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13. How Many Possible Trade Names are There?

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1. Title Title of document 13. How Many Possible Trade Names are There? - The Linguistics Delusion
2. Creator Author's name, affiliation, country Geoffrey Sampson; United Kingdom
3. Subject Discipline(s) linguistics
4. Subject Keyword(s) discipline of linguistics; academic study of linguistics; linguistics as a science; history of linguistics; Karl Popper; refuatbility; linguistic research; The Economist; Arthur C. Clarke; running out of names; number of names
5. Subject Subject classification academic study of linguistics
6. Description Abstract With the proliferation of enterprise in recent years, it has been noted (by The Economist among others) that firms are beginning to find it difficult to devise distinctive names for themselves and their products and services. The Economist linked this issue amusingly to a famous science-fiction story by Arthur C. Clarke, “The nine billion names of God”. The issue is not a frivolous one, though: it is relevant to contentious legal issues about similarity between trade names infringing firms’ intellectual property rights. No linguist seems previously to have asked the question how many distinct and usable names are potentially available, but it is a question with a fairly definite answer. It turns out that the threat of “running out of names” is much less fanciful than one might have guessed.
7. Publisher Organizing agency, location Equinox Publishing Ltd
8. Contributor Sponsor(s)
9. Date (YYYY-MM-DD) 14-Sep-2017
10. Type Status & genre Peer-reviewed Article
11. Type Type
12. Format File format PDF
13. Identifier Uniform Resource Identifier
14. Identifier Digital Object Identifier 10.1558/equinox.32144
15. Source Journal/conference title; vol., no. (year) Equinox eBooks Publishing; The Linguistics Delusion
16. Language English=en en
18. Coverage Geo-spatial location, chronological period, research sample (gender, age, etc.)
19. Rights Copyright and permissions Copyright 2014 Equinox Publishing Ltd