Monday, October 22, 2007

The Blog With No Title

I wonder if any truly neurotic set of parents, living somewhere on the edge, decided not to give their children names. They gave birth at home and decided that giving the new ones a name would cripple their psyches and development. You know, the nut cases who tend to live in yurts and claim everybody else has it all wrong.

Probably been done, although it seems to run against our nature; we are a naming people. We give names to all sorts of living and inert things, including sounds.

Years ago, I was at a concert where Bobby Rosengarten was the drummer. He’s one of the best and had come in from New York for the occasion. At intermission, I went backstage and said I’ve been trying to find the name for the drum figure that’s two eighth notes and a quarter note. Most people, erroneously, call it a rim shot; he said its name is actually “ba-dum-dump,” as it sounds, and is an old vaudeville bit.

Each profession has its own names. My radio business is filled with them: Carts, joins, deadroll, backtime, outcue, slip-cue (an old one), voice track, and such. At the newspaper, we have names for everything from the classified ad department, through the newsroom, to composing, the press room and the mailing room.

We like to have everything to have its specific name so there will be no confusion. Even locomotives have the letter “F” on one end, to show which is the agreed-upon front, because they can run equally well either way. “Go forward” can mean only one thing.


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