f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

January 16, 2005

inflected reiteration (and ad ads)

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 2:34 pm

A pet peeve around here is the deterioration in the ability of words to actually

communicate a shared meaning.   One annoying symptom is the increasing use of what

I call inflected reiteration to help the listener understand the speaker’s meaning. 

Examples:   “She’s his girlfriend girlfriend.”  “We’ll, it’s not work work, but .. .”  

“That movie was bad bad.”   Or, “Those aren’t fact facts.” 


J. Craig Williams of May It Please the Court may be adding “It’s an ad ad” to this

baneful list, with his recent posting (Jan. 15, 2005), where he asks “Are blogs advertising?

and answers in the affirmative (that is: “yes yes”). 


Craig’s reasoning includes observations such as:

  • “What about MIPTC? Yes, it provides a vehicle for people to get to know

    me without having to meet me, and I suspect under that definition qualifies

    as advertising. Somewhat suprisingly it has resulted in clients.”

  • “Subscriptions and advertising pay for the people that bring us news and

  • “It would be difficult to identify an altruistic blog, with no ax to grind. I’m not
    sure I could.”

With all due respect to my highly-respected web-colleague, none of the above makes   thesaurus 

a weblog  advertising advertising” [unless, perhaps, the weblog is built, written and

maintained by >someone other than the Editor-Proprietor].  Like a good thesaurus, a

good lawyer or writer helps advance communication by using words precisely — which

includes recognizing that some synonyms have the same meaning in certain contexts

but not others.  [That “all B is A” rarely means that “all A is B.”]


Calling weblogs advertising can only confuse the meaning of both terms.  As viewed

by Craig in his post, I believe weblogs should more precisely be deemed publicity, or 

self-promotion, or public relations.  They are not “advertising” as the terms is commonly

used, and  I can see nothing to gain from blurring the concepts.  We don’t want to have

to explain “Well, Ms. Bar Counsel, my weblog is advertising according to MIPTC, but it’s not

advertising advertising.”  As Wikipedia succinctly says: Advertising is the paid promotion

of goods, services, companies and ideas, by an identified sponsor.”  Craig’s definition would

make most of the words ever written or spoken “advertising.”

update (June 9, 2005 11 PM):  In a post today, I’ve gone more deeply into

when a lawyer is advertising for the purpose of the Rules of Professional


approx Enough parsing of words.  It’s Sunday.  You’ve got some spare time.  Your humble  

Editor suggests taking your daily dose of haiku inspiration with a bit of linked prose: to wit,


haibun — Brief and suggestive prose accompanied by one or more hokku

or haiku, the relationship between the forms of writing being that of ren 

[interaction], not of illustration. (from the Zip School Glossary)


In the Light, an online magazine of Japanese literary forms, edited by  feet2

Elizabeth St. Jacques, is a very good place to explore the haibun form. 

Here are three haiku that are part of the haibun Boots, by f/k/a’s friend

Alice Frampton, who tells of an infant who grew into a pair of large boots.



snow sky –
I miss

the first flakes



tiny fevered brow –
the tick of the clock

measuring the night



size eleven boots –
twenty-two years the same


 from dagosan: 

the rookie cop rousts

an old hobo —

feeding plump pigeons

                                        [Jan.16, 2004]    


“tinyredcheck”  When will you give up your car keys?  See my “from my OLD, dead hands

at Crime & Federalism.


hat tip small flip  A tip of our hat to Prof. Bainbridge for explaining why Pres. Bush

needs to learn a little humility on the topic of the election as ratification and

absolution for his Administration’s policy and conduct in Iraq.  (see Wash. Post)

Prof. B voted for W despite many qualms over Iraq.


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