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April 10, 2012 7:28 AM   Subscribe

There is no tin. There is no box. Nothing is written on them.

Can we please retire all of the variations on "exactly what it says on the tin?"
posted by crunchland to Etiquette/Policy at 7:28 AM (299 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

THIS! THIS 1000 TIMES. 100000 INTERNETS TO YOU GOOD SIR/MADAM.

(I truly detest memes, and I wish people used less of them here. Memes are not the best of the web, and they contribute absolutely nothing to any conversation.)
posted by Threeway Handshake at 7:31 AM on April 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


Can we please retire all metatalk posts which boil down to "can everybody stop using common phrase or idiom X which has become a peeve of mine for some arbitrary personal reason?"
posted by ook at 7:33 AM on April 10, 2012 [269 favorites]


There is no tin. There is no box. Nothing is written on them.

Oh. Huh. And all this time I thought otherwise.
posted by liketitanic at 7:34 AM on April 10, 2012


100000 INTERNETS TO YOU GOOD SIR/MADAM

Holy jeez you're gonna flood the tubes market.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:35 AM on April 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


Burn it all the fuck down.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:35 AM on April 10, 2012 [9 favorites]


This. Does what is says with the fury of 1000 voices screaming out more than you can possibly imagine. SAIT.
posted by owtytrof at 7:35 AM on April 10, 2012


crunchland: " Can we please retire all of the variations on "exactly what it says on the tin?" "

Amusingly enough, this post does exactly what it said on the.... oh.

For anyone who isn't aware, the phrase comes from an advertising campaign for Ronseal Wood Care Products.
The slogan ‘it does exactly what it says on the tin’ has been used in Ronseal TV ads since the mid 90s and it’s effective because its no-nonsense, practical approach goes against much of the over-selling that goes on in many campaigns.

Ronseal won’t get you hot chicks, but it will remove stains from your garden furniture…exactly as described on the tin.

This slogan is also a good example of how longer slogans can work. Using nine words defies conventional wisdom that slogans absolutely, positively must be short. It even uses the word ‘exactly’ when it doesn’t have to – but by doing so, it makes it more conversational and places emphasis on its practical use.

And now the phrase has entered UK society and is used colloquially by people in any number of circumstances. “Here’s that ‘five-speed food-blender’ I promised you. It, er, does exactly what it says on the tin”.

Most consumers couldn’t name a single competitor to this brand. Job done, Ronseal.

posted by zarq at 7:36 AM on April 10, 2012 [20 favorites]


AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAND..... typo. Damn these fingers!
posted by owtytrof at 7:36 AM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


What replacement phrase would you suggest?
posted by box at 7:36 AM on April 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


I guess the phrase started in the UK and has now become global.
posted by vacapinta at 7:37 AM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is a bad callout and you're a bad person for making it and you should feel bad.
posted by GuyZero at 7:38 AM on April 10, 2012 [17 favorites]


C'est ne pas une méme
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:38 AM on April 10, 2012 [15 favorites]


What replacement phrase would you suggest? -- If it's really self-explanatory, then it doesn't need the embellishment of an overused and lazy phrase.
posted by crunchland at 7:39 AM on April 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


Ceci n'est pas une tin.

I'm all for people using their words, and describing what they're linking to.
posted by zamboni at 7:39 AM on April 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Nuke he phrase from space. It's the only way to be sure.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 7:39 AM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


[SELF-EXPLANATORYFILTER]
posted by griphus at 7:41 AM on April 10, 2012


crunchland: "There is no box."

box: "What replacement phrase would you suggest?"

*looks at glass*

*puts drink down*
posted by zarq at 7:41 AM on April 10, 2012 [14 favorites]


Also, I'm finished with broccoli. Could we please not have anyone else prepare, serve or eat it again, ever? Thanks.
posted by Aquaman at 7:41 AM on April 10, 2012 [16 favorites]


Take it up with the Supreme Court.
posted by zamboni at 7:42 AM on April 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


crunchland: "What replacement phrase would you suggest? -- If it's really self-explanatory, then it doesn't need the embellishment of an overused and lazy phrase."

I suspect that those who use it may think a single, self-explanatory link is too thin for a post and feel compelled to add something. Which may be human nature.
posted by zarq at 7:43 AM on April 10, 2012



Can we please retire all metatalk posts which boil down to "can everybody stop using common phrase or idiom X which has become a peeve of mine for some arbitrary personal reason?"

THIS! THIS 1000 TIMES. 100000 INTERNETS TO YOU GOOD SIR/MADAM.
posted by josher71 at 7:45 AM on April 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


I truly detest memes, and I wish people used less of them here. Memes are not the best of the web, and they contribute absolutely nothing to any conversation.

Interestingly enough, when someone writes "does what it says on the tin", that phrase conveys a certain idea from the author to the recipient. That exchange is sort of the whole point of conversations, generally, so it seems like you're reaching quite a bit to claim that a phrase which conveys meaning has no use in conversation.

Of course, that argument sounds better than "Dammit, personally, I don't like that idiom, please cater your language usage to my preferences."
posted by toomuchpete at 7:45 AM on April 10, 2012 [11 favorites]


Actually the only one that really annoys me is the 'This is just to say' WCW takeoffs but I don't know why I should expect mentioning it will produce any result but more of em.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:46 AM on April 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


Can we please retire '100000 INTERNETS TO YOU GOOD SIR/MADAM'? Because please.
posted by box at 7:47 AM on April 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


This callout, I'm guessing, is in response to my deleted post from this morning, which used the phrase. I used it because I like it, because to me it has a British air to it in the same way that "be calm and carry on" and "mind the gap" do. I like the phrase.
posted by jbickers at 7:48 AM on April 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


All your phrase are belong to us?
posted by pmcp at 7:49 AM on April 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


You're just going to get a bunch of, "So it's not just a clever name then?" instead. Cope somehow.
posted by yerfatma at 7:49 AM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have hit
the softball
that you lobbed
in MeTa

OW FUCK STOP JESUS OW COME ON CUT IT OUT OW
posted by griphus at 7:49 AM on April 10, 2012 [41 favorites]


Do people have problems with phrases like "no holds barred," which is similarly adapted from a specific context (professional wrestling) and then used generally (any situation in which there are no rules?)

Because that would be sad. More wrestling phrases should make their way into general usage.

This one's gonna be a slobberknocker!
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 7:51 AM on April 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's a rib, you smarks!
posted by box at 7:52 AM on April 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


I have taken
the thing
that was in
the tin

And which
you were probably
labeling
for clarity

Forgive me
it was perspicuous
so clear
and so bold
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:53 AM on April 10, 2012 [52 favorites]


What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.
posted by drlith at 7:53 AM on April 10, 2012


This one's gonna be a slobberknocker!

Porn thread is over there, hotshot.
posted by griphus at 7:54 AM on April 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


I looked at that thread for about three minutes and then fell asleep.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 7:55 AM on April 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


Interestingly enough, when someone writes "does what it says on the tin", that phrase conveys a certain idea from the author to the recipient. That exchange is sort of the whole point of conversations, generally, so it seems like you're reaching quite a bit to claim that a phrase which conveys meaning has no use in conversation.

Of course, that argument sounds better than "Dammit, personally, I don't like that idiom, please cater your language usage to my preferences."


Except you're wrong. In the cases of "_______. Does what it says on the tin," the _____ part already conveys the total meaning of what is beyond the link.

For instance "Dog can say 'I love you' video" would be a fully formed idea, and somebody that understands English knows what this means, and will have a reasonable expectation of what the video will be when they click on it.

The "does what it says on the tin," apart from being meaningless, implies that sometimes links are deceptive. Another way of saying "does what it says on the tin" would be "The prior statement is true," which, in a place like this shouldn't be necessary. Nobody's going to link you to Lemonparty when they've promised you a talking dog.

What memes like this do, instead of conveying an idea, is only convey a sense of "I am in your club and we know all the secret phrases" exclusion. Which, again, is not best of the web, and should be discouraged here.

