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I’m often asked why we’re called Tenfour. “Are they your business hours?” clients ask. If only. Read on to discover the truth – or at least an explanation loosely based on truth.

In the late seventies and early eighties, there was no shortage of films featuring moustachioed charmer Burt Reynolds driving around in fast cars. The characters used CB radios to communicate, so “Copy that” (message received) and “10-4” (message understood) were phrases that were peppered liberally throughout the films. As a child, they also featured prominently in my neighbourhood post-film bike chases.

Many years later, when we were thinking of a name for our new copywriting company, I (maybe) drew a Venn diagram. In one circle I wrote the word Copy, which as well as being the focus of the business also meant “message received”. In the other I wrote “message understood”, as I thought getting our clients’ messages received and understood was probably as good a goal as any for a fledgling marketing communications agency.

Now, if only there was a term that would fit in the intersecting sweet spot in the middle of the diagram. A phrase that was kind of familiar but retained an air of mystery. Ideally a word that was tied to both copy and messages being clearly understood. Tenfour?