Uh, what’s Schwa?
(We thought we’d start our new blog on language and behaviour in business with ourselves, and answer the question a few of you are probably asking.)
Well, it’s exactly that – ‘uh’. Although you might not have heard the name, the schwa is actually the most common English vowel sound.
It’s the ‘uh’ we say in everyday words like ‘a’, ‘the’, or ‘memory’, for that matter.
And memory tells you a lot about why we chose the name
We’re a new consultancy, so we want you to remember us. And in a world filled with far more information than anyone can possibly take in, it’s unusual names and content that stand out.
Behavioural scientists call this the ‘bizarreness effect’ and why we plumped for a name with a little bit of linguistic intrigue over something ‘say-what-you-see’.
But bizarreness alone isn’t enough
The jury’s out on whether unusual or invented words are really any easier to remember the first time you hear them. But if you can associate those words with something else – like the definition or a story, that’s when you’re really likely to create a name that sticks.
It worked for Google – its name is actually a misspelling of the mathematical term ‘googol’. (A googol is 10 to the power of 100, so it makes a nice link to the vast amounts of data the search engine would trawl through to find your results.)
Fingers crossed it’ll work for us, too. Come back next week to read our latest blog and see how we’re getting on…if you remember.