Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Beautf* (for Beautif*)

You know how for some reason a lot of hair salons like to use wordplay in their names? Shear Magic, A Cut Above, Hair Today Gone Tomorrow? (Well, maybe not that last one quite so much.) But what's weird is that this sort of thing apparently goes on all over the world, so it's not just the fact that English words for hair, etc., happen to have a lot of homonyms, homophones, synonyms, and so on, thereby lending themselves to such facetious nomenclature. By contrast, the one shorn here (I mean shown here) is located in downtown Albany, and I have to say I really love it. It's so innocent and guileless, so simple and direct, so utterly without irony. It's like a nice cool drink of water after a big banned bottle of soda. And honestly, who needs another hoary pun when you can have beautiful hair instead? Still, I wonder if people ever stop outside this establishment for a minute, scratching their shaggy heads, thinking: "I don't get it." For our part (get it?), we got 14 hits on Beautf* in OhioLINK, and 96 in WorldCat. One was for the record The beautyful ones are not yet born, by the Branford Marsalis Trio, with an added title entry: Beautful ones are not yet born. The first instance apparently was misspelled intentionally, but I can sort of see the genesis of the second. I picture the cataloger, like a confused passerby, pausing mid-word over that unexpected Y, drifting off for a second, and then snapping out of it and adding a final F-U-L before moving on.

(Picture from personal collection.)

Carol Reid

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