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I see among the nooz items this afternoon the report that “iconic” Cosmo Girl Helen Gurley Brown has died at age 90.

Perhaps it is uncharitable of me, but the first thought that flashed through my head was surprise that she was still alive.

The second thought, perhaps rayther more uncharitable, was that exchange from A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum in which Hero first confesses his love of Philia to Pseudolus:

Pseudolus (shaking his head):  A common courtesan in the house of Lycus!

Hero:  Is that bad?

Pseudolus (shrugging):  There’s no way to make it sound like an achievement.

Of course, it’s the father of adolescent gels in me that’s thinking this way.   The so-called culchah is almost totally against me in most of my beliefs about raising them right, and it’s the likes of Mizz Brown who are responsible.

On the brighter side, the Nats are on the west coast playing the Giants tonight and the game is way too late for me to watch.  I haven’t run off AFTHOTWTTF in a while.  Perhaps I will tonight.  It would certainly be a popular choice with the family.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Today’s linguistic term is “proprietary eponym”.  This is a brand or trade-marked name that has become synonymous with or replaced a generic name for a good or service in common parlance.  Examples include “Xerox” for “photocopier”, “Band-Aid” for “adhesive bandage”, “Kleenex” for “facial tissue”,  and, at least in the part of the South where I grew up, “Coke” for “carbonated beverage”.

Ol’ Robbo is rayther fond of proprietary eponyms as a rule.  I’m not sure exactly why this is, except that a sentence such as “Oh, little Johnny cut his knee and needs an adhesive bandage!” sounds dorky to a degree.  It’s one thing not to let oneself become assimilated into the Madison Avenue Collective, but it’s something else to try too hard to distance oneself from it.

Anyhoo, I bring this up simply because I happened to place an order today for a new pair of LL Bean Casco Bay Boat Mocs.  Even though they generically are called “boat mocs”, are specifically named after a piece of water near and dear to the Robbo heart,  and made by LL Bean instead of Sperry, I still think of such shoes and all others like them as “top-siders”.

Just saying.

(On a different note, I type “happened to” in a casual way, but in fact such purchases are rayther a signal event for me.  I go so long between them that I always forget my shoe size.)



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August 2012