Archive for the 'oddities' Category

How not to name a product or campaign

November 23, 2007

We’re into “holiday travel season,” folks. As such, the TSA’s launched a new campaign called “SIMPLIFLY” to help people get through airport security as quickly as possible. If they had done a little research on the name before choosing it, though, they might have decided on something different:
No comment necessary, I think.


Quickie: The origin of “to 86” and other diner numbers

October 15, 2007

This classic Straight Dope has the skinny on the origins of the phrase “to 86.” It was, apparently, “diner code,” and Cecil Adams gives other examples. Some seem faintly ridiculous–“19 = ‘I yearn for a banana split'”–but it’s the best etymology I’ve seen for this phrase.

Diversion of the day: The Book Inscriptions Project

June 6, 2007

The Book Inscriptions Project collects interesting or odd notes written on the inside of a book. Example:

JAN. 22, 1969

dear Tim—
This glorious book has very
many weird stories in it.
It is also a Playboy book-
so when you read this book
think of the weirdest,
sexiest girl, you will think of me
Love, Gayl”

The creator of the project wonders how these books with such obviously personalized touches ended up at yard sales and flea markets. “Some of them are
so private that it seems almost impossible that they ended up in a library or a garage sale. Did the owner die, or forget that his copy of After the Fall contained a private note from his parents?”

It’s worth a look.

(Via Eyeteeth.)