Skillset New Zealand Blog

Ideas to help your team develop personally and professionally.

I've been thinking about model names for cars and what they tell us about writing.

Fancy a ride in the Suzuki Alto Afternoon Tea?

Maybe the Mitsubishi Canter Guts? The Subaru Sambar Dias Astonish!!? (Yes, with two exclamation marks.) How about the Mazda Bongo Friendee or the the Yamaha Pantryboy Supreme? The Mazda Autozam Carol MeLady?

Mysterious Utility Wizard seemed slightly odd at first, but maybe we're used to it now.

We find the names amusing because we're reading them with an English-speaker's perspective.

In Japan the names make perfect sense

The manufacturers have decided that the way the model names sound is more important than their literal meaing. Apparently English sounds cool to a native speaker of Japanese.

My point? In fact, there are three.

Let's admire speakers of other languages who understand the subtleties of English.

Let's appreciate that those of us who are native speakers have a remarkable skill - fluency in a complex language. (Anyone who can speak the language fluently only needs the polish to write well.)

And, let's ensure that we focus on our audience's perspective. That's the golden rule of writing - and all communication. Let's get obsessional about it.

About Ralph Brown

ralph brown blog3

Ralph is our founder and managing director. He has a background in psychology, television journalism and business.

Ralph's passions are psychology and writing. He leads workshops on both and speaks to conferences on the psychology of thriving at work.

In 2011  Professional Speakers Australia awarded him its top speaking accreditation, the CSP.

He has written six books and more than a hundred articles on psychology and writing. International research journals have published his articles reviewing the research on resilience.

Ralph enjoys trips to France. He lives in rural Canterbury.

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