Or is it now OK to start posting RAGEGUY imgurs all over the place?
posted by Threeway Handshake at 7:56 AM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


New directive:

f it's been said by someone else, you can no longer use that phrase.

To comply with my new rule, let me just say pumpernickel milkman rickshaw North Korea South Korea Marilyn Monroe.
posted by Rodrigo Lamaitre at 7:56 AM on April 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


I just want to know if crunchland and I are supposed to share our 100000 internets or if we each get our own 100000 internets. And if we're supposed to share should we do it by divvying up the 100000 equitably -- the naive 50000 each approach probably wouldn't work because some internets are going to be more valuable than others, for example I'd be sad if I randomly wound up without any of the porn or if all of my internets were in languages I don't speak, and some internets would actually have negative value for example the right-wing-screen internets and the Fwd:Fwd:Fwd:Fwd comic sans internets. Is this the knapsack problem? I think it's the knapsack problem. Maybe instead we should divide our time equally across all 100000 internets although then we have a potential timezone problem and it's going to depend on our individual work hours and sleep habits. Man, the internets are difficult business sometimes
posted by ook at 7:57 AM on April 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


I looked at that thread for about three minutes and then fell asleep.

Sounds like you omitted a step.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:58 AM on April 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


Hilarious video of a talking dog.
posted by griphus at 7:58 AM on April 10, 2012 [7 favorites]


Can we please retire all of the variations on "exactly what it says on the tin?"

It'll cost you 100000 Internets. Same as in town.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:58 AM on April 10, 2012 [6 favorites]


I have never before heard this phrase.

Did I win something, too?
posted by inturnaround at 7:59 AM on April 10, 2012


hey why does "right-wing-screed" autocorrect to "right-wing-screen" I smell bias damn you apple nothing's been the same since Steve left us
posted by ook at 8:00 AM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh my god, I just got tinrolled.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 8:01 AM on April 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


They see me tinrollin... they tinhatin...
posted by shakespeherian at 8:03 AM on April 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


Mefi is cranky and needs a nap. Everyone put your heads done.
posted by FunkyHelix at 8:04 AM on April 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


Box, you win the thread by winning this wrestling nerd's heart.
posted by deezil at 8:05 AM on April 10, 2012


No, I'm not going to stop using that phrase. Sorry it bothers you so badly.
posted by slogger at 8:06 AM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I still like the phrase, but I am late to everything.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:06 AM on April 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


Yes! Thank you for pointing this out.

I mean, I get that the reference to a "tin" is supposed to be cute because it's sort of old-fashioned and is clearly not a literal description of any kind of online content. But in my opinion, any mild humor or cutesiness the phrase might have originally had has eroded due to overuse.

What replacement phrase would you suggest?

I would suggest that if someone has decided to type out words and share them with the world, they should stop and think about what they really want to say and how best to express it, rather than falling back on how other people have strung words together in the past. (See Politics and the English Language by George Orwell.) I'm confident that the Metafilter contributors are capable enough writers to be able to pull this off. So there's no need for anyone to suggest a "replacement phrase."
posted by John Cohen at 8:06 AM on April 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


a peeve of mine

I'm a mailing list that due to its nature has a bunch of cranky old white guys. One of them keeps complaining about people not using their real names (welcome to the Internet?). He calls this problem his "pet peas".

I am continually stifling the urge to complain about idioms and cliches not using their real names.
posted by DU at 8:07 AM on April 10, 2012 [10 favorites]


tinhatin
posted by griphus at 8:07 AM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


This one's gonna be a slobberknocker!

Oh mah gawd! That's "Overly Picky About Other People's Linguistic Quirks" MeTa's music! What's he doing here!?
posted by Ghidorah at 8:08 AM on April 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


"pet peas" is my new favorite thing ever.
posted by ook at 8:08 AM on April 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


tinhatin

That is clearly a thought screen helmet, good sir.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:09 AM on April 10, 2012


Using jbicker's deleted post as an example, what does the phrase add to the posting?

"Old People Writing On A Restaurant's Facebook Page. Does what it says on the tin."
vs.
"Old People Writing On A Restaurant's Facebook Page."

posted by crunchland at 8:10 AM on April 10, 2012


What if I told you...

B-|

There is no tin?
posted by 2bucksplus at 8:11 AM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, I'm really glad this thread exists because:

1) I love laughing at the stupid pet peas people post
2) I'm also getting tired of this phrase

but mostly

3) I was just wondering this morning where it came from and now I know.
posted by DU at 8:11 AM on April 10, 2012


I never understood who all those people were supposed to be. Were they all candidates for The One and the Oracle was gonna diagnose them as fulfillment of various prophecies, or what?
posted by shakespeherian at 8:12 AM on April 10, 2012


I really like that phrase still. It makes me smile especially because it usually precedes something amusing or cute. I was going to say "Do you want us to get off your lawn too?" but then I realized that technically this is everyone's lawn so you're just going to have to ignore the flamingos we like until we don't like them anymore.

Upon preview: I am totally appropriating the phrase "pet peas."
posted by Kimberly at 8:13 AM on April 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


"pet peas" is my new favorite thing ever.

If we want to dig into eggcorns (the colloquial term for these re-analyses of misunderstood words and phrases, after "eggcorn" as a misapprehension of "acorn"), Geoff Pullum over at Language Log caught one my new favorites recently: "parrot phrasing" for paraphrasing.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:14 AM on April 10, 2012 [23 favorites]


Pretty sure they were people who were young enough to be freed from the Matrix without having to deal with the horrible trauma Neo goes through
posted by Ghidorah at 8:14 AM on April 10, 2012


Cisboy, somebody woke up all grary and fighty. Perhaps they need sexy sex time with their long boat?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:14 AM on April 10, 2012


Dear England,
Do mushy peas do exactly what it says on the tin?
Sincerely, MSE
posted by mean square error at 8:16 AM on April 10, 2012


I'm a mailing list...

I think there's a cream that lets you unsubscribe from that.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:18 AM on April 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


Parrot phrasing. Oh man.I haven't checked to see if pet peas is in the eggcorn DB.

The other ones I see on craigslist all the time are "wheel barrel" and "draws" for "drawers". As in "a 5 draw toolchest". And don't even tell me "wheel barrel" is a niche usage or whatever because you are wrong.
posted by DU at 8:21 AM on April 10, 2012


There is no tin. There is no box.

Whoa!
posted by octobersurprise at 8:22 AM on April 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


FREE YOUR PEAS
posted by The Whelk at 8:22 AM on April 10, 2012


OH SHIT WHELK'S AWAKE
posted by shakespeherian at 8:24 AM on April 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


The other ones I see on craigslist all the time are "wheel barrel" and "draws" for "drawers". As in "a 5 draw toolchest". And don't even tell me "wheel barrel" is a niche usage or whatever because you are wrong.

so much depends
upon
a red wheel
barrow
glazed with rain
water
beside the white
chickens.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 8:25 AM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've always been fond of "intensive purposes". I picture the purposes as, like, really serious, with furrowed brows and hunched shoulders and gigantic mugs of coffee
posted by ook at 8:25 AM on April 10, 2012 [12 favorites]


it's a doggie-dog world.
posted by crunchland at 8:26 AM on April 10, 2012 [8 favorites]


I have taken
the thing
that was in
the tin


No. You didn't just do that, I refuse to believe.
posted by Meatbomb at 8:26 AM on April 10, 2012


Were they all candidates for The One and the Oracle was gonna diagnose them as fulfillment of various prophecies, or what?

I always figured they were just there for the cookies.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:27 AM on April 10, 2012


YOU DON'T EAT COOKIES WITH A SPOON
posted by shakespeherian at 8:28 AM on April 10, 2012


I have always judged seriousness volumetrically.
posted by DU at 8:29 AM on April 10, 2012


YOU DON'T EAT COOKIES WITH A SPOON

....What spoon? There is no spoon, remember?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:29 AM on April 10, 2012


It was just a daycare the Oracle's gotta support herself somehow sheesh
posted by ook at 8:29 AM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


.....Wait.

