austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

With storybooks and nursery rhymes

The irritating part of the little fair occupying the vicinity of the canteen the past week has been the stands that advertise their stuff as being for ``V-Day''. I don't like acronyms; I've long since concluded most of them are designed to impede clarity. I live reasonably well assuming anything that's an acronym may be safely ignored as a linguistic tic with no content. (You can imagine the trouble this causes me in my space history hobby; it's like trying to do science fiction without goofy apostrophe-laden names.) There are a few inconvenient to go without -- I'll accept NASA, for example, or RPI -- but generally insist the acronym be explicitly defined before its use, and prefer to not use it. Seeing something quite reasonable like ``Valentine's Day'' contracted for any reason beyond saving on telegraph charges gets at me. The irritation's not as bad as confusing it's and its, but I don't want to be pushed.

One of the stands offers the chance to ``Put Your Name In A Test Tube,'' which sounds like one of the things you do when you're a character in an Alfred Bester novel. What's sold is the chance to put puffy, marshmallow Alpha-Bits-font glittered letters inside a sparkly gel inside, well, a test tube, the kind used for auxiliary samples at a blood donation. The examples had names, messages like ``I Love You,'' and such, with the test tubes strapped to rainbow fabric bracelets. It's a charmingly nerdy thing to give.

Trivia: ``Duck Dodgers in the 24th1/2 Century'' was shown with the premier engagement of Star Wars in San Francisco. Source: Of Mice and Magic, Leonard Maltin.

Currently Reading: The Cyberiad, Stanislaw Lem.


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