Friday, June 15, 2012

SAF-T-HED Thumb Tacks

[Life, January 11, 1960.]

I found this (in reality tiny) advertisement while looking, as usual, for something else. Before seeing this ad, I never thought about the danger of pin passing “thru head.” Now I’ll be unable to press on a thumbtack without thinking about that danger. Ouch. I like though the idea that our nation once had a favorite thumbtack. Imagine the conversations.

The American Tack Company, founded in 1937, lives on as AmerTac, “a decorative home accent company,” making everything but thumbtacks.

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[This post is for Gunther, who appreciates thumbtacks.]

comments: 7

Jazzbumpa said...

Interesting observation on trivia.

I note, though, your propensity to insert a "though" mid-sentence without setting it off by commas.

Seems as though, though, they might improve the writing.


Michael Leddy said...

Thanks for your comment, JzB. Garner’s Modern American Usage: “Commas frequently set off an adverb that doesn’t need setting off.” Garner gives a sample sentence beginning “We therefore . . . .” I wouldn’t say it’s a mistake to have commas with though in my sentence, but I don’t think they’re necessary. I would think of commas here as a matter of seasoning: use to taste.

Jazzbumpa said...

Point taken. However, I think the "therefore" case is a bit different, since it will lead directly into whatever follows. In contrast, your "though" interrupts the flow of an otherwise unremarkable sentence in a rather arbitrary fashion.


"I like the idea, though, . . .,"

which somehow seems more sensible to me;


"Though I like the idea . . ."

Which I find to be greatly preferable.

In the latter case, I would agree no comma, because of continuous uninterrupted flow.

Upon further reflection, I think I object to the word placement about as much as I do the lack of commas.

YMMV, of course.


Michael Leddy said...

I can see the word filling different slots, but I like it where it is for the way it makes the contrast: I don’t like the idea of the pin going into my thumb. I like though the idea that, and so on.

Thanks for looking closely at this sentence and for making me look closely at it too.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hey, if over analyzing is apropos, then I'm your man.


Gunther said...

Thank you very much, Michael - I feel honoured!

Michael Leddy said...

You’re welcome, Gunther!