It’s hard to imagine The Wall Street Journal changing its name, isn’t it? It’s not inconceivable though since News Corporation Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch told CNBC in a recent interview that he’s considering changing the newspaper’s name to simply “WSJ.”
Following Murdoch’s remarks, the New York Times’ Media Decoder blog pointed out that it’s not the first time the newspaper became the subject of re-naming discussions. In Restless Genius: Barney Kilgore, The Wall Street Journal, and the Invention of Modern Journalism, author Richard Tofel wrote that the paper’s editors considered new naming options in 1946 after poll results showed that people didn’t like the name. Some of the alternatives considered at the time were:
The National Journal
The North American Journal
Shortening the names of media companies seems to be quite popular nowadays, e.g,, The Washington Post is often referred to as WaPo; likewise, The Huffington Post as HuffPo. And it’s been decades since many large U.S. television networks switched to acronyms as brand names (ABC, CBS, and NBC).
Probably the best-known examples of company names switching over to acronyms are IBM (from International Business Machines) and 3M (Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company). A more recent example from earlier this year was the introduction of retailer J.C. Penney’s new logo displaying only the letters “JCP.”
Several abbreviated and shortened company names have origins that may not be quite so obvious to some of our readers, like these:
LG – Lucky and GoldStar Co.
CVS – Consumer Value Stores
Cutco – Cooking Utensils Company
HSBC – Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation
Aflac – American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus
What’s your favorite example of a company or brand name that’s been shortened or turned into an acronym?