Things that are obsolete
September 13th, 2011
The modem sound has gone the way of the brabble.
Robert Fulford: When words die [nationalpost.com] The Oxford Concise Dictionary has been forced to abandon words. Never fear, they will remain in the OED, which is not restrained by promises of concision!
The Concise has also set aside “threequel,” meaning the third book in a series; it never caught on, perhaps because trilogies are out of fashion. The Concise has likewise abandoned “brabble,” which means a paltry but noisy quarrel, and “growlery,” meaning the private den of a man. I knew none of these words in their prime and now must recognize that they are on their way out. It leaves an odd feeling, a cousin to the nebulous melancholy that accompanies the reading of an obituary of someone you would like to have known…Shouldn’t we have a category for endangered words? Perhaps we need a system of adopting words to keep them safe and well, the way people adopt favourite stretches of highway. We would sign up, promise to use our chosen words as often as possible and of course object when they are misused or threatened with abandonment.
Bleeoo! #RIPdialup [bleeoo.com] That strange modem sound hasn’t been heard for awhile in most parts, and is not missed, at least by this former dialer-upper. Yet, another strange nostalgia breeds, even for this horrible sound. The bleeoo-crackle meant that you were just sitting there waiting, pointlessly, anticipating the blissful connection. We endured it only because we had to. I guess it’s today’s equivalent of having to walk to school through the snow uphill both ways. Kids today!
Remember the glory of dialing up? Kids today won’t know the shrill cry of a 9600 baud, or the magical “doodleeedoo” of a 28.8 modem. Help preserve our digital history. Join us in recording your best impression of a “modem handshake” sound.
(Thanks Steve, for the pointer to Bleeoo!)
Are we not men? What a drag it isn’t getting old.
October 18th, 2006
Looking through an airline magazine last week we found this:
That’s a detail from this full-page ad:
It seems the devolution that this art-project was always telling us about is indeed further along than when they started. It’s one thing to see an aging Steve Perry try to hit the high notes at a casino, but when you’ve got a band that dressed in silly costumes and ironically questioned their own human-ness, the nostalgia-revisionism takes on a whole other set of meanings. Their band picture evokes lameness at first, but then really just seems so perfect.
Tastiest of all is the name of the place where Devo is playing: Moron Go!
Soul of wit, perhaps, but a little late?
August 19th, 2006
WTF? The song was written in 1974 and was a hit for Kim Carnes in 1981 (ignore the typo on that page that puts it ahead 10 years).
So much for reflecting something vaguely current!
spam imitates life
June 19th, 2005
Back when I was a kid I liked the idea that you could fill out a form in a magazine etc. and have mail sent to whatever name you gave – they would pretty much use anything. I signed up to get philatelic announcements sent to Worklkg Glapiztorknyo, Grand Poo-bah. I got that for years. Years after I had moved out of my mom’s house, they were still coming. Hi-larious.
My roommates and I (well, it was mostly me) during the undergrad years, used to play little jokes on each other by coming up with clever names (now that we were more mature). We had
Dr. Enest Q. Schliepenfelder-Jones
James T. Picasso-Jones
Christopolis Vertinsky, and beyond.
We cracked ourselves up pretty majorly.
Flash to many years later when spammers are using whatever tricks they can to get past filters. One of them is coming up with sender names that are composed of other words or phrases:
Unmannerly O. Tester
Unconsidered M. Rutherford
Motherfucking K. Regulation
Juliette J. Chlorinates
Infections F. Paeans
Impends R. Joel
Featureless C. Mortimer
Disunity P. Qingdao
Disqualifies U. Helios
Debt D. Gable
Boltzmann E. Schoolchildren
Birthmark L. Cather
Biblical K. Chat
Winnipeg H. Chatterbox
Amusing similarity in weirdness. I may have missed my calling.
IFILM – Viral Videos: ’88 Dodge Aries
May 16th, 2005
’88 Dodge Aries is a fake TV ad for what was my first car. I can’t remember what year it was, but I bought it used. It had a really really awful smell in it, like an animal had died in it, but it took 3 months for the dealership perfume to wear off and for me to notice the smell. It needed a new radiator, but I had no idea; I just knew that even with the heat off, in the dead of winter, I couldn’t wear a jacket while I drove on the highway or I’d be just too hot.
I put a lot of miles on it, and then eventually it died – I think right around the time we traded it in for something else.