Saturday, January 15, 2005


SUV Names revisited -- and an intellectual property question

Whose idea was it anyway?

How about this as a great new name for an SUV: "the Affront."

I would like to take full credit for this incredible witticism, but truth be told, it was basically given to me by CT, who was recently complaining about her car, which is apparently some old beater. "My car is an affront," she said.

Okay, so she meant that her driving sensibilities were offended, not that her car model was (or should be) named an "Affront." On the other hand, if somebody said to me, "I'll give you twenty bucks right now if you can come up with an SUV name that makes me laugh," I don't think I'd have ever come up with "Affront." It's found, rather than created, humor.

This happens to me a lot: somebody says something which I think is the greatest thing, a veritable knee slapper, only it turns out that they didn't say what I thought -- I misheard them. Suppose, for instance, CT had simply said, "my car is out front." I then go around talking about the Ford Affront SUV. Who gets credit?

Okay, if you don't think "Affront" is a funny name for an SUV, then I guess I've lost you right from the start, and even if you think it was sort of a smile, you're still thinking, "so what?" What is this whole "credit" thing anyway.

I still want to know. Maybe it's just idle curiosity. And maybe I want to be prepared just in case the next time this mishearing-leads-to-idea thing turns out to be something really big, the next new thing. I don't want CT coming back to me later and saying, "hey, that twenty bucks is mine."

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