Don’t Lose Your Spelling Ability

Phil Martin’s producer: “Hey, why don’t we name your new album ‘Don’t Lose Your Cool’?”

Phil Martin: “That sounds really hip, man, ’cause you know, it’s got that cool vibe to it and all, so there’s a double meaning, man.”

PMp: “I can dig it. I’ll send that idea to the artist and tell him to call it ‘Don’t Lose Your Cool.’  He can put it right under your name, man.”

PM: “Yeah.”


PMp: “Here it is, man. It looks righteous!”

PM: “Yeah.”

Wordplay’s the Thing

I love words, and I especially appreciate a good pun. And among all the many types of puns, I like the portmanteau and a good Tom Swifty the best. There are some cool band names out there that are portmanteaux, such as Japandroids, Japancakes, and Foxygen. I’m sure there are many more. Geographical place names seem to be good starting points for such a thing. I’m thinking Oklahomophobes, Mississippeons, Tennesseesection, Alabamullet. I don’t know, maybe I have something against the South.

When I took French in college, a term I seemed to hear a lot was bonne idée, which means good idea.  My instructors must have used it often or something, ’cause it stuck with me early on. So I thought of a pun that used that phrase:

Easter: it’s not just a holiday. C’est une bonne idée!

See what I did there?

Ephemeral Whinging Aspect

My tagline (“digital ephemera…”) reminds me of a lyric in a song by The Fall. The Fall is a prolific punk/post-punk/brit-pop band that was formed in the mid 1970s by the inimitable Mark E. Smith. Why all the slashes to describe the genre of  The Fall? Because they are still around and they have managed to evolve and reinvent themselves many times over, despite numerous personnel changes. Or maybe because of those changes. MES is the mainstay of The Fall. He is not a particularly gifted singer; in fact, to get around that shortcoming, Smith more or less mumbles his songs. But he does so with style and endless creativity.

The lyric above comes from “It’s a Curse” off the Extricate album. In it, MES slurs “I do not like your tone/ It has ephemeral whinging aspects.” I could supply more lyrics in order to give you some context, but it wouldn’t really help. I have no clue what he’s on about. My point here is: does MES really mean “ephemeral” or does he perhaps mean “effeminate”? Can someone really possess a whiny tone that’s ephemeral? I suppose one could make the argument for it, but I bet he meant effeminate, right? I actually know people who have an effeminate whinging aspect to their voice.