21 July 2011

Ambiguity


Quick, what does that license plate mean? Is the driver an ornithologist who specializes in birds from the genus Sialia of the thrush family (i.e. a Blue Birder)? Or was I following a medical professional who specializes in liposuction and/or obesity (Blubber Dr)?

Sure, it could be a depressed bird watcher (a blue birder), or maybe they meant "blue" in the sense of risque... kinda hard to tell.

And so today's lesson is: when you're picking a name, a brand identity or a vanity license plate, make sure you pay attention to the ways it can be misread.

4 comments:

Glen B. Alleman said...

I vote for Blue Birder

Mark said...

I read it as "Blubber Doctor" even before I read your post. My vote is for the lipo specialist. Or perhaps large marine mammal veterinarian...

Phil said...

I read it as Blubber Dr. My brother knew a girl in high school whose parents were very careful to choose her name, ensuring no unkind nicknames would come of it. Later in life, she was mortified to realize her monogram spelled APE.

Dick Field said...

Hmm . . . well, Prince Georges County's official bird is the Eastern Bluebird - and there is an annual Bluebird Blues Festival held there at the Community College (great event, by the way, for anyone who digs the blues). Strange on a Virginia plate, but maybe the driver has roots in PG county . . . ?