I ran into an ad for a Christian festival of some sort called “Lifest.” Now, my first reading of that word is as an odd sort of superlative – which I suppose is apt enough, but probably not what the organizers intended. I suspect, instead, that they’re running together “Life” and “Fest” – but spelling it “Lifest” puts a burden on anyone pronouncing it out loud, since it will most likely sound exactly like “Lie-fest” – a festival of lies – which is hardly what a Christian organization would want to be thought of, I’m guessing. Sure, you can pronounce both Fs to distinguish…but that would be a far likelier result if the word had been spelled “Life-Fest” – or even (and they’re getting a special dispensation in relation to my normal policy regarding intercapitalization) “LifeFest.”
A similar sort of pronunciation stumbling block seems to have escaped whoever came up with the name for the AmericInn chain of hotels. I get it: they’re combining “America” or possibly “American” with “Inn”…but try saying it out loud. Either it’s indistinguishable from “American,” and thereby loses the pun – or you have to push hard on the “Inn” and put a sort of stop after the “k” sound. Both possibilities (or the two combined) sound odd and unnatural. I suppose I could find out if and how they surmount this issue by calling their switchboard – but that would be too much like research, and that in turn would be too much like work.
And I am lazy.