How did we start talking about The Matrix all of a sudden?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:31 AM on April 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


*handwave* There is no Matrix.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:31 AM on April 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


The deleted post, in addition to its other failings, was a bad example of the phrase in that that it didn't accurately describe the link.
posted by zamboni at 8:32 AM on April 10, 2012


*handwave* these are not the matrixses you are looking for
posted by The Whelk at 8:32 AM on April 10, 2012


FREE YOUR PEAS
And the rest will wendell.
be allele-blind,
don't be so Mendel.
posted by cog_nate at 8:32 AM on April 10, 2012 [14 favorites]


I'm all for people using their words

Careful, you might get a slap on the wrist for that kind of talk!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:33 AM on April 10, 2012


Also, if you're American, it's not a tin, it's a can. Calling it a tin merely makes you look like a wannabe Brit.
posted by jonmc at 8:34 AM on April 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


*handwave* This is an unsatisfactory explanation
posted by shakespeherian at 8:34 AM on April 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


"draws" for "drawers"

The first time I saw this in a work environment ("cash draw") I was really confused, and I assumed I didn't understand what it was referring to. It took a surprising bit of back-and-forth before I realized (to myself), "Oh, you're just wrong!"

I have no problem with the phrase being called out here. In addition to pointing out that the link is exactly as described, it implies a certain crispness of presentation, with no editorial voice or analysis. A sort of more poetic way of saying "presented without further commentary."
posted by Rock Steady at 8:34 AM on April 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


OOOOOH I GET IT THE SPOON WAS MADE OF TIN THAT'S WHY IT WAS SO EASY TO BEND
posted by ook at 8:34 AM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


*handwave* my manicure is amazing
posted by The Whelk at 8:35 AM on April 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


TIL some people call skim milk SKIMP MILK.
posted by davidjmcgee at 8:36 AM on April 10, 2012


I don't get these kind of complaints. Are you serious?
posted by odinsdream at 8:37 AM on April 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


Actually I've always just assumed the kid was confused because the CGI spoon wasn't there on set, for obvious reasons, so he was reacting to the script and they kept it in. META
posted by shakespeherian at 8:37 AM on April 10, 2012


Rock Steady, "presented without further commentary: <link>" actually sounds awesome.
posted by Phredward at 8:37 AM on April 10, 2012


My tin had no words, only pretty pictures. My box was/is mute also.
posted by h00py at 8:39 AM on April 10, 2012


If you're able to endure a phrase well enough to start a metatalk thread in which you must necessarily use that phrase and which will doubtless include many more uses of that phrase, then you can't be as tired of it as all that and in fact you probably have an unexamined desire to see more of it, not less. Certainly the thread you're creating will expose you to the phrase more in the ensuing hour than would normally happen in a year, which cannot be anything but a deliberate act.

So I'm interpreting this as an appeal, welling up from some deep place in crunchland, to hear the phrase lots and lots more, and I'll get right on that. As soon as I remember what it is.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:39 AM on April 10, 2012 [3 favorites]

I was really confused, and I assumed I didn't understand... It took a surprising bit of back-and-forth before I realized (to myself), "Oh, you're just wrong!"
I was just thinking about self-assurance, expertise, confidence, risk assessment, trust, and how it takes a certain amount of healthy self-confidence to see an incongruity and presume "they are wrong" rather than "I'm not getting it." Christopher Kimball said:
I was about seven years old and I made a chocolate cake out of Fanny Farmer, the seven-minute boiled icing. And the icing didn't work. And, of course, I immediately blamed the cookbook, like any good cook. And I started getting suspicious about recipes. I sort of wondered, "well, maybe it wasn't just me." Then, many years later, I started taking cooking courses, and it's the scalding milk example. I discovered, actually, you don't have to scald milk for making bechamel or veloute....
A friend and I heard that and thought that our immediate reaction would have been "I did it wrong." I'm learning to trust my gut, but it's taken a lot longer than it took Christopher Kimball.
posted by brainwane at 8:42 AM on April 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


If we put some special snowflakes in the tin, I think we can please everybody.
posted by Juso No Thankyou at 8:44 AM on April 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Language itself is oppressive. Can we get rid of it too?
posted by KokuRyu at 8:45 AM on April 10, 2012 [6 favorites]


I want to write a flash app which will take this video and mask in any phrase embedded in the link over the featured one.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:47 AM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oook ooo.
posted by The Whelk at 8:47 AM on April 10, 2012


I am all for getting rid of all the memes here that are overdone, but I'm not expecting it and I don't cringe too much.

Speaking of eggcorns though - a week ago an in-law told me how to break into her garden shed to borrow some tools even though there is a lock on it because the lock is just a "fox paw." I went nuts all weekend wondering what the reference was, looking online, and trying other spellings until my wife said "I think she just meant faux pas." It hadn't occurred to me because there was no faux pas (or fox paw) involved in the entire exchange. So is there a word for when you eggcorn a malaphor? 'Mixed malaphor' comes to mind, but that's itself an eggcorn and we're right back in the matrix.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 8:55 AM on April 10, 2012 [12 favorites]


Simma down now.
posted by Stoatfarm at 8:58 AM on April 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Threeway Handshake wrote: "THIS!" and then wrote (same comment) "I truly detest memes."

Did I miss the extra layer of irony (possible), or is the comment lacking in self-awareness? (It helps that the one-word-sentence 'This.' is a mild pet-peeve for me. I'm fine with 'exactly what it says on the tin' because I like the dryness of it: 'Well, would you look at that. Does what it says and nothing more.')

posted by nobody at 8:58 AM on April 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


I hear people say "fox pause" and "viola" with deliberate irony, but I'm also pretty sure I've heard people who've probably picked it up and thought it was the correct pronunciation. Also, when I see someone write "wala!" or something similar, I usually figure they don't know what the actual word is.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:59 AM on April 10, 2012


01000100011011110110111000100111011101000010000001100010011001010010000001
10110001100001011110100111100100100000011101010111001101100101001000000110
0010011010010110111001100001011100100111100100101110
posted by edgeways at 9:00 AM on April 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


I recently spent about fifteen minutes trying to think of a reply to an email to a corporate paperwork request from a client who told me that the bank required a fiscal document and not a digital one.
posted by griphus at 9:01 AM on April 10, 2012 [6 favorites]


In other British DIY ad news, Young Folks by Peter Bjorn and John now only makes me think of Homebase.
posted by mippy at 9:01 AM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


'Where's the beef' is a phrase I find confusing, because that advert didn't exist here. I'm amused that the Ronseal phrase has caught on outwith the UK.
posted by mippy at 9:02 AM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Eggcorn Database

Grammar Girl on "Spoonerisms, Mondegreens, Eggcorns, and Malapropisms", previously on MeFi for one of GG's vocal quirks.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:02 AM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, when I see someone write "wala!" or something similar

Whenever I see this I am overwhelmed with both a sense of existential despair and one of smug superiority.
posted by elizardbits at 9:03 AM on April 10, 2012 [15 favorites]


How did we start talking about The Matrix all of a sudden?

Unfortunately, no one can be told why we started talking about The Matrix all of a sudden. You have to see it for yourself.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 9:04 AM on April 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


so basically my usual state of affairs, i guess.
posted by elizardbits at 9:04 AM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was just thinking about self-assurance, expertise, confidence, risk assessment, trust, and how it takes a certain amount of healthy self-confidence to see an incongruity and presume "they are wrong" rather than "I'm not getting it."

When we were younger, my brother and I went to play a trick on my mother. The joke was that you tell the victim, "Someone said you look like an owl." The victim is supposed to answer, "Who?" and then you say, "I guess they were right." (We were kids, don't judge us) In this case, however, when we told our mother that someone said she looked like an owl, her response was, "I do? Why? Was it my makeup? etc, etc" When we let her in on the joke that she had simultaneously ruined and improved, she couldn't stop laughing. She realized that our joke perfectly attacked her greatest weaknesses -- vanity and putting too much importance on the thoughts of others -- which she was truly working on eliminating. Now in our family, the catchphrase "You look like an owl" is a signal that the person in question is putting too much stake in the thoughts of others and not trusting themselves enough.

