Wednesday, July 23, 2008


What do you call a synonym that also sounds like the word it shares a meaning with, 'Same-onym'? Rght, let's call it a 'same-onym' for the time being. Interesting aside apart, I was watching the 'Loot-lo' promotion running for some brand being advertised on television. (Contractual obligations, forbid me from mentioning the name of the said brand.) Back to 'Loot-lo', do you see what I see? Already? Maybe not. t's coming.

What struck me about 'Loot-lo' is that 'loot' is a Hindi word that's also an English word and both these words sound the same but belong to two different languages. It's not like 'lo' in Hindi and 'lo' in English. It's a bilingual punstruction in which the punning word means the same thing in both languages. Unlike puns in other cases, where the word being used as a pun means two different things, 'Loot-lo' is less a conventional word pun than a - to the best of my limited knowledge - a unique language pun-meets-same-onym.

In other words, 'Loot' is an English 'same-onym' for the Hindi word 'loot'. No, stay with me. Don't zone out. Focus. I'm not saying 'the Hindi word for 'loot'' - which incidentally happens to be 'loot' - I'm saying 'loot' written in Hindi means and sounds the same as 'loot'.

You will find hundreds of homonyms like 'calm' - in English, 'calm' is peace and 'calm' in Hindi means 'work' - but few 'loot'-like 'same-onyms', apart from 'loot'. How many can you waste your precious time unearthing?

ps: 'Lootie' is what I call my girlfriend. It's a tamil word that means 'Naughty'. It's also a tri-lingual punstruction of the conventional kind. (Don't ask.)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

You can dance if you wanna!!

Net-net, here's the idea: I've written a TV game show in which the contestants are expected to shake, shimmy, rattle and roll to a compendium of music samples from various genres. The idea is to see who's the best at 'Dance Improv'. Imagine. So many songs, so many lists, so many samples, so many permutations, so many combinations, so many entries, so many episodes, so much money. For a share of the spoils, contact me.

Sample episode: 'You can dance if you wanna!!'
Duration: 30 minutes.
Cut and Tackles: 30
Genres: Gospel, Country, Hip-hop, Bollywood, Carnatic and Tango!
Negative marking: 0.1 per 'Cut'
Perfect score: 10
DJ and compiler: Myself

Friday, July 18, 2008

The ipod effect

It's been a while since I've blogged here. Fact is, I've been a bit conflicted about blogging in general, and writing in particular. I'm going through one of those phases that many a writer trying to find his voice goes through: the one that makes you wonder time and time and time again whether the immense effort is all worth it. On some days, it seems one of the most rubbish things to do in life. Writing in the hope that someday it will all bear fruit. Clutching at straws might be a more rewarding pastime. I suppose, the fact that I'm still hammering away at a keyboard for an audience of not more than one can only mean one thing: I'm still an optimist. Why else would I want to share with the world a stupid little theory that I have about the kind of gifts one should give out to winners of the various contests the men in marketing are constantly organising to sell more of their products.

In my view, the best giveaways are things that emit the 'ipod effect'. The 'ipod effect' is that aura of intangible value some products carry with them for reasons that go beyond mere functionality. So while a product that exhibits the 'ipod effect' might cost something, the people who are given this product think it's worth more. The ipod is a great example of one such 'ipod effect' product. Which is why it makes for one of the most popular gifts marketers like to use for their promotions. Over 50% of the promotions in the last one year have given away ipods as prizes to the winners. And for good reason.

Most of the time, with certain emotional exceptions, people feel a gift is worth less to them than if they were to go out and buy it themselves. Something in the 'gifting activity' reduces the 'monetary attachment' that people have towards it. Some products escape this 'negative gifting effect'. The iPod, for instance. Can you think of other products that enjoy the 'ipod effect'?