Monday, May 19, 2014

”How about some good hot coffee?”

[Life, November 15, 1954.]

This advertisement supposes an attentive audience, prepared to read every word. Did it work? It works with me. I am helpless before it. I surrender, gladly, and identify, if only for a moment, with that railroad man. I, too, welcome the question “How about some good hot coffee?” — with or without italics. I, too, welcome a “Coffee-break” — with or without a capital C, with or without quotation marks.

According to the Wikipedia article Break (work), the Pan-American Coffee Bureau was instrumental in popularizing the term coffee-break . Life has several 1952 advertisements with the Bureau’s full-length slogan, “Give yourself a coffee-break . . . and get what coffee gives to you.” Here’s one. The Oxford English Dictionary dates the term to 1951. Time (March 5, 1951): “Since the war, the coffee break has been written into union contracts.”

120 Wall Street was and is a skyscraper.

I am still peering ahead, as if looking for signals.

Related reading
Coffee and repetition (Submitted for Your Perusal)
All OCA coffee posts (Pinboard)

comments: 2

Pete said...

Those first few sentences (through the quotation) are a rather nice intro to a short story. But, sadly, everything after that descends into ad copy. I might have to write that story myself.

Michael Leddy said...

Yes, but what ad copy. “It’s full of flavor — and for only pennies a cup.”:)