MetaFilter: both a sense of existential despair and one of smug superiority
posted by Rock Steady at 9:04 AM on April 10, 2012 [21 favorites]


mippy: In other British DIY ad news, Young Folks by Peter Bjorn and John now only makes me think of stabbing sharpened pencils into my ears so I never have to hear it again.
posted by pmcp at 9:05 AM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


The "does what it says on the tin," apart from being meaningless, implies that sometimes links are deceptive. Another way of saying "does what it says on the tin" would be "The prior statement is true," which, in a place like this shouldn't be necessary. Nobody's going to link you to Lemonparty when they've promised you a talking dog.

I don't agree. The meaning of the phrase is not "the prior statement is true," the meaning of the phrase is "this, and nothing else but this." The reason the phrase works and is memorable as an advertising slogan is that advertising is a world of hyperbole, where over-promising is rampant, where even the "tests" and "side-by-side comparisons" usually don't match up to the real life experience. (wasn't there a whole Tumblr on the blue the other day with nothing but ads for fast food meals next to photos of the actual item?) In that context, "we live up to our promises" is bold, and the understatement makes it witty.

I think the reason it's escaped from advertising to real life is because there are an awful lot of situations in which over-promising is rampant. The blue's one for sure. An over-promise isn't deceptive the same way an outright lie is --- it's not like sending you to lemon party when you were promised puppies --- but it is something to be wary of when you're thinking of clicking on a link. I think about that stuff, at least --- how long is this gonna be, is this really an ad, is this really a lame comedy sketch, is it from a dumb website I don't like, all that stuff. "does exactly what it says on the tin" is an assurance that helps quell such worries.
posted by Diablevert at 9:06 AM on April 10, 2012 [12 favorites]


Also, when I see someone write "wala!" or something similar.

My old boss once wrote it as "Viola!"

Everyone picked me to be the one to tell him he was wrong. That was fun.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:08 AM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Using jbicker's deleted post as an example, what does the phrase add to the posting?

It adds:

"Unlike many MeFi posts, the foregoing title is to be taken as a literal description of the content, without humorous, witty or other editorial intent."

But more succinctly.
posted by tyllwin at 9:09 AM on April 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


Nobody's going to link you to Lemonparty when they've promised you a talking dog.

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED
posted by elizardbits at 9:11 AM on April 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


nobody: "THIS!" and then wrote (same comment) "I truly detest memes."

Did I miss the extra layer of irony...?


AND A CLOSING TAG. You're a bad person, and you should feel bad about yourself.
posted by drlith at 9:14 AM on April 10, 2012


THIS play's title. 1000 times this play's title.
posted by Stoatfarm at 9:19 AM on April 10, 2012


MetaFilter: basically my usual state of affairs, i guess.
posted by ook at 9:19 AM on April 10, 2012


So over the weekend I went to this park in Queens called Forest Park because I wanted to see if it was indeed a forest park. It turns out that the name was very descriptive. Forest Park is a forest park, just like the label says. Now I'm reading this thread and you're blowing my mind. I had no idea the Matrix was involved.
posted by fuq at 9:19 AM on April 10, 2012


There is no 19th floor.
Mrs. Zarves teaches on the 19th floor.
There is no Mrs. Zarves.
posted by The Confessor at 9:22 AM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Most consumers couldn’t name a single competitor to this brand.

Thompson's Water Seal.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:23 AM on April 10, 2012


All Erics are mean.
posted by The Whelk at 9:24 AM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


What replacement phrase would you suggest?

Shaka, when the walls fell.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:27 AM on April 10, 2012 [9 favorites]


Is this the hill you want to write on?
posted by Trurl at 9:29 AM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


There is no duck.
posted by Ardiril at 9:34 AM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I like the phrase, mostly because it's fascinating that such an understated, dull advertising slogan - for creosote, of all things! - has become so entrenched in global English (I've heard it in a Nollywood film) and so quickly.

Using jbicker's deleted post as an example, what does the phrase add to the posting?

It lets readers know that the link goes to examples of old people leaving comments about a restaurant on Facebook. Not to a twee song called 'Old People Writing On A Restaurant's Facebook Page', not to a novelty Twitter account in which someone takes the piss out of old people's restaurant complaints, not to a bitingly satirical novella about a dying, lonely elderly couple's last, lonely attempts to communicate with their estranged restaurateur son via social media, &c..
posted by jack_mo at 9:35 AM on April 10, 2012 [6 favorites]


AND A CLOSING TAG. You're a bad person, and you should feel bad about yourself.

I am! And I do! But not because of messing up the nested italics tags, but because I failed to add that using 'meme' to refer to a bit of language is itself an 'internet meme.' Plus all language is a virus. Plus irony is the prettiest weed.
posted by nobody at 9:35 AM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I find this particular phrase really grating, to the point where I physically cringe when reading it, because the only time I've ever heard it out loud was by someone I really don't like. So when I read it I get this instant image of that smarmy git being all smarmy and annoying and want to just tell him to fuck off and arg arg arg. But I figured that's my problem (not to mention totally irrational, I haven't seen that guy for years) so I can't really complain about it. It still makes me really happy that other people hate the phrase too though and I kind of hope this thread makes it go away at least a bit.
posted by shelleycat at 9:37 AM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


not to a bitingly satirical novella about a dying, lonely elderly couple's last, lonely attempts to communicate with their estranged restaurateur son via social media


Can I have that link instead, please?
posted by tyllwin at 9:44 AM on April 10, 2012


This is a picture of Elijah Wood.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:47 AM on April 10, 2012 [9 favorites]


What replacement phrase would you suggest?

SWEATER STUFFERS

EXACTLY WHAT IT SAYS ON THE SWEATER
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:49 AM on April 10, 2012


I don't think these MeTa threads ever do much to change community behavior, but I agree. I usually don't click on stuff that is advertised via on-the-tin phrasing.
posted by codacorolla at 9:58 AM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, can we try just saying "Wow, that was really touching...it even choked me up a little" instead of doing that dumb lazy "There must be a lot of dust in the house" routine? It makes us seem like a site full of emotionally constipated adults who aren't comfortable talking about our emotions.

Oh wait...never mind.
posted by Ian A.T. at 10:00 AM on April 10, 2012 [8 favorites]


Drink some emotional coffee, or better yet, take an emotional laxative.
posted by The Whelk at 10:03 AM on April 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


"You owe me a new keyboard" or "someone get me a napkin to wipe the coffee off my screen", etc. To death, they are done.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:05 AM on April 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh I get it it, I said "constipated." Good one.
posted by Ian A.T. at 10:05 AM on April 10, 2012


01000100011011110110111000100111011101000010000001100010011001010010000001
10110001100001011110100111100100100000011101010111001101100101001000000110
0010011010010110111001100001011100100111100100101110



42:69:6e:61:72:79:20:69:6e:73:74:65:61:64:20:6f:66:20:68:65:78
:20:4c:69:6b:65:20:72:69:64:69:6e:67:20:61:20:66:69:78:69:65:2e
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:14 AM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


To answer the OP: "No."
posted by brand-gnu at 10:15 AM on April 10, 2012


I agree with Crunchland. The phrase has outlived its cleverness. I am glad some other curmudgeon has given voice to this irritation. Now who would like to take on Muppet posts?
posted by Jode at 10:15 AM on April 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


01000100011011110110111000100111011101000010000001100010011001010010000001
10110001100001011110100111100100100000011101010111001101100101001000000110
0010011010010110111001100001011100100111100100101110


01010111 01101001 01110100 01101000 00100000 01100101 01100001 01110011 01101001 01101100 01111001 00101101 01100110 01101001 01101110 01100100 01100001 01100010 01101100 01100101 00100000 01101111 01101110 01101100 01101001 01101110 01100101 00100000 01100010 01101001 01101110 01100001 01110010 01111001 00100000 01110100 01110010 01100001 01101110 01110011 01101100 01100001 01110100 01101111 01110010 01110011 00101100 00100000 01001001 00100000 01100011 01100001 01101110 00100000 01100110 01101001 01110100 00100000 01101001 01101110 00100000 01110111 01101001 01110100 01101000 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 00100000 01001101 01100101 01100110 01101001 00100000 01101100 00110011 00110011 01110100 00100000 01110011 01110001 01110101 01100001 01100100 00100000 01100001 01101110 01100100 00100000 01110011 01101001 01101101 01110101 01101100 01110100 01100001 01101110 01100101 01101111 01110101 01110011 01101100 01111001 00100000 01110000 01110010 01100101 01110100 01100101 01101110 01100100 00100000 01001001 00100111 01101101 00100000 01100001 01101110 00100000 01100001 01101100 01101001 01100101 01101110 00100000 01101111 01101110 00100000 01010011 01110100 01100001 01110010 00100000 01010100 01110010 01100101 01101011 00111010 00100000 01010100 01001110 01000111 00100001
posted by Dasein at 10:15 AM on April 10, 2012


Emotional coffee. Beans crushed by years of thankless toil; boiled in the tears of countless orphans over the fire of unrestrained rage, filtered through a lifetime's ennui. Drink it with the milk of human kindness, or black as your darkest secret hatreds.

