On Saturday, January 18, a new “alcohol-free joint” called Bizzy’s Dry Bar is opening in Oakland’s Uptown neighborhood.
According to a story in Berkeleyside, the bar’s menu will feature “mocktails, shots, beer and wine — all completely free of alcohol”—and the mocktails will be made with “non-alcoholic gin, whiskey and other botanical spirits from makers like Seedlip Spirits and Ritual.”
I searched in vain for a story behind the “Bizzy’s” name, but the truth is I’m more interested in “dry bar.” Because for a decade or so, this is what those words have evoked for lots of us:
There’s a curious little kerfuffle going on between two businesswomen whose flower-shaped logos are suspiciously similar in shape and embellishment. What makes it especially newsworthy is that one of the businesswomen is the actress Reese Witherspoon, and she’s the one being sued.
But that’s not the only thing I find interesting about Ms. Witherspoon’s retail venture, which is called Draper James, after the actress’s grandmother (Dorothea Draper) and grandfather (William James Witherspoon). For me, that name – no matter how sweetly familial – is all too reminiscent of another, much older retail chain, Draper’s & Damon’s.
Hard can be the opposite of easy or the opposite of soft; we can solve hard problemswhile listening to hard rock. Or we can think long and hard about two new ad campaigns that use hard in a specific, modern way.
I enjoy a little word puzzle as much as, or maybe more than, the next public-transit user. But two Bay Area bus-shelter signs, both for worthy nonprofit organizations, go beyond puzzling to confounding.
“Do You Really Want the City 7 x 7 x 7?” asks this poster. I stood in front of it for a couple of minutes, trying to stitch together “Do you really want the city” and “7 x 7 x 7.” What could it possibly mean?
1712, from addle (n.) “urine, liquid filth,” from Old English adela “mud, mire, liquid manure” (cognate with Old Swedish adel “urine,: Middle Low German adel, Dutch aal “puddle”).
Used in noun phrase addle egg (mid-13c.) “egg that does not hatch, rotten egg,” literally “urine egg,” a loan-translation of Latin ovum urinum, which is itself an erroneous loan-translation of Greek ourion oon “putrid egg,” literally “wind egg,” from ourios “of the wind” (confused by Roman writers with ourios “of urine,” from ouron “urine”). Because of this usage, from c.1600 the noun in English was taken as an adjective meaning “putrid,” and thence given a figurative extension to “empty, vain, idle,” also “confused, muddled, unsound” (1706). The verb followed a like course. Related: Addled; addling.
My favorite addle compound is addlepated, as in “What were those addlepated people thinking when they came up with this name?”
A San Francisco startup called Gramr has blasted past its $15,000 Kickstarter goal in less than two weeks and appears likely to reach its “stretch goal” of $50,000. Before I give you any links or clues, try to guess from the name alone what Gramr makes. Language-learning flash cards? National Grammar Day T-shirts? An app that corrects your faulty subject-verb agreement?
No, no, and no. Gramr looks and sounds exactly like “grammar,” but the company has a completely different mission.
Not only is there a This Technology, as noted yesterday, but there’s also an unrelated This TV, a “free premium” (what?) channel right here in the San Francisco Bay Area.
I’m a cable subscriber in the Bay Area, and I confess I’d never heard of This TV. Thank you, reader Cynthia, who said in a comment that she’d discovered This after hooking up a digital box. Cynthia writes:
I thought This TV is clever, especially when they tell me to “watch THIS”... which I do, as This is a suitable alternative to paying for cable.
Uh-oh—I feel a verse coming on:
“I want to watch This. I don’t want to watch That. Give me the remote,” Said the Cat in the Hat.