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What's in a name?

by Inigo 06/15/2009

When you have an unusual name like mine, introducing myself typically involves an explanation of the origin of my name, what it means, how to pronounce it, yadda, yadda. With this being my first post to the Sony Style blog, I suppose I should do the obligatory run-through:

1.       I was named after my father. But I’m not Inigo junior.

2.       I’m Filipino-American. But Inigo is not a typical Filipino name. It’s actually a European name, by way of the Basque, Spanish and English.

3.       There is no “d” in my name. It could mean “fire” in Latin. Or maybe not.

4.       I pronounce it the English way, like “indigo” without the “d.”  But it can also be pronounced the Spanish way: in-YEH-go.

So, this got me to thinking about names and what they mean and I realized that Sony products are known for some unusual names. And like automobile names, Sony product names sound made up. But there is rhyme and reason behind the puzzling monikers. Here are some of the more familiar ones:

SONY: The Sony name was created by combining “SONUS,” the original Latin for “SONIC,” meaning sound, with “SONNY,” denoting small size, or a youthful boy. It was chosen for its simple pronunciation that is the same in any language.  There is no truth to the urban legend that SONY stands for “Standard Oil of New York.”

VAIO: The name of Sony’s computer sub-brand is actually an acronym for Visual Audio Intelligent Organizer (previously standing for: Video Audio Integrated Operation) and was created by Teiyuu Goto to distinguish items that encompassed the use of consumer audio, video and computing. Oh, and did you know the VAIO logo represents the analog wave (“VA”) and binary code (“IO”)?
BRAVIA: Sony’s television sub-brand is an acronym for “Best Resolution Audio Visual Integrated Architecture.” Did you know that the BRAVIA brand was also used for some Sony Ericsson phones in Japan?

mylo: What is a mylo Internet Device (its full name)? Well, it’s a portable, Internet-based device that lets you browse the Web, text message, play media files and other stuff. And it means “my life online.” Clever, eh?

Rolly: Well, if you’ve seen this product, it’s pretty self-explanatory.

And then you have the more common-sounding Cyber-shot, Handycam and Walkman products – which are all pretty straightforward. (Tidbit: Sony co-founder Akio Morita reportedly did not care for the name “Walkman” but allowed it after a marketing campaign was already in place.)

There you go. Now you are armed with cocktail party trivial chit chat. But I do not guarantee that it will impress anyone. Use at your own risk.

I’m just hoping that Sony develops a cool new product and calls it “INIGO.”

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  1. Jude3 wrote: June 16, 2009 12:27am

    I knew all of this except what BRAVIA stood for. But now I know. Thanks

    Reply
  2. guest_user wrote: June 16, 2009 4:24pm

    Nice post, Indigo! :)

    Reply
  3. vaiofreak wrote: June 23, 2009 12:30pm

    Hi Inigo!
    You forgot to mention a few other Sony acronyms like AIBO, QRIO….I guess QUALIA too! I was wondering if they have reconsidered the meaning of VAIO as I saw it being marketed in Europe as Video Audio Intelligent Organizer.
    P.S. NAV-U, eSprit, XPERIA…..

    Reply

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