Showing posts from September, 2008

The Sign of the Hotel: Why Naming the Whole After the Parts is Not Always a Good Idea

Earlier this year the Clarion hotel chain opened a new hotel in Stockholm, right next to the terminal of the Arlanda Express airport train. A curiously angular cheese-shaped building; it is described as Stockholm’s largest hotel, with hundreds of guest rooms plus all the usual big-hotel facilities. Since it is right next to the station it will probably be a popular conference venue. But what surprised me is the name. From the window of the Arlanda Express you can’t easily see the name, but from the other side of the Norra Bantorget square you can see on the roof the massive sign that says “Clarion Hotel Sign”. My first reaction was to laugh because this looks like a typical screwup. I imagined that the contractors made a note to order the sign for the Clarion Hotel (“don’t forget the Clarion Hotel Sign dummy”) which was then passed to the sign maker who interpreted it too literally. Perhaps also the sign was made offshore in Guangzhou by someone who doesn’t know the meaning of the word