23 entries categorized "Abusage"

The Website for J-WOWW's Clothing Line Is Exactly As Well-Written As You Thought It Would Be

Good news for people who love Spandex (and Jersey Shore): J-WOWW's clothing line, Filthy Couture, is now available for purchase.  Needless to say, the website selling the clothing features some Awesome Moments in Copywriting History.

For example, the description for the "Spring Lilac" dress reads like it was translated into Japanese and then back to English again.

Spring lilacThis dress is for people who "daydream" about spending $319 on something that is indistinguishable from a Forever 21 garment:


Passive voice has never sounded so Jerseylicious!

This next dress is playful . . . like a lily?

  Playful lily

Also, "lace inspired fabric?"  I am making a WTF-inspired face.

Ready for some Gooolllllden Glaaammourrrr?


Sorry, but if I'm spending $539 on a dress, it should come with complete sentences. 

BTW, If you are suddenly feeling infinitely tranquil after seeing this next dress, it is because it is a dress of INFINITE TRANQUILITY!

  Infinite tranquility

I am pretty sure that 90% of these names were ripped from the titles of my middle school poetry.  See also: "Midnight Rain" and "Winter Innocence."

These are all great, but my favorite might be this pair of descriptions:

Red desire
Luscious mystery
Like an oasis in the desert, the phrase "an oasis in the desert" provides a refreshing way to compare clothes to oases in the desert for the hot summer season.  Or something.

The line also includes swimwear, like the "Boudoir Babe" style, pictured below:
  Boudior babe

Be careful, though!  The product page for swimwear includes the following note:
While all Filthy Couture Style Swimwear bathing suits are safe to wear in both the pool and the ocean, they are not meant for strenuous swimming activities.
That's really too bad.  I was planning on wearing mine to compete in the Olympics.

Dord's the Word

Hot tip: the language section of Snopes.com is sorta sweet.  I was alerted to this fact when a friend e-mailed me with the startling information that the phrase many of us wrongly understand to be "just desserts" is actually "just deserts."  Read the Snopes explanation here.

Further perusal of the site reveals more linguistic fun; for example, have you ever heard of the (non-) word "dord?"  And did you know that nobody really knows how the Crips got their name?

This Post Contains Sardono-Peptides and Irony Polymers

Am I the only one who hates product advertisements boasting "space age" technology?  Hello: the space age was the '60s. Unless you are advertising 40-year-old technology, find a new adjective. (If you are advertising 40-year-old technology, find a new product.)

Actually, I am not a huge fan in general of advertisements that throw scientific words around in the hopes of making a product sound better. Unfortunately, the cosmetics industry happens to be one of the biggest sinners in this department, and lately it's been even more ridiculous than usual.  Just walking through the aisles of Sephora now requires knowledge of terminology I haven't heard since AP Bio; it wouldn't surprise me to learn that their employee training now includes a Lab credit.

Here are some lines from product descriptions on Sephora.com:

"It's nutrient-packed with 60 bio minerals (including energizing gold), and a breakthrough Invisiskin™ technology that delivers time-released antioxidants, peptides, and brighteners to perfect your complexion." (product)

" . . . offers a unique fiber technology that combines silky-smooth building fibers and long extending fibers to instantly extend and lengthen lashes." (product)


"An extraordinary age-fighting moisture cream that has it all, including MMP Inhibitors, Wrinkle Reduction Peptides, Visual Facial Fillers, Cellular Respiration Boosters, Hyperdermal Destressors, 7-Day Hydrators, Barrier Repairing Ceramides, Wrinkle Relaxers, Multifruit Complex, and Vitazyme A." (product)

"Cutting-edge adaptogen technology fortifies skin . . ." (product)

Bio minerals?  Vitazyme A?  Adaptogen technology?
  Clearly that's all bullshit, and frankly I'd rather believe that I don't need that much technology going into my makeup.  Am I so ugly that the only face cream that can help me is NASA-engineered and certified by Nobel Prize-winning chemists?  I would like to think things have not gotten that bad.  And if I ever do become so unattractive that such products are the only thing that can mitigate my ugliness--well, maybe that's when it's time to give up.

