15 May 2007

Minding Your P's and Q's

Traditionally, a lot of businesses and organisations are named just by their initials. Examples are:

SPH (Singapore Press Holdings);
NTUC (National Trade Union Congress); and
NHB (National Heritage Board).

Nowadays, it is increasingly common to find shopping centres, food and beverage outlets, and even cars named by letters of the alphabet, in particular, P's and Q's:

PP (Parkway Parade)

QQ car

QQ rice

Q bar

It is a mystery why the letters P's and Q's are preferred over other letters of the alphabet. Also, why must they be repeated most of the time? Could it be because good things always come in pairs? I know that the letter Q stands for (and sounds like) "queue". Perhaps the businesses are hoping for long queues of customers to form outside their doors? QQ also means "springy" in Hokkien and could be interpreted as a description of the texture of mee (e.g. Sarawak's Kolo mee) or rice (e.g. QQ rice).

Despite having an auspicious name, if the business is not making money, it will be closed down eventually. Q Bar which opened only in June 2006 amidst much fanfare, might be closed soon because of "cash flow" problems. (Read the New Paper article here.) How long the "QQ-rice fad" will last is anyone's guess. Surely we all remember what happened to the bubble-tea and coffee-bun crazes not too long ago, don't we?


tigerfish said...

Did not really notice about the Qs, but seems that there're more Qs than Ps, even ?
Auspicious name? Why not 888Bar or Lucky Rice? Hahahaha....maybe it's because of location - only in places like Joo Chiat or Katong or neighbourhood towns, then will get to see 888 Bar or Lucky Rice?

Victor said...

Hahaha, bars with names like that are probably in Joo Chiat area (like you said) together with others like "Sin Po Po". Maybe Geylang also has some.

Lam Chun See said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lam Chun See said...

Back in my NPB days, when we used to promote QCCs, some participants told us; "lu Q lu C"; which in Hokkien means, "The more your Q, the worse it gets!".

Cool Insider said...

The writer of that article in New Paper is a good friend Cara. We both used to work in the clubbing circuit together. Its a pretty tough market in Singapore as most folks do not drink here.

Not sure about the auspiciousness of the words P or Q though.

Firehorse said...

Hmm interesting maybe shud change my coffeeshop name to Ko P Tiam? Auspicious name kah?

meow said...

one of my friend's nick is "QQ" (derived from the sound of her real name) but this was started wayyyyy before this trend started.

i didn't know she owns so many shops in singapore :-p

Victor said...

Chun See - Talking about QCCs, do you know what happened to them? Are they called by another name now? "Thinking-out-of-the-box" perhaps?

Cool Insider - Didn't know that you used to work in the clubbing circuit. No wonder the way you raised that beer mug looked so professional. Haha.

Firehorse - Bring it one step closer. Call it QQ Ko P Tiam. :)

Meow - Your friend's real name is called "Cute Cute"? :P