Wednesday, September 28, 2005

This is something I just don’t understand. Certainly not the only thing, but it’s less baffling than a Sierra Club sticker on a W4Pres SUV, and it is therefore easier to knock around in my head:

Why replace the letter “C” with the letter “K”?

As in “Go Kart” or “Kitty Kat Club” or “Kones” or “Krafty Melt”.

Is it a German thing?
Sure, it’s a marketing thing, and sometimes, in the instance of “Kitty Kat Club” it almost makes sense. It’s an attempt at cute (kute?). “Kitty Kat” is cuter than “Kitty Cat”; it looks better and accentuates the alliteration. It stands out as a proper name. But in the case of the “Kitty Kat Club,” it would really only make sense if you logically extended the K substitution to the last word as well: Klub. Of course, this can’t be done, as the ensuing abbreviation might send the wrong signal.

In the case of the “Kones”, meaning “Ice Cream Kones” wouldn’t it then be “Ice Kream Kones”? Is “Kream” too porny? And if the word “Kones” is standing alone, as it is on a neon sign at the Minnesota State Fair, why change it at all? I would think that “Cones” would get the point across just fine. We have shakes; we have root beer floats; we have malts; we have cones. Or is there something dirty about that?

Which brings me to the absolutely grotesque and incomprehensively altered “Kum & Go” chain of gas stations in Iowa and South Dakota. Unfortunately, this diverges on another path involving dirtily-named convenience stores, and that is a different essay.

But perhaps this marketing tendency could be useful for the purpose of informational differentiation—to show us what we are dealing with and expose differences. Because lately in America, there are too many people trying to cram themselves in under one heading: Christianity. Perhaps some of these high-profile Christians, the ones with the big mouths and their mitts in the democracy; the ones who vote their religious agenda and neglect reality; the ones who want everyone to submit (and not in a nice way) to their idea of what Christianity is; these neo-Christians, if you will, should adopt the “with a K” kutism and become Kristians. At least that way, the rest of us would know who is who. So the “Christian Group” praising Hurricane Katrina for wiping out the abortion clinics (klinics?) in New Orleans (along with hundreds of living, breathing Americans) would be “with a K” Kristians. The “Christian Leader” who calls for the assassination of an elected world leader would become a “Kristian Leader.” All the Governmental Christians who use religion as a cover while they advance their radically conservative agenda and harm those less fortunate (blessed are the peacemakers)? Kristians. And they can take their Kreationism (oops! Sorry. Intelligent Design) and their Kommandments and sit in the corner with Al-Qaeda (Kaeda?) until they are ready to play nice. Call it a time out for Jesus.

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