Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Great Googley-Moogley

I am switching my personal e-mail account.
Time Warner recently lost claim on the territory in which I live, and Comcast has become the defacto-ISP.

If you really want to feel overwhelmed, trying taking stock of all the on-line accounts you must manage. I am going through that process as I switch the e-mail address to which monthly statements and electronic payment notices are posted. Spent nearly two hours on this last night, and only got through the “E’s”, alphabetically.

There are mortgages and utilities, toll-road tags and E-bay accounts, not to mention bank accounts and cell phone companies. And the cable company, too. Wonder how Comcast is going to take it when I switch from Road Runner to an un-Comcast e-mail service.

Gmail seems to be the E-mail Provider of choice these days, operated by Google. Remember the first time you heard that name?

For me, it was in the newspaper comic strips, with Barney Google, Snuffy Smith, and the denizens of their realm in rural Appalachia. Barney Google was involved in boxing and horse racing in the original iteration of the strip, which Billy DeBeck created in 1919.

In 1934, Barney met up with Snuffy Smith, a North Carolina moonshiner, and the strip evolved into satirical social commentary seen through the googley eyes of its characters. DeBeck’s assistant, Fred Lasswell, took over drawing the strip in 1942. By 1950, Barney Google had been written out of the strip entirely, and it was known as "Snuffy Smith".

Lasswell’s inker, John Rose, inherited the cartoon after Lasswell’s death in 2001.

Interestingly, colorful phrases like “sweet mama," "horsefeathers," "heebie-jeebies," and "hotsie-totsie,” and euphemisms like “revenooers” and “flatlanders” entered the American English vernacular through the panels of this cartoon strip.

Who’d’ve ever dreamed a Googley-name would adorn a powerhouse company that is home to search engines and software applications. DeBeck and Lasswell would approve, I believe, of Google’s chameleon-like logo, that adopts various themes each day, while retaining its core image.

Could they comprehend a company demanding $675/share stock price? Perhaps, but it might give them the heebie-jeebies to think that revenooers keep trying to tax this new-fangled internet thang, or that Google is leading the vangard of open source software that will change the way we use and operate our cell phones.

Verizon is the latest to jump on the Android open-access software model.
Sweet-mama, indeed.

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