Snopes is one of my go-to resources for fact checking. They do a good job of checking, and even more important, they document the bases on which they form their conclusions.
I’ve used them for years, to check things that personal bias causes me to consider “ridiculously false” (from conservative friends) or “too good to be true” (from liberal friends).
Based on a post I saw, I read through this Snopes article:
Claim: The restaurant chain formerly known as “Kentucky Fried Chicken” changed its name to KFC to eliminate the word “fried” from its title.
The article claims that the real reason for the name change was:
In 1990, the Commonwealth of Kentucky, mired in debt, took the unusual step of trademarking their name. Henceforth, anyone using the word “Kentucky” for business reasons — inside or outside of the state — would have to obtain permission and pay licensing fees to the Commonwealth of Kentucky
They even posted an update:
Update: In November 2006, KFC and the State of Kentucky finally reached an undisclosed settlement over the former’s use of the trademarked word “Kentucky,” and the restaurant chain announced it would be resuming its former name of “Kentucky Fried Chicken.”
Good work by Snopes. Sure enough, go to the KFC web site, and it says “Kentucky Fried Chicken.”
But way down at the bottom of the post there’s this:
|More information about this page|
Last updated: 17 May 2008
And if you click on the icon on their page, or the red text on this one, or here, you’re led to another page, and THAT’S THE PAGE that revised my opinion upward.