or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Friday, March 03, 2006

Around and Around

Yes, you do get dinner in Hell, and this is how they cook it.

You may have seen an ad for a disgusting product called variously the Pasta Express or the Pasta Pronto (shown here among many other products that no normal person could ever need or want). If you haven't, lucky you! It's a tall plastic tube into which you insert a handful of doomed spaghetti; you then put a lid on it, leave it for (I assume) as long as spaghetti takes to cook, and then drain it. Voila! Horrible, improperly cooked pasta without the dreadful bother of putting a pot on the stove!

I wouldn't even care about such a thing except that I have in my hands an ad for it, one of those inserts that store credit-card companies and such thrust into the bill's envelope by the dozens. In small print by a photo of the product--a tall, narrow tube--are the words "Dimensions: 12.5" high x 12.5" diameter".

The hell it is! Even a schoolchild knows the difference between diameter and circumference, but then the ad is aimed at people who don't know the difference between properly cooked pasta and filth.

If Latin were still taught, nobody involved in the ad could have made such a mistake: "circum-" means "around", and "dia-" means "across". You don't even have to know what the words actually mean to know just by looking that "diameter" is wrong in the context.


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