Saturday, June 05, 2010

Cache/Cachet


In my last blog, I mentioned that an Australian entertainer who goes by the name of Yahoo Serious is seriously charging the internet company Yahoo! with plagiarism.

Something caught my attention in the following paragraph:

“By the time the internet company started calling itself Yahoo, the real Yahoo was associated with wild ideas which were done in a popular, unconventional and life-affirming way. The image Yahoo had given the word carried a cache with prospective young customers. Yahoo's name was clearly not a negative asset to use.”

The bump in the road was the word cache. It can mean a hiding place for goods or treasure, a hole or mound used by explorers to conceal provisions or ammunition, the hidden store itself, or computer buffer storage.

Mr. Serious seems to have meant prestige or influence based on admiration and respect. The correct word to express that is cachet. In the 17th century, cachet meant a letter bearing the private seal of the French king and containing an order, often of exile or imprisonment.

Cache is pronounced kash, while cachet is pronounced ka-shay´. It reminds me of the often-ignored difference between forte and forté.

SIDEBAR: geocaching

Available from McFarland & Co.: Word Parts Dictionary, 2nd edition


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