Please Give This Post 110% of Your Attention, If You Have the Bandwidth

This list of the "50 office-speak phrases you love to hate" is a great compilation of BBC readers just bitching about the dumb-ass business lingo they hate.  It includes some of my biggest pet peeves, but comment #31 was my favorite:

"The expression that drives me nuts is 110%, usually said to express passion/commitment/support by people who are not very good at maths. This has created something of a cliche-inflation, where people are now saying 120%, 200%, or if you are really REALLY committed, 500%. I remember once the then-chancellor Gordon Brown saying he was 101% behind Tony Blair, to which people reacted 'What? Only 101?'"

Kelly and I were totally talking about this last Monday during American Gladiators, because one of the contenders mentioned that she was giving 110% and we were all, no you're not, sorry.  (The whole thing reminds me of the arms race that is the razor industry right now: first they were bragging that razors had three blades, then four; now, I think we're up to five.  By the time I have a daughter who's old enough to shave her legs, razors will probably have a minimum of 1100 blades and I will have to teach her how to go slowly enough to avoid accidental amputation.)

Anyway, I decided then to start saying "I'm going to give it 128%" whenever I feel like providing a ludicrous demonstration of my intended level of effort on something.   I have since used it twice: once to describe my efforts at our softball game, and once at karaoke to characterize my dedication to singing B.I.G.'s "Hypnotize" adequately. Both times everyone stared at me and tried to figure out if I was mocking the "110%" people, or if I was actually one of them, but a really, really precise one.

Some Proofreading "Wood" Be Nice, Too

A commenter has brought an interesting issue to my attention.  Be it known that I wrote the following in yesterday's post:

Sure, some color wood be nice, but you could do a lot worse.

I have nothing to say for myself.  Instead I will just fill space by posting this picture of me, Lauren McMahon, the college graduate.  Who graduated college.  With a college degree.

i graduated college

Quiznos Is a Mystery Wrapped In an Enigma Wrapped in a Puzzle . . . and Toasted

While enjoying some Flatbread Sammies at the King Farm Quiznos last week, Kelly and I noticed something interesting.  (Interesting to us, at least, but keep in mind she is an English teacher and I am a technical writer, so our concept of "interesting" includes things like punctuation.)  While we were discussing the Sammies sign in the window (see cameraphone pic #1 below), Kelly pointed out that its spelling of "Quiznos" did not have an apostrophe, whereas the storefront sign (cameraphone pic #2) did have an apostrophe.



We found this somewhat egregious, and started examining every branded item in sight in hopes of making sense of the discrepancy. Our inclination was to trust the actual storefront sign and write the "Quiznos" aberration on the Sammies poster off as an unfortunate typo, but lo and behold, the "Quiznos" spelling could also be found on our napkins and cups.



Kelly makes her best "confused" face
In fact, the only other place we could find the with-apostrophe spelling was in this handmade sign in the window:


As you can imagine, all of this made us even more confused.
Obviously there was no way I could not go home and Google "Quiznos apostrophe" immediately.  Information was hard to come by, and for a while all I had to go on was an interesting but inconclusive MetaFilter thread.  Fortunately, this Feb. 2003 Business Journal article sheds a little light on the issue.  According to the article:
In December [2002], the company introduced a new interior scheme intended to appeal to a younger demographic. Additionally, the company dropped the apostrophe in its name and officially rebranded itself as Quiznos Sub.
Lange said such changes, along with updating the menu every two years, are ways that she said prevents Quiznos from becoming stale.
I love that part of appealing to a younger demographic is removing those un-hip punctuation marks.
Anyway, I guess the King Farm Quiznos is still using pre-December 2002 storefront signage, despite having integrated their new, hip, apostrophe-less napkins, cups, and menus 5+ years ago.  Since King Farm is a relatively new development, I am guessing that the owner of this particular franchise opened the restaurant sometime after 2000 and then was all pissed off when he found out 1-2 years later that he was going to need a whole new sign out front.  This is just a theory, though. The only thing I can say for sure is that from now on, I will be checking every Quiznos I pass to see if their sign is in compliance with the great Apostrophicide of 2002.
That's about it for my Quiznos investigation, but I did post a little bit of bonus material after the jump.

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