Haven't seen this nugget of info anywhere else, but that hasn't stopped me before.
Assuming the AT&T purchase of BellSouth goes thru within a year, the BellSouth name will disappear by early 2007.
With that disappearance, the surname of the man widely (but not universally) believed to have invented the telephone in 1876 will forever disappear from the livery of major U.S. telecommunications service providers.
The 130 year-run was probably nurtured by the total accident of his surname- "Bell" sounds a lot like ringing, and that is a good example of Onomatopoeia- a type of word that sounds like what it is describing.
Actually, the Bell name will survive for the foreseeable future. Here and there.
In the U.S., the storied moniker will live on in the name of southern Ohio indy phone company Cincinnati Bell- the main phone company in that metro area.
And oh, Canada, there's Bell Canada. Still, I must ask: in this age of hypersonic branding, for how long will this Bell toll:
Bell, who died a Canadian citizen in Canada, may live longer in Canada telecom branding then here here in the U.S. On this side of the 49th parallel, though, the Bell name is fading into obscurity. Just in the last few years, BellAtlantic was converted to Verizon, and PacBell was bought by SBC (the B stood for Bell) which took the AT&T name), and now we have BellSouth apparently headed for oblivion as well.
I guess the term "Bell" is too quaint for our marketing, focus-tested, brand-obsessed digital age. And that's a shame.
Alexander Graham Bell, your storied surname has given us 130 good years.
And even though your name will disappear, your invention will live on.