Verbifying a noun is a popular (lazy) way for ad copywriters to say “Look at how creative and action packed we are!” Two current marketing efforts, from Tylenoland the Natural History Museumof Los Angeles County, perpetuate the trope.
Pee wall: An exterior wall in a public place that has been treated with urine-repellent paint. Also called anti-pee wall and pee-proof wall.
In July, the city of San Francisco, where public urination is a rife and malodorous problem, coated nine walls with a special super-hydrophobic substance called Ultra-Ever Dry. “At a molecular level,” the San Francisco Chronicleinformedits readers, “the coating creates a surface texture with geometric shapes with peaks, or high points, that repel most water-based and some oil-based liquid. That means the painted surfaces will spray urine right back at the shoes and pants of unsuspecting relief-seekers.”
The concept was borrowed from Hamburg, Germany, where Ultra-Ever Dry was applied to walls in the St. Pauli district. The use of an informal/slang term for “urination” also appears to be an import.
“Hier nicht pinkeln! Wir pinkeln zurück”: “Don’t pee here! We pee back.” Image via Spiegel online.
According to the website of Ultratech International, makers of Ultra-Ever Dry:
Ultra-Ever Dry is a superhydrophobic (water) and oleophobic (hydrocarbons) coating that will repel most water-based and some oil-based liquids. Ultra-Ever Dry uses proprietary omniphobic technology to coat an object and create a surface chemistry and texture with patterns of geometric shapes that have “peaks” or “high points”. These high points repel water, some oils, wet concrete, and other liquids unlike any other coating.
San Francisco has also introduced “Pit Stop” stations to the city’s “most impacted neighborhoods,” according to the Department of Public Works website. The Pit Stop facilities operate on limited schedules, mostly weekday afternoons.
Earlier this week, Sprout Pharmaceuticals announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had granted approval of Addyi(pronounced “ADD-ee,” as though the “i” weren’t there), a once-daily, non-hormonal pill for the treatment of low sexual desire in premenopausal women. The prescription drug, whose generic name is flibanserin (fly-BAN-ser-in), will go on sale October 17, 2015.
Other reporters have commented on the medical and businessaspects of the announcement. Even The Onion, America’s finest news source, has weighed in. I’m here to talk about the Addyi name—its spelling, its pronunciation, and its brand qualities.
How do you translate a colloquial, nonliteral expression like Trainwreck—the title of the new Amy Schumer feature film—into non-English languages? IMDb has a list of global akas; Mashable has helpfully re-translated some of them. (Not included in the Mashable list: Y de repente tú (“And suddenly you”), probably the most romantically inclined of the bunch. In France, by the way, the official title is Crazy Amy—yes, in English.
Translation of the French Canadian title, Cas désespéré.
Three guys were watching HBO’s “Silicon Valley” when it occurred to them to create a dictionary of jargon used on the show. The result is Silicon Valley Dictionary, where you’ll find definitions for terms like This changes everything (“Nothing has changed. Pure marketing”) and Awesome journey (“used when a startup has failed”).
Cuckservative: An insult used against a Republican who is perceived to be “too soft or disingenuous,” according to a story published August 13 in the New York Times. The lone definition posted on Urban Dictionary (dated July 29, 2015), is harsher:
A cuckservative is a self-styled “conservative” who will cravenly sell out and undermine his home country’s people, culture, and national interest in order to win approval with parties hostile or indifferent to them.
The word is a portmanteau, or blend, of cuckold—a man whose wife commits adultery—and conservative; it emerged from right-wing, white nationalist, and anti-Semitic forums and spread via the hashtag #cuckservative. According to the Times story:
The Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups, called the term the “ultimate insult” that the white nationalist movement can deliver to politicians who they feel have veered too far to the left. “The term, at its core, may be racist,” the group said.