Let's say you're a fledgling Chinese camera company, and you want a name that commands respect. What do you do? Well, Canon is a pretty good camera company, you know that. And Panasonic is also a pretty good camera company. So, put them together and you get: Cansonic. The only thing better than the name is the puzzling tagline, "Can be colorful," as if at other times, it may not be so colorful.
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Alexis C. Madrigal is a staff writer at The Atlantic and the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology.