers ("ar," "bee").
CBS - Columbia Broadcasting System
Coleco - Connecticut Leather Company
ESPN - Entertainment and Sports Programming Network
MBNA - Maryland Bank National Association
MCI - Microwave Communications Inc.
QVC - Quality, Value and Convenience
H&M - Hennes & Mauritz
Hasbro - Hassenfeld Brothers
JVC - Japan Victor Company
LoJack - The opposite of hijack.

Chime in with those I've missed.