Emotional coffee: available (in accurately labeled tins!) everywhere.
posted by ook at 10:18 AM on April 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


Be honest, though. You would pretend to be a Star Trek alien anyway.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:18 AM on April 10, 2012


Be honest, though. You would pretend to be a Star Trek alien anyway.

Paghlog!
posted by Dasein at 10:22 AM on April 10, 2012


Ersatz Brothers! The real one! (Look for the can in the plain brown can.)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:23 AM on April 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


01010111 01101001 01110100 01101000 00100000 01100101 01100001 01110011 01101001 01101100 01111001 00101101 01100110 01101001 01101110 01100100 01100001 01100010 01101100 01100101 00100000 01101111 01101110 01101100 01101001 01101110 01100101 00100000 01100010 01101001 01101110 01100001 01110010 01111001 00100000 01110100 01110010 01100001 01101110 01110011 01101100 01100001 01110100 01101111 01110010 01110011 00101100 00100000 01001001 00100000 01100011 01100001 01101110 00100000 01100110 01101001 01110100 00100000 01101001 01101110 00100000 01110111 01101001 01110100 01101000 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 00100000 01001101 01100101 01100110 01101001 00100000 01101100 00110011 00110011 01110100 00100000 01110011 01110001 01110101 01100001 01100100 00100000 01100001 01101110 01100100 00100000 01110011 01101001 01101101 01110101 01101100 01110100 01100001 01101110 01100101 01101111 01110101 01110011 01101100 01111001 00100000 01110000 01110010 01100101 01110100 01100101 01101110 01100100 00100000 01001001 00100111 01101101 00100000 01100001 01101110 00100000 01100001 01101100 01101001 01100101 01101110 00100000 01101111 01101110 00100000 01010011 01110100 01100001 01110010 00100000 01010100 01110010 01100101 01101011 00111010 00100000 01010100 01001110 01000111 00100001


Nice try, but you can't really pull off the French accent.
 
posted by Herodios at 10:24 AM on April 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


There is no tin. There is no box. Nothing is written on them.

Can we please retire all of the variations on "exactly what it says on the tin?"


Calm down, dear. It's only a commercial!

/ducks
posted by Jehan at 10:26 AM on April 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


2
posted by griphus at 10:26 AM on April 10, 2012


Don't worry, Bender: there's no such thing as two.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:27 AM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Do people have problems with phrases like "no holds barred," which is similarly adapted from a specific context (professional wrestling) and then used generally (any situation in which there are no rules?)

My problem is that about half the sayers seem to think it's "no holes barred," which, if they thought about it for a moment, might lead them to use a different phrase.
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:29 AM on April 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


This is something for which you need no television to understand.
posted by Ardiril at 10:30 AM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Due to ongoing efforts to curtail shrinkage, we shall now by necessity have to go with "Does what it says on the blister pack."

But no one will ever know if it's true, because no one will be able to get the goddam post open.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:30 AM on April 10, 2012 [8 favorites]


your favorite words suck
posted by drlith at 10:35 AM on April 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


But do you have Prince Albert in a can?
posted by Miko at 10:39 AM on April 10, 2012


Yeah, but I put it back in once I got through the TSA screening.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:40 AM on April 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


[cash] "draw" for "drawer"

See also Hitchcock's The Wrong Man.
 
posted by Herodios at 10:41 AM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I also hate it when people say "stop using this or that phrase", but in this case it's truly warranted, because I will kill a child every someone makes a post with "does what it says on the tin" in it.
posted by mrnutty at 10:42 AM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Stop trying to dictate how other people should behave at Metafilter.

See? I just did it right there, and you didn't like it, did you? There you go. Lesson learned. Tch'yeah, in my dreams.
posted by Decani at 10:42 AM on April 10, 2012


*every time
posted by mrnutty at 10:42 AM on April 10, 2012


Whenever I see this I am overwhelmed with both a sense of existential despair and one of smug superiority.

You have summed up so much of my life right there.

But oddly, not with "wallah" or "walla", because I assume they're trying to say the word "wallah" thanks to my ridiculously linear brain, and I try to make the sentence parse with either "I am uttering a mild oath in Arabic" or "I am a speaker of Hindi or Urdu who is describing someone engaged in a commercial activity" and this never ever ever works properly.

والل
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:44 AM on April 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


Additional eggcorn: social leopard

I can't stop giggling about this. What are the people who say "social leopard" picturing when they say it?
posted by davidjmcgee at 10:44 AM on April 10, 2012 [8 favorites]


I'm not sure if it counts as an eggcorn, but I was fascinated when I used to teach reading and kids would use the word "sordive." It's a very common thing. They mean "sort of," but they hear it as a single word, "sordive."
posted by Miko at 10:46 AM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


A chatty jungle cat!
posted by The Whelk at 10:47 AM on April 10, 2012


Don't worry, Bender: there's no such thing as two.

Scenes from the History of Mathematics
Two cavemen are squatting on a cave floor, a number of small stones between them:

1st Caveman: What's one plus one?

2nd Caveman: What's "one"?
 
posted by Herodios at 10:47 AM on April 10, 2012


Crunchy (may I call you Crunchy, sir/madam? I feel we have known each other for sooooo long....) gets a pass this time because s/he picked the one nit that I have wanted to pick. (Tin? Does what it says? WTF? Argh!) Thanks for that. Carry on.
posted by Lynsey at 10:47 AM on April 10, 2012


Stop trying to dictate how other people should behave at Metafilter. --- I wasn't dictating anything. I didn't even use the word "directive" once. I politely asked, even using the word "please."
posted by crunchland at 10:48 AM on April 10, 2012


What are the people who say "social leopard" picturing when they say it?

Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn, and Baby.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:49 AM on April 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


What are the people who say "social leopard" picturing when they say it?

Comme ca.
posted by sweetkid at 10:51 AM on April 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


"no holes barred," the new advertising campaign for the TSA.
posted by elizardbits at 10:53 AM on April 10, 2012 [8 favorites]


i'll just show myself out then shall i
posted by elizardbits at 10:54 AM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I see the opposite eggcorn a lot--people talking about "leper frogs" and "leper geckos."
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:54 AM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sys Rq: " Thompson's Water Seal."

I think Ronseal may own them -- at least in the UK?

It's a Plot.
posted by zarq at 10:57 AM on April 10, 2012


That phrase started bugging me a few weeks ago. I kept resisting the temptation to start a MeTa thread about it. Thank goodness someone with less resistance to temptation is around.
posted by The Deej at 10:57 AM on April 10, 2012


I know a girl who goes to college in Walla Walla, Washington, which is cool since can refer to herself as a Walla Wallan.
posted by jonmc at 10:58 AM on April 10, 2012


Jesus. This shit really does need to stop.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:59 AM on April 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


What are the people who say "social leopard" picturing when they say it?

For some reason, this is all I can think of.

