February 14, 2005

'Love' in translation

Valentines day is here again and whether you love it or hate it, you can't get away from it. So, if you ever wondered who St. Valentine was or haven't bought a gift for your loved one yet, read on....

According to legend, Valentine was a priest who lived in 3rd century Rome. The emperor, Claudius II, was having a difficult time recruiting soldiers as few were eager to leave their wives and families. The emperor’s solution was to ban engagements and marriages, which resulted in people getting married on the sly. Valentine was one of the priests willing to defy the emperor’s decree and perform clandestine marriage ceremonies. When Valentine’s secret ceremonies were discovered, Claudius had him arrested and sentenced to death. While imprisoned, he received many flowers from people who wished him well, and he also enjoyed conversations with the jailer’s daughter. Before his execution on February 14 in the year 269, on the very day that Juno, goddess of women and marriage was honored, he sent the jailer’s daughter a note of thanks signed, “Love from your Valentine.” Valentine was declared a saint in 496 by Pope Gelasius, and February 14 became his feast day.

Valentine’s Day as we know it today, with the exchanging of flowers, small gifts and little love notes, didn’t become popular in Great Britain and the United States until the 18th century. By the end of the century, handwritten notes were replaced with printed cards, thanks to the improvements of the printing press. The first commercial Valentine’s Day card appeared in the US in the 1840s. The image often found on these cards isn’t that of the martyred St. Valentine, but that of a chubby winged cherub called Cupid who is the son of Venus, Goddess of Love.

So now you know who to blame, here are some ideas for gifts if you are running a little behind...

You can't go wrong with chocolates so why not buy a box of 'Baci' which is Italian for 'kisses'. Or impress your loved one with a valentines card which says 'I love you' in a different language. (try which tells you how to say “I love you” in 25 different languages). Or why not a passionate weekend in the Nebraskan town of Valentine.

For a brand that exudes the more 'sexy' side of Valentines Day, you cannot go wrong with the provocatively named: Victorias Secret ( or the seductive Agent Provocateur site where you can send an e-valentine card anonymously and it's a far cry from 'cute teddybears and cards with hearts on!' (

For lovestruck netheads who haven't found love yet, the internet seems to be the way forward. According to a study published today, 'dating websites can give people a "surprisingly high" chance of long-term romance. Some 94% of UK online agency customers questioned saw their "e-partner" again after the first face-to-face meeting. It is estimated that an astonishing 'six million people subscribe to a UK-based internet dating agency.'

So never give up on love and a very happy Valentines Day to you all.


Posted by louise.tomkinson at 08:41 AM | Single Article

December 06, 2004

Do you blog?

If you do, you are part of the fastest growing web community, doubling every five months or so, according to blog analysis firm Technorati (blimey, there are companies that analyse stuff I didn't even know existed - Ed!)


And there's more. The term 'blog' has been chosen as the top word of 2004 by Merrian-Webster, the US dictionary publisher.

I'll admit I was a bit behind the beat on blogs, only really finding out about them when we started building our new LingoLAB website. Our newsletter LABnotes uses the metaphor of blogging, and we did do a bit of a survey of all the relevant technologies before we settled on Moveable Type.

Once I started exploring the wonderful world of blogging - or the 'blogosphere' for those that know, I started to nurse an uncontrollable urge to start my own blog, techno-envy if ever there was.

The ultimate on-line version of vanity publishing, for the uninitiated, a blog allows you to share your intimate thoughts and words of wisdom with the on-line community.


Sounds good, the reality is that many Blogs appear to be intensely boring, and run out of steam pretty quickly once the first flush of enthusiasm (and words of wisdom) is over. There are some good ones out there, but reading the ramblings of a 17 year old geek or mid-western born again Christian is a bit like finding someone's personal diary - dull but strangely fascinating in equal measure.

As a word, as a collective noun/verb for an activity, it's catchy, it's an all-in-one. Derived (just in case you didn't know - where have you been?) weB LOG is a lump of a name.

(Incidentally, LingoLAB is working on a whole new area of naming - 'collective nouns'. We are going to subvert that old marketing truism - 'own the name, own the category'. We are going to start naming the categories and the categories of categories. Our new truism - 'own the category - er.... own the category' hasn't quite got that ring yet).

I still nurse the urge (to blog), but it's waning - I like the idea of having one, but actually writing one is another matter.

Maybe I'll just do pictures...

Oh, but if you do, send us a link, maybe we'll do a feature on them....

Posted by jonathan.mercer at 10:42 AM | Single Article

October 28, 2004

Everything in moderation

A happy employee is a productive employee. That's why achieving a good work/life balance for your staff is such an important task. But it's not as straightforward as you might think. Read case studies on LIngoLAB and other companies who have made the work/life balance work for them.

Thursday October 28, 2004
The Guardian

Posted by louise.tomkinson at 05:32 PM | Single Article

October 17, 2004

Lessons for Lithuania

Kristina Dryza looks at how Lithuanian brands can compete globally by identifying the nation's cultural qualities and realising their potential and how Lithuanian brands should emphasise the history and provenance of its products, going deeper into what 'Made in Lithuania' means.

Kristina Dryza is a consumer trends expert and a LingoLAB associate and can be reached on mobile 07812 352 088 or email:

Posted by kristina.dryza at 11:06 AM | Single Article

LingoLAB is a creative naming agency,
creating the language that makes brands successful.