Thursday, December 06, 2007

"red-meat declarations" and "Misteaks happen"

Reporter Michael Luo of the New York Times seems to have coined the phrase "red-meat declaration" in an article about the Religious Right on October 21. He used it again today in his article about Mitt Romney, whose recent speech about his Mormon faith and the interplay of faith and politics was, Luo claims, "peppered with red-meat declarations"

A google search for "red-meat declarations" returns seven hits, all from these two articles by Luo. A search for the singular "red-meat declaration" returns zilch.

It will be interesting to see if the phrase catches on. I suppose a google search tomorrow, for instance, will return this post. I like the phrase. It works for me. I intuitively know exactly what kind of declaration he's talking about.

In an associated note, a recent billboard from a major auto insurance company (clearly the advertising didn't work, since I can't remember which one) near my house had a photo of busy interstate traffic and across the photo was the slogan, in really big letters, "Misteaks happen". They meant to refer, I think, to some program they have where you can get "forgiven" for one accident, and not have your rates go up, and to do so in a funny way by misspelling "mistakes". But it took me a little while to figure that out, because the combination of the image of traffic, the idea of mistakes/accidents, and the embedded word "steaks" left me instantly with the mental picture of a big accident and lots of dead human meat strewn over the interstate--human steaks, as it were. Quite offputting, but I'm guessing this wasn't their intention, so also a little humorous. Maybe I'm just wierd, and other people didn't get that impression. But the billboard *did* come down quite quickly--it's not there anymore.

okay, wait, I think I'm giving people too much credit. A quick google blog search returns results in which some people *still* haven't even figured out that it's mispelled on purpose. Alas.

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