Archive for the ‘Words Mean Things’ Category

Words Mean Things IV

For some context, see my previous three “Words Mean Things” posts.

Last time I wrote one of these posts, girls were too pretty to do math.  I guess a lot has changed in the STEM world in the last two years, because now they get their own pretty pink telescopes:


(circles and arrows mine)

In case you started to get the crazy idea that anyone could have whatever color telescope they wanted, please note that the pink one is clearly marked “For Girls” and the blue is clearly marked “For Boys“. 

I get it.  It’s perfectly OK for girls to like pink and boys to like blue.  My daughter loves pink and would undoubtedly love a pink telescope, car, cell phone, and anything else that can come in a color (in fact, she asked for this as soon as she saw it).  But is it not a bit patronizing to engage in this kind of gender-specific marketing (that worked so well for Bic, if you recall) in 2013?  Is it even necessary for items like pens, telescopes, soda, and chocolate, all of which seem fairly gender-neutral in their appeal?

Words Mean Things III

Over the course of some Memorial Day morning bargain-hunting, I came across this magnet for sale at my local Five Below store:

In the last “Words Mean Things” installment, I wrote about the unintended signals our words sometimes send.  At least this magnet doesn’t have that problem.

I debated saying something to the staff or manager in the store, but I realize that they most likely have zero input into or control over what stock is sold, and it would be a waste of time and energy for everyone involved.

On the other hand, I think a letter to corporate may be in order.  If you’d also like to share your thoughts on this merchandise with the management of Five Below, you can send a message to their corporate office in Philadelphia or contact them through Facebook.

Words Mean Things II

Every so often I come across language used in such a way that makes me wonder what the intent behind the words is.  As we all know, sometimes the words said and the message conveyed are two very different things.

Recently, my son was playing with one of his birthday gifts, and I noticed this phrasing on the back of the package:

I’m real torn as to how I feel about this.  What are your thoughts?

Words Mean Things

Seen on the front page of a test protocol this morning: two sections for collecting demographic information on a student.

Section I (to be filled out by professional):

Section II (to be filled out by teacher):

I’ll just leave this here for you to do with what you will.