I know, he's an ocelot.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:02 AM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ah, fuck. I mean this.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:03 AM on April 10, 2012


Look at his little spots!
posted by The Whelk at 11:05 AM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Can I still share what I did on the can?
posted by Dano St at 11:08 AM on April 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


I know a girl who goes to college in Walla Walla, Washington, which is cool since can refer to herself as a Walla Wallan.

What are you, some kind of Walla Walla wallah?
 
posted by Herodios at 11:10 AM on April 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


So am I the only person still sniggering at Fanny Farmer's instant icing? And wondering if a Fanny Farmer spends all day working hard in their ladygarden?
posted by KateViolet at 11:29 AM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I am just so personally offended by this entire thread
posted by Tin Man at 11:31 AM on April 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


Everyone must be just itching for big threads today.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:33 AM on April 10, 2012


Using jbicker's deleted post as an example, what does the phrase add to the posting?

Makes it sound better [to some people]. The horror! Heaven forbid people try to compose their posts with appealing verbiage!

One problem with trying to write prose that people like is that some people aren't going to like it. One other problem is that there are going to be lots of useless, repetitious, or otherwise unnecessary words.

We're not building a space shuttle here and bytes are cheap, so, yeah, how about a moratorium on pretending like your personal preferences are objective matters of science or linguistics?
posted by toomuchpete at 11:34 AM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


jonmc: I know a girl who goes to college in Walla Walla, Washington, which is cool since can refer to herself as a Walla Wallan.

Herodios: What are you, some kind of Walla Walla wallah?


Walla Walla wallah, والله !

Here all week. Tip the veal; try your waiter.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:37 AM on April 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


lots of useless, repetitious, or otherwise unnecessary words.
posted by The Whelk at 11:37 AM on April 10, 2012


This is a picture of Elijah Wood.
Why!?
posted by Glinn at 12:12 PM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I like "exactly what it says on the tin." Also, "pear-shaped", "nice bit of kit", and "bog standard."
posted by Zed at 12:24 PM on April 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


"bog-shaped" however, is problematic.
posted by The Whelk at 12:25 PM on April 10, 2012


This product's tin was very misleading, and cost significantly more than the in-town rate of $20.
posted by obscurator at 12:31 PM on April 10, 2012


...was it actually full of jellybeans?
posted by griphus at 12:36 PM on April 10, 2012


You think I'd pay $20 for jelly beans? Son, I've been in the snake-laundering business too long to fall for what it says on the sorry
posted by obscurator at 12:42 PM on April 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


I like "exactly what it says on the tin." Also, "pear-shaped", "nice bit of kit", and "bog standard."
posted by Zed at 3:24 PM on April 10 [1 favorite +] [!]


And "zed," presumedly.
posted by aught at 1:08 PM on April 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Only as my sobriquet. Calling a letter that's for outside the U.S. </inconsistent anglophile>
posted by Zed at 1:14 PM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


not to a bitingly satirical novella about a dying, lonely elderly couple's last, lonely attempts to communicate with their estranged restaurateur son via social media

A little part of me is heart-broken DFW didn't live long enough to write this.
posted by aught at 1:24 PM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Pony request:

Can we retire all colourful language from Metafilter?

I'd like a "strictly literal" policy for posts and comments from here on in.


IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK ?!?

On preview: I guess I'm not really asking for a pony...
posted by mazola at 1:28 PM on April 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


if it's been said by someone else, you can no longer use that phrase.

This is, in fact, the premise of the Robot 9000 bot on the XKCD IRC channel, and the /r9k/ board on 4chan.

If something has been said once, it can no longer be said again. Every post must be unique.

It's an interesting idea.
posted by pts at 1:31 PM on April 10, 2012


RICK.

RICK.

I AM JUST GARFIELD CARTOONS IN TEXT FORM RICK

OR DID I JUST BLOW YOUR MIND

RICK
posted by felix at 1:33 PM on April 10, 2012 [10 favorites]


I never get tired of that Rick thing!

No accounting for taste, clearly.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:38 PM on April 10, 2012 [6 favorites]


attention demanding cats are always funny
posted by The Whelk at 1:43 PM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I AM JUST GARFIELD CARTOONS IN TEXT FORM RICK

Okay clearly someone has never read any Garfield comics.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:45 PM on April 10, 2012


JON

JON

I'M SO LAZY

I AM LAZY TO A COMICAL DEGREE

ALSO LASAGNA, FOR SOME REASON.

DID YOU KNOW I'M A PART OF THE NEW AESTHETIC JON?

DID YOU?
posted by The Whelk at 1:47 PM on April 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


Garfield never even talks to Jon. He addresses the reader directly, often, and comments on the stupid things Jon is doing. It's not at all the same joke.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:49 PM on April 10, 2012


So, this is what it's come to. Or, how to relax, not do it, and learn to hate pepsi blue too.

does what it says
on the tin; does exactly what it says on the tin used as
an assurance
that whatever is so described will be,
or behave, as
expected.

From a catchphrase-slogan for Ronseal™ woodtreatments;
first introduced in the early 1990s, the phrase is now
part of the company’s registered trademarking,
and widely applied
in the sense recorded here UK, 2001


Funnily, Does What it Says On the Tin, is, in a twist of (LongGermanwordforSpecialFlavorIrony) a Pepsi Blue (The meme snake chokes on its' own tail sometimes [meme-theory is partially useless until folks get serious and a transport "unit" or "code carrier", or package is defined, till then it is just a cute little metaphor, while grabassing like Howie Mendel (give Peas a Chance!) at the ideas of genes and molecular biology [This is just to say; is WCW wrestling or poetry, and why should Job care, memes hurt less people than dick-taters scrawled on a subway ever did] I was just peruse-aling The Concise New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English, there are a ton of tin soldier* loaded phrases in there. See also: tinned dog, noun, canned meat AUSTRALIA, 1895)!*IYKWIMAITYD
posted by infinite intimation at 1:49 PM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Remember, if you choose to use a term that someone finds offensive then you are deliberately being an asshole! Right?

Could we please stop using the word "the," as it is the most overused article ever!
posted by cjorgensen at 1:50 PM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


posting without "e", curious and halting.
posted by The Whelk at 1:53 PM on April 10, 2012


but similar to A Void, and I think how difficult for its author, anonymous by lipogrammatic constraint
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:57 PM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Garfield never even talks to Jon. He addresses the reader directly, often, and comments on the stupid things Jon is doing.

Not entirely true. Or at least not unambiguously true. Garfield seems to address Jon fairly clearly at times, though whether he is attempting to communicate with Jon or is just thinking to himself what he would say if Jon were able to perceive his verbal intent is mostly unclear.

More arguable is the notion that Jon cannot hear Garfield—most strips in which Garfield is replying to a statement or action by Jon remain coherent even when Garfield's dialogue is removed from the strip. The strip's gag (such as it is) may not work as well, but the interaction (or lack thereof) is still workable.

Less so when you remove Garfield's presence entirely—Jon often is speaking to the cat in the room, even if we don't believe that he thinks the cat can really understand him let alone that he can understand the cat's thoughts in reply. (But it does make for some fun surrealism, hence Garfield Minus Garfield).

I prefer to sidestep the question entirely, though, hence Garkov.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:57 PM on April 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


Self-link. Banned.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:01 PM on April 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


It blew my fucking mind when I finally realized that Garfield communicates entirely in thought balloons.
posted by griphus at 2:04 PM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


(Which is weird, because it implies that he, Nermal and Arlene are telepathic.)
posted by griphus at 2:05 PM on April 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


The weirdest manifestation of that is probably on the Garfield and Friends teevee show where in the Garfield segments he speaks entirely without moving his mouth (thought balloons!) but in the Orson's Acres segments all the talking animals open their mouths to speak, so it's like just cats are telepathic, not animals in general.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:07 PM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Garfield Minus Garfield

Is there a GMG variant that includes the eponymous cat, but deletes only his thought bubbles? I seem to remember it held together narratively, in contrast to the "canonical" Garfield Minus Garfield.
posted by Rock Steady at 2:08 PM on April 10, 2012


I think there was that variant, yeah. I think the guy doing that one may have replaced the actual Garfield drawings with a drawing of a realistic housecat, too. Might have been called "Arbuckle"? I dunno, there's old Garfield-related posts that would have links to most of this stuff. I think I did at least one round-up post of them myself a few years back.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:11 PM on April 10, 2012


"Square Root of Minus Garfield is a webcomic devoted to parodies and mash-ups of the popular comic strip Garfield, by Jim Davis.".

