or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

To Die For

So I was in the supermarket today and among the things that my eyes fell upon was mortadella, which is a kind of Italian sausage resembling bologna. I had more than once said, "They call it that because it'll kill you" (laced as it is with quantities of pork fat), but, contrary to my nature, it had never actually occurred to me to ask what the name really meant, though it seems like a pretty obvious question. I mean, it couldn't be related to French "mourir", "to die", and English "mortician" and "mortal", could it?

Fortunately, it couldn't. "Mortadella", despite its deadly-looking name, is actually from the Latin "myrtus", which is to say "myrtle"; the sausage got its name because it was originally flavoured with myrtle berries.

I didn't buy any mortadella, but now that I know what the name means, maybe I will.


Something else I saw in the supermarket was a product in the ridiculous line of Fusion shaving products which I've already complained about. This time the product I'm snarking about isn't the preposterous razor but the after-shave balm, which says on the label it's to be used "after you shave everyday".

No! Bad, bad Gillette! "Everyday" is an adjective, "every day" is an adverbial phrase, you need an adverb to modify the verb "shave", and after having put this on your product label you look stupid to any educated person!

Here's a funny blog entry about the whole Fusion phenomenon, with this smart observation:

Seriously. If you can’t get a close enough shave with 2 or 3 blades, maybe God is telling you to grow a beard.


Blogger Ana said...

Along the lines of "everyday" vs. "every day", did you read about David Armstrong's letters to Coca-Cola regarding their slogan for Dasani? The whole exchange was very funny, and while I couldn't find the text from Harper's, a blogger took the trouble to type it all out for his site. It can be found at:


It is definitely worth a read!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006 7:11:00 PM  
Blogger pyramus said...

It is worth a read, and thanks for the link. What makes it really hilarious is the way the customer-service reps at Coca-Cola kept digging themselves in deeper and deeper, grammatically speaking. (I remember seeing that slogan and being just as incensed about it; the only difference is that I didn't write to the company, which, we now know, would have been futile anyway.)

Wednesday, February 01, 2006 7:21:00 PM  

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