Excursion 19, Part 2 (The Edsel)

In which our intrepid hero misses an important clue…

When I was a kid, like a lot of kids who read a ton of books, I had a reading vocabulary that was much bigger than my speaking vocabulary.  One word that I knew the meaning of was French in origin:  hors d’oeuvres.  In my mind, I pronounced this word something like “whores davores.”   I knew the word meant something like appetizers.  There was another word that meant basically the same thing:  “orderves.”   I don’t even know how many years passed before I finally realized that “orderves” and “hors d’oeuvres” were actually not synonyms but the same damn word.


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Excursion 19, Part 1 (Definite Feeds for Definite Needs)

In which our intrepid hero encounters aged agrarian advertising…

I learned a new (to me) word the other day:  earworm.   You and I and everybody we know have experienced them; an earworm occurs when a piece of a song or melody gets stuck in your head and you can’t get it out.   It seems to me that there is a linguistic equivalent, of sorts, to an earworm, and that is when a particular phrase gets into your head.  It may not repeat itself but it is there and will come to mind, unbidden, with the right trigger.  Let’s call them eyeworms, just for the sake of convenience.  Earworms and eyeworms alike must be gold to advertisers.  Surely that is something they seek:  a commercial jingle or an advertising pitch line that lodge in people’s brains like G.I.s on Omaha Beach.  Think for a moment—do you remember any commercial jingles or advertising slogans from your childhood?  God knows I can.  “I’d like to teach the world to sing, in perfect harmony, I’d like to buy the world a Coke and keep it company.”   “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.”  “I can’t believe I ate that whole thing.”  “You’ve come a long way, baby.”


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