The variants you are looking for are "Silent Garfield" and "Realfield," respectively.
posted by griphus at 2:15 PM on April 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


Wow, that's the completely wrong link text.
posted by griphus at 2:15 PM on April 10, 2012


EU requirements mean Irish food labelling does exactly what it says on the tin
posted by infinite intimation at 2:17 PM on April 10, 2012


Silent Garfield does hold together.
posted by absalom at 2:18 PM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I am continuing lipogrammatic posting, omitting most common sign in Anglo-Saxon and still today, finding it a trip. Am I too similar to author of A Void? Who built a long list of all foods that author was gorging upon in a particular span of months? As odd as him, author of Thoughts of Sorts (posthumous anthology) among his additional works? Could I call my own brain as cool, as prolific as his? In words of Magic 8-Ball, "Signs point to 'No.'"
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:26 PM on April 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


I concur.
posted by The Whelk at 2:38 PM on April 10, 2012


In the future I will simply cite Community Trade Mark E3085826 instead.
posted by mazola at 2:49 PM on April 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


elizardbits: "no holes barred," the new advertising campaign for the TSA.

You jest, but Don Draper could totally sell that.
posted by misha at 3:07 PM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


elizardbits: "I am overwhelmed with both a sense of existential despair and one of smug superiority."

Reverse the order and you have just described the progress of every one of my days at work.
posted by dg at 3:17 PM on April 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


I truly detest memes, and I wish people used less of them here. Memes are not the best of the web, and they contribute absolutely nothing to any conversation.

Then stop using "best of the web."
posted by ActingTheGoat at 3:28 PM on April 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


I like memes, but not these memes.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:41 PM on April 10, 2012


I like memes
You like memes!
You like memes like a meme-y meme person
Yes! I like memes as if it where my profession!
You are like a professional meme liker person!
posted by The Whelk at 3:44 PM on April 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


You jest, but Don Draper could totally sell that.

Especially if he had Megan sing the theme.
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:55 PM on April 10, 2012


RICK.

RICK.

I HAVE TO DISAGREE RICK.

IF YOU'VE SEEN ONE SUPER PRECOCIOUS TALKING/THINKING FELINE WHOSE PUTATIVE OWNER IS A COMEDIC STRAIGHT MAN AND WHO PERFORMS COMMON FELINE ACTIVITIES FOR HUMOROUS COUNTERPOINT DESPITE HAVING SUPERIOR INTELLIGENCE THEN YOU'VE SEEN THEM ALL RICK.

ALSO I BROUGHT YOU A BIRD RICK.

IT'S ON YOUR PILLOW RICK.

NEXT TO THE PLATE OF BEANS RICK.
posted by felix at 3:57 PM on April 10, 2012


That's worse than zalgo, man.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:59 PM on April 10, 2012


ok now I'm going to have to do a garfield comic with RICK word balloons mashup, except I am lazy. CORTEX
posted by felix at 3:59 PM on April 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Are there not enough real problems in the universe that this has to be one?
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:53 PM on April 10, 2012


This is my favorite thread today. I love all of you. Even those of you who are cranky about tins and such.

elizardbits: "I am overwhelmed with both a sense of existential despair and one of smug superiority."

sidhedevil: Reverse the order and you have just described the progress of every one of my days at work.


Existential superiority and smug despair?
posted by tzikeh at 5:16 PM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


"parrot phrasing" for paraphrasing.

Someone I know says "hit pose" on the video, instead of "hit pause."
posted by StickyCarpet at 5:17 PM on April 10, 2012


Are there not enough real problems in the universe that this has to be one?

I contain multitudes!


of problems
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:19 PM on April 10, 2012 [6 favorites]


Are there not enough real problems in the universe that this has to be one?

This is, was, and ever will be a non-argument.
posted by tzikeh at 5:55 PM on April 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


I, for one, welcome our new non-tin referencing overlords.
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:00 PM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


This object or device found within the thin metal container performs the task or purpose advertised and explained on the outside of the metal to an exemplary degree.
posted by The Whelk at 6:02 PM on April 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


tzikeh: "elizardbits: "I am overwhelmed with both a sense of existential despair and one of smug superiority."
sidhedevil: Reverse the order and you have just described the progress of every one of my days at work.


Existential superiority and smug despair?
"

That was me, not sidhedevil. My work day usually starts with smug superiority and ends in existential despair.
posted by dg at 6:03 PM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


These are not the memes you're looking for.
posted by IvoShandor at 6:30 PM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yes, I am more of the elizardbits school of having the existential despair first, and then enjoying the smug superiority as a dessert.
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:52 PM on April 10, 2012


Is this something I would have to have an exceptionally thin skin to care about?
posted by DoctorFedora at 7:28 PM on April 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Do you suppose someone who is exceptionally thin skinned would ever even dare to make a post to Metatalk?
posted by crunchland at 8:19 PM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I like the phrase, but I'm dumb enough to have seriously thought it was from "Doctor Who," which is where I first heard it. Oops. (I have been schooled.)
posted by Aquifer at 8:31 PM on April 10, 2012


Yes, I am more of the elizardbits school of having the existential despair first, and then enjoying the smug superiority as a dessert.

Problem with deciding to eat all your existential despair first and leave the smug superiority as a treat for the end is that the existential despair is boundless and infinite.
posted by Meatbomb at 8:32 PM on April 10, 2012 [6 favorites]


No.
posted by Simple Answer to a Simple Question at 9:03 PM on April 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


You know what my dog wants? Steak.
posted by davejay at 9:41 PM on April 10, 2012


Done with fish.
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:19 PM on April 10, 2012


Crunchland - you're doing this all wrong. "Because it annoys crunchland" essentially ensures the continuation of whatever it is that you're against.

As your attorney I recommend that you try reverse psychology.

If you had made this a breathlessly exuberant declaration about how much you love all variations of "does what it says on the tin" and went on about it for sickening ages about it like some kind of brony hopped up on Red Bull, a first kiss and an all-nighter at SakuraCon this particular meme would have been dead in the water before sunrise.

Come on. Try it. No, no - with feeling, like you mean it and really like it. And with these rainbow barrettes in your hair. Now try this lovely mane and tail... and this cutie mark. Hrm, seems incomplete without the iridescent unicorn horn. Do you think you can make some "clip-clop" noises and prance around a bit... while whinnying?

Yes. Yesssss! Let the power of the ponies flow through you!
posted by loquacious at 10:30 PM on April 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Besides, what would the cutie mark of somepony whose talent is arguing even look like?
posted by radwolf76 at 10:40 PM on April 10, 2012


Wow loquacious! I had no idea!

I did not know you loved bronies and ponies and cutie marks!

Sometimes I see pony related images on reddit and other sites. I will make sure to share the joy and memail you the links very time I see them!
posted by Ayn Rand and God at 11:12 PM on April 10, 2012


That would be awesome Ayn Rand and God! Please do that very thing! Email me all of the things! Friendship is magic!

Man, I hope this actually works.
posted by loquacious at 11:43 PM on April 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


crunchland was one of the naysayers when I tried issuing a fake diktat for my minor quibble with site memes and etiquette. Now I give a big fake laugh as his kingdom crumbles around him. I twist my moustache. "Ah, so this is how you complain about a random bit of MetaFilter trivia! Thanks for the tip bro, great effort!"
posted by Meatbomb at 1:31 AM on April 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Actually I very much appreciate this thread just for learning about eggcorns, and also to learn I am not alone in the trajectory of my days. Also, I haven't thought about Garfield in while either.
I guess I've been a bit of a social leopard lately. (Oh how I love these).
posted by bquarters at 6:17 AM on April 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


In a meeting this morning, my boss described something as "what it says on the tin," and then followed that with "sorry, it's an expression from an English advert."

