Wednesday, July 4, 2012

crab apple--a link

I just noticed that Michael Sheehan has a nice post up over at Word Mall about the term "crab apple". I suppose it might be cheating a bit to just send you on over there, but that's what I'm going to do. Before you go, though, I thought I'd say a bit about my own associations to the word, as this term is really one of the first word things I ever conjectured about.
It's not that we had crab apples lying about the place. In fact, I'm not sure I've ever met a crab apple. But when I was a very small child there was an evil cartoon character called Crabby Appleton. I always thought he was on "Felix the Cat", but apparently he was on a cartoon called "Tom Terrific". Here is his theme song:

'My name is Crabby Appleton,
I'm rotten to the core
I do a bad deed every day,
and sometimes three or four.
I can't stand fun for anyone,
I think good deeds are sappy,
I laugh with glee, it pleases me,
when everyone's unhappy!'

Not long after I became acquainted with Mr. Appleton, I started walking to kindergarten. I remember my mom walking me to school the first day and showing me the landmarks.  As it was a straight shot from the Lincoln Place Apartments where we lived, this wasn't exactly rocket science, but she did tell me to notice that the street sign said Appleton Street. Like Crabby Appleton, I said. In fact, in my memory it was Crab Apple St., but a quick map quest showed me otherwise.

Crabby Appleton, you may be a villain, but thanks for getting a girl to school anyway.

Here is the link to Word Mall on crab apples, and other forms of crabby.


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  2. I have long known about crab apples, I've been called one a time or two in my life, and I've even bitten into them. I also used to watch "Tom Terrific" in my early youth. But I had not known about Word Mall, so thanks.

  3. I had completely forgotten about Tom Terrific. I don't know if recovering him makes this post worthwhile or not, but it does make it fun.

    I've heard the show was developed by Roger Smirh.


  4. In fact, you missed another error in my post. Too late, though. I've corrected it.

  5. I'm not really a copyeditor by temperament, so I don't really care about typos, etc. within the post itself, but I think it's worthwhile to catch title errors because that's what directs potential readers to the post itself.

    Although I am often amused by error. Today, my fellow staff member was trying to ring through a sale of some who knows what sort of knick knack called Sweet Treats. We were each bemused to notice that it came up on the register as Sweat Treats, and we had a little fun speculating on what these could possibly be.

  6. The error you missed was comparable in magnitude to the one you caught.

    I will say no more, other than that we could use some Sweat Treats on the East Coast these days.

  7. I have to say that they sound more like something coated in sweat than salvation to me.

    Yeah, I'm not envying most of the rest of the country at the moment.

  8. Yeah, I make almost as many costume changes in the course of a day as Diana Ross.

  9. nice posting.. thanks for sharing.

  10. That was a great memory to share, Seana. I don't think I ever saw Crabby Appleton, but I did love Felix the Cat. - Janet

  11. Thanks, Janet. I was surprised how many details I had wrong. I could have sworn it was Felix the Cat, and that the street was called Crabapple. I also am not sure I could actually read that well when I went to kindergarten, so I don't know why my mom would have been pointing out street signs. But I could read some, so maybe she did...

  12. What can I say, Peter? I am not a fan of the Simpsons, and hardly even know the names of the main characters, let alone the secondary ones.

  13. I remember your once having mentioned that you had seldom seen The Simpsons. That's why I thought I'd enlarge your frame of reference and show the extent to which crab apples have penetrated popular culture and, at the same time, bring the discussion back to a cartoon.

  14. I appreciate the cultural detail, even though I don't really want the Simpsons in my own particular frame of reference.

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