Over the weekend, a strange Twitter trend began surfacing: People – well, white men – were posting videos of themselves destroying coffeemakers. And not just any coffeemakers: Keurig single-cup coffeemakers.
There’s a whole lot of backstory to this weird cultural moment; if you’re not already familiar with the connection between U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore, Fox broadcast personality Sean Hannity (“I’m not a journalist jackass”), and the subsequent brand kerfuffle (or Keurfuffle), I refer you to the original Washington Post story about the women who’ve accused Moore of sexual misconduct, an AOL story about Hannity’s sycophantic interview of Moore, and the Media Matters coverage of advertisers who subsequently distanced themselves from Hannity’s shows. One of those advertisers was, of course, Keurig. And because a small appliance is a cheaper symbol of Liberal Perfidy than, say, a Volvo, the internet was suddenly sputtering with self-congratulatory “Keurig Smash Challenge” selfies.
"If Trump is elected, in little more than a year people will be smashing coffee makers in support of child molesters!"— Quentin Hardy (@qhardy) November 13, 2017
-Kicking myself over deleting that prediction.
Naturally, journalists have analyzed the phenomenon from all angles. (Ian Crouch in the New Yorker is especially good.) But what about the brand name at the center of the story? What does it mean, where does it come from, and how should we pronounce it?