I just said "I'm familiar."
posted by Miko at 7:01 AM on April 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


My last boss congratulated us for getting through the semester 'with flying collars'. 20 years in NYC educational system...flying collars.
posted by bquarters at 7:24 AM on April 11, 2012


Come to our bracing desert,
Where eternity is eventful,
Where the weather-glass
Is set at Alas,
The thermometer at Resentful.

Come to our old-world desert
Where everyone goes to pieces;
You can pick up tears
For souvenirs
Or genuine diseases.

Come to our well-run desert
Where anguish arrives by cable,
And the deadly sins
May be bought in tins
With instructions on the label.

Come to our jolly desert
Where even the dolls go whoring;
Where cigarette-ends
Become intimate friends,
And it's always three in the morning.

-W.H. Auden-

heh
posted by clavdivs at 7:25 AM on April 11, 2012 [8 favorites]


My boss pretty consistently refers to overeagerness as 'biting at the champs.'
posted by shakespeherian at 7:37 AM on April 11, 2012


> 'biting at the champs.'

Heh. That almost makes sense, though, if you think of it as someone who is running after the leaders and chomping at their heels.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:42 AM on April 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Maybe an engrish version.

The metal speaks the truth of the heavens.

It opens it's mouth and declares the tinnitus.

Listen to tin enclosures, they are correct.

Hmm. Maybe not.
posted by hot_monster at 8:57 AM on April 11, 2012


Maybe an engrish version.

It obeys precisely orders upon the metal.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:04 AM on April 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Flying collars
posted by ook at 11:50 AM on April 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Some astute commenter on CNN.com just noted that George Zimmerman has gone "on the lamb."

I had already taken that for granite.
posted by Devils Rancher at 12:05 PM on April 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


I wish all those people would just use bathroom instead.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:16 PM on April 11, 2012


The Age of Autocorrect has made it difficult to assess whether solitary eggcorns and malapropisms are intentional.
posted by zamboni at 12:56 PM on April 11, 2012


For real. Sometimes you just don't know if somebody really wants a BHUTAN or not.
posted by davidjmcgee at 1:43 PM on April 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


For real. Sometimes you just don't know if somebody really wants a BHUTAN or not.

I definitely want one. With a garlic naan and a mushroom bhaji.
posted by pmcp at 1:51 PM on April 11, 2012


Free Tibet!
posted by Sys Rq at 2:06 PM on April 11, 2012


With a side of Nepal-itos.
posted by Devils Rancher at 2:06 PM on April 11, 2012


Sys Rq: "Free Tibet!"

*Batteries not included, games sold separately
posted by dg at 2:41 PM on April 11, 2012


I'd like a grilled cheese bhutan, please.
posted by ook at 2:49 PM on April 11, 2012


Does that come with taters?
posted by Sys Rq at 2:50 PM on April 11, 2012


And as long as I'm here I'd also like to belatedly apologize to crunchland for being kind of a dick way up there at the top of this thread.
posted by ook at 2:50 PM on April 11, 2012


No worries, really. The community rewarded you for being kind of a dick. It's dicks all the way down.
posted by crunchland at 2:55 PM on April 11, 2012


Yeah. I wasn't consciously favorites-whoring there, but seeing how fast they were rolling in made me feel kind of icky about having posted that.

I seem to be more of a dick on this site than I am in real life. I don't know why that is. It's probably not the site's fault. Maybe I need to take another break.

Anyway. Yeah.
posted by ook at 3:08 PM on April 11, 2012


My wife and friends often tell me that I'm nicer and kinder than I present here on metafilter.

I blame cortex.
posted by crunchland at 3:12 PM on April 11, 2012


You'd about have to be.
posted by absalom at 4:01 PM on April 11, 2012


Though, you've at least got a thick skin, so I respect the act in that sense.
posted by absalom at 4:02 PM on April 11, 2012


In my home, I lick the sweet taint of hermaphroditic iOS and Android ecosystems conjoined in a supernova.
posted by Burhanistan at 4:05 PM on April 11, 2012


crunchland: "My wife and friends often tell me that I'm nicer and kinder than I present here on metafilter.
I blame cortex.
"
absalom: "You'd about have to be."

If you had to deal with some of the people I deal with every day at work, you might be tempted to re-set your grumpometer somewhat.
posted by dg at 4:08 PM on April 11, 2012


Agreed: let's blame cortex.

BURN THE SCAPEGOAT. BURN HIM
posted by ook at 4:20 PM on April 11, 2012


Is it not scrape goat?
posted by pmcp at 6:59 PM on April 11, 2012


ITYM "escape goat".
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:01 PM on April 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


So what's a Judas goat, then?

Does it have something to do with gay-for-Satan backward messages?
posted by box at 7:05 PM on April 11, 2012


Well, someone should really grab the Dunst Crap from box.
posted by infinite intimation at 9:01 PM on April 11, 2012


Jude Escargot.
posted by infinite intimation at 9:02 PM on April 11, 2012


I'm just glad I didn't say 'does PDM what it says, on tin' today, when films (sungspoke [recited?]) Journey, Don't Stop, Believe in, in a Post, I almost did, but then remembered to remember the crunchland method.dbl. It worked. But then I was like, I hope I didn't just double a potential post in the future, when computer generated super cuts give each of us the appropriate super cut satisfaction in the shortest duration possible. So even following dbl, results in creeping doubt (sorry, now doubled potential future post).
Dunst Cap, that was or would be (why they would put a unique conical hat on people named after an actor from their future... weird coincidence, signs of merging of the darkest timeline, or what, you decide. Mostly.)?

I'll won't stop, believe, in something, Hold on, toronto feeeling.
Or, driving past past-your land (with all the fields), not pastoral lands (where, I guess theres alots of roaming pastors..I suppose), and seeing cows, hungry (not a murder of crows); Mayonnaise, cows is big.
/not anti-notnot ambulocetus-ist-ish
posted by infinite intimation at 10:19 PM on April 11, 2012


GuyZero: "This is a bad callout and you're a bad person for making it and you should feel bad."

Why would you say something like this?
posted by IndigoRain at 1:17 AM on April 12, 2012


Tins that say things for some, tins that say nothing for others!
posted by oxford blue at 3:03 AM on April 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


The escape goat went on the lamb.
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:00 AM on April 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


> Why would you say something like this?

Presumably because crunchy's Supergrump persona gets really tiresome after a while.
posted by languagehat at 9:21 AM on April 12, 2012


Why would you say something like this?

I don't think GuyZero is being mean - the '[something is] bad and you should feel bad' is a hackneyed Futurama reference that's used on MetaFilter (and all around the web) almost as often as 'does what it says on the tin'.
posted by jack_mo at 10:30 AM on April 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Heh, I just noticed that the Know Your Meme entry I linked cites this MetaTalk post as an example.
posted by jack_mo at 10:33 AM on April 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hey, Mr. Languageghat... could you please go to one of your dictionaries, and look up the word "ironic?"
posted by crunchland at 10:41 AM on April 12, 2012


Explaining the gist of this thread is easy as shooting a dead horse in a barrel of monkey see monkey do or dyed in the wool over my eyes.
posted by obscurator at 11:35 AM on April 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was being ironic AND this is a bad call out. Win-win!
posted by GuyZero at 11:49 AM on April 12, 2012


jack_mo: "Why would you say something like this?

I don't think GuyZero is being mean - the '[something is] bad and you should feel bad' is a hackneyed Futurama reference that's used on MetaFilter (and all around the web) almost as often as 'does what it says on the tin'.
"

Oooh, okay then.
posted by IndigoRain at 4:00 PM on April 12, 2012


Isn't someone supposed to collect the Law Gnomes after folks knock them all down...
posted by infinite intimation at 7:39 AM on April 13, 2012


Curiously refreshing post.

So can I say: Does what it says on the Altoids container?
posted by BlueHorse at 10:37 AM on April 14, 2012


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