Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Public Kissing

I have seen public kissing in Singapore; in trains, on roads, in restaurants, et al. But the number of such kissers is too low compared to those in Mumbai. Public kissing sounds can be heard in crowded trains, buses, malls, movies, offices, canteens. I have even seen some exchanges between older men and young boys, sometimes between strangers, men to married women and between two and sometimes three men too.

I might have led you astray I guess. What I am talking about is kissing sounds in case you are confused. You see, the only way in which people start communicating with others standing more than 10 feet away from them is through a kissing sound. Every Mumbai-ite is an expert at it and every Mumbai-ite's ears are also sharp enough to look out for such sounds.

Imagine this. You are in a train and your friend is standing about 10 metres away and there are about 20 people between you and him. How do you call him? A non-Mumbaiite would probably shout the friend's name. But No!! You just make a kissing sound and all the 21 people will turn around; 20 of them will realise that the sound is not for them and turn away and you and your friend can start communicating.

I was talking about this to my friend today and when I made the sound to show him what I meant, atleast 5 people standing here and there looked around and back as though nothing had happened.

Ok gotta go, my manager just made a kissing sound for me

Googling

We mention Googling so commonly nowadays. Is it a mark of respect to Google when we do that? I suppose it is... We say googling instead of yahooing or altavistaing or a9ing so it's a compliment to Google I feel. But Google doesn't think so. Its lawyers are fighting hard to prevent the word Google from entering the dictionary.

Once google becomes just another word, the brand value is lost according to their trademark lawyer. I was not sure if I agreed with that till I Googled for similar brands which became verbs or identities of what they do. I first found that these words are called Eponyms and I found a few interesting examples too. How many times have you said that you want to Xerox some sheets? Haven't you said you are in a hurry, so want a Polaroid? How many times have you sellotaped something?

Here's a list of common eponyms
Google
Xerox
Band-Aid
Jeep
Sellotape
Polaroid
Walkman
Post-It
Frisbee
Thermos
Escalator