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No. I would not.

  • Blog Post by: James Lileks
  • January 7, 2013 - 12:29 PM

”Would you lick Lysol cleaner?”

So began a press release. It brings up two other questions: why would you ask? and do I really want to read on?  It's early in the morning and I'm not exactly in the mood to be queried about my willingness to gargle Scrubbing Bubbles or have a Liquid Plumber colonic. But I wanted to make sure I didn’t want to get anything more from these people before I unsubscribed forever, so I read on. “ A new organic cleaner that is so pure you can lick it, use it on your counter, use it for eye make-up remover and even clean your dog’s eyes!   Many products claim to be green and organic but would you truly lick it and use it for many purposes?”

Again with the Lysol licking! Stop it! I went to the official page for the stuff, and here’s the formula:

"iGOZEN is microfine powder made of sea shells.”

Leaving aside the fact that the name sounds like a a demon in “Ghostbusters,” I don’t want to lick sea-shell powder, either. Or spray it in my dog’s eyes.

Anyway. Thought I’d pas that along. Onward:

SCIENCE! An interesting picture of the moon, three impact craters, and the shape of the ejecta, which we bring up partly because it’s fun to say “ejecta.”

 

 

The article says ”Click to embiggen, and you should since it helps you see the details I desribe.” The term embiggen is used again under another photo. The first use of “embiggen” was amusing, the second a bit much. But how long would it take for someone in the comments to insist it was a perfectly cromulent word? About 1.7 lightseconds.

Not only are you not a selenologist, you aren't much of a grammarian, either.  "Enlarge" is the proper word for magnifying something, giving it greater scope. More efficient too: fewer keystrokes than the idiotic "embiggen", a neologism the English language can do very well without. 

 Use standard English. We will all feel better about you if you do.

Now: people tend to jump the gun in comments; for example, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone had already sent me an e-mail noting that “light-second” would be a measure of distance, not time. People love to point out the mistakes and deficiencies of others, even though the entire Internet is a glass house. But if you write "We will all feel better about you if you do," you’d better be prepared for the response:

Speak for yourself, you dreary little pedant.

It just gets better from there. Eventually it gets back to talking about the moon, but it’s not as much fun.

By the way: this page says the first recorded use of “embiggen” was in 1884 - as an example of ugly, manufactured slang. Someone found the page here on archive.org. 

If this makes no sense to you at all:

There. Are we clear? Good.

 

TV Add this to the list of headlines that would have made no sense a few dacades past:

 PTC Joins Call for Oxygen to Cease Development of 'All My Babies’ Mamas'

 You can figure it out without reading the story, can’t you? Oxygen is the network, the PTC is the Parents Television Council, and “All My Babies’ Mamas,” you think, is either a soap opera about one fellow and the difficulties he has juggling three or four women, all of whom have one or more children by him, or it’s a reality show about the same thing. The only difference between the soap opera and the reality show would be the quality of the dialogue; the latter probably consists of shouting, screechy hectoring, bleeped invective, and so on. Well, let’s read the article and see what it’s about!

The Parents Television Council is joining with other groups and individuals across the country calling for the Oxygen cable network to cease any further development of the television program, “All My Babies’ Mamas.” The program features rapper Shawty Lo and the eleven children he has fathered with ten different women. A petition calling for the Comcast/NBCUniversal network to cease any further development of this television project was launched by Sabrina Lamb at Change.org.

Two kids with one woman. Probably twins. 

  

ART This series of redesigned Orwell covers doesn’t go for a unifying look; it’s a selection of styles, a quick tour of book-jacket graphic art. Everyone’s talking about the 1984 cover, and by “everyone” I mean tout le monde! incuding Shawty Lo, who will soon be rapping about it as soon as he finds a rhyme for “George.” Actually, no. Just design nerds. You have to admit, it’s clever:

 

 

 

It was this cover that made me smile:

 

 

Suddenly I'm in college again. The text explains:

Pearson commissioned printmaker Paul Catherall to create a Vorticist interpretation of the two cities that the author submerged himself in. The final design incorporates Catherall's screenprint into a Germano Facetti-era cover grid.

Ah hah: Germano Facetti. He was the guy who designed the classic black Penguin style. His obit notes:

He spoke with a powerful Italian intonation, and could swear only in a grotesquely comic English. Other habits were unusually exotic - eating coffee beans by the handful from the glove compartment of his car, for example.

That’s your previously unknown detail for today. I'll never look at my Penguin Classics again without thinking of an Italian guy swearing in English and speed-eating lint-covered coffee beans. 

 

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