June 04, 2010

Wordplay in the news

I've been seeing ads on the subway for "The Real L Word", which looks like your typical kinda-exploitative, kinda-not-as-interesting-as-one-might-hope reality show, but which I am psyched about the existence of because it's just a single letter shift away from the ur-reality show "The Real World" -- just slide the second L three letters to the back. (That's what she said!)

On the front page of the New York Times's website today is a headline about tennis player Robin Soderling, who has the exact inverse wordplay feature of "The Real L Word" -- move the L in his last name three letters to the front and you get "soldering", which is not just something one does in middle school metal shop class when making a rudimentary sculpture of a bicycle (didn't everybody do that?), but is also the title of a somewhat inexplicable reggae song, equally inexplicably covered by Hall and Oates. These seriously are some of the lyrics:

She says she don't want the soul man,
The soul man fall asleep in bed.
She says she don't want the young boy,
The young boy drink too much white rum.

Soldering is what the young girl wants, soldering.
Soldering is what the young girl needs, soldering.
Oh, oh, young girl want soldering.

I just...have no idea what that means. And Urban Dictionary is no help. Maybe the young girl just really prefers attaching metal things to other metal things, rather than dating unacceptable gentlemen. There are weirder things, I guess. Anyway, you can download that little musical gem here, if you really need to hear it for yourself.

Finally, another subway poster (for "Killers") featuring Katherine Heigl got me thinking about the name "Heigl" and how you can swap two letters in it to make another (more common) last name. And it turns out that she shared the bill on "Gray's Anatomy" for several years with another actress who has the other surname in question, Chyler Leigh. (And yes, I did check to see if Chyler had in turn appeared with anyone named Cheryl. No such luck.)

Whew. Now that I've gotten all that out of my system, I will be less likely to wreck a party conversation by trying to casually work any of that in.

Posted by Francis at 12:56 PM

Re Robin Soldering ... I mean, Soderling ... I'm sure there's an NPL freewheeling changeover for ROB ISOLDE'S RING in there, but that's all the effort I'm willing to put into that.


Posted by: Mike Selinker at June 4, 2010 01:46 PM

The young girl is an android. She doesn't want to trust delicate electronics repairs to narcoleptics and drunkards.

Posted by: Eli at June 4, 2010 03:25 PM

Way I can tell that I'm tired: I didn't figure out what the Heigl metathesis was until I got to the part of the sentence where you wrote it.

Posted by: JanglerNPL at June 4, 2010 11:43 PM
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