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Hello Kitty and the siege of the ivory tower

This damn cat is everywhere. I was going to use an equivalent expression with f's …

We interrupt ourselves with a dilemma that only a copyeditor / copy-editor / copy editor would understand.

Do you realize that it's not that simple to write the plural of a letter of the alphabet?

The Chicago Manual of Style: "Capital letters used as words, numerals used as nouns, and abbreviations usually form the plural by adding s. To aid comprehension, lowercase letters form the plural with an apostrophe and an s." So, how many Cs in occasion but mind your p's and q's.

Then you dive into The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage; The Times Style and Usage Guide; The Guardian Style Guide; The Associated Press Stylebook; the much-maligned Elements of Style by Strunk and White; A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations; Copy-editing: The Cambridge Handbook for Editors, Authors and Publishers; Fowler’s Modern English Usage.

Then you curse, eat chocolate, curse again and decide that you don't like f's: an apostrophe is for a possessive or a missing letter, not a plural. So you curse again, eat more chocolate and start again.

This damn cat is everywhere. I was going to use an equivalent expression with Fs – figure it out! – but then decided that propriety would prevail.

She has even infiltrated the sanctum sanctorum of Japan, the holiest of holies, the University of Tokyo. You can buy this file in the so-called Co-op, the shop on the university's Hongō campus:


I photographed it: a random photo that was taken at a random moment and randomly posted on Google+. A week later it's had 11 527 views, which is high for a page with a very small followership. Heh: the Followership of the Barbarian.

I once wrote a rather highfalutin post (link) about the Hello Kitty phenomenon. It has to be suitably swotty, since Ms Kitty is, after all, an alumna of above-mentioned institute. 

I'm not going to repeat everything, but I do want to quote myself in this paragraph, written almost three years ago:
What I can't figure out is why women would want to identify with her, or is this identification in itself a denial of adulthood and its unpleasant aspects? "Let me stay a small girl so that Daddy can always look after me; then I don't have to deal with nasty things like decisions and responsibilities."
I was therefore not surprised at all I read the following in a women's magazi …

I interrupt myself again. I never read women's magazines, except at my hairdresser, where there's nothing else to read except whatever I've got stored on my Kindle app. When I'm ensconced under a plastic cape, though, I page through monster publications more hefty than The Concise Oxford English Dictionary (240 000 entries and 1 728 pages). How can you read these magazines without turning into Anderson?


Mind-numbing rubbish about fashion and make-up and socialites and How To Be A Powerhouse Businesswoman While Achieving Orgasms In The Boardroom With The Help of Kegel Exercises And The New Stud Muffin In Sales.

Anyway.

I was not surprised at all when I glanced at the January 2015 issue of Marie Claire UK, which has an article entitled "The 8 Billion Dollar Cat".

Serendipity, and the fact that that damn cat is everywhere. She's more everywhere than elephants, and we all know that elephants follow me and that I follow trails of elephant dung. If you don't know it, you're new on this blog, aren't you?

The article quotes "Manhattan-based marriage and family therapist Dr Paul Hokemeyer", who says as follows:


I read his name as Pokemeyer, of course, but let's get back on topic.

Just after that article, Dru posted this article on Google+:
If you’re heading to Gunma Prefecture, soon one indoor hot spring will give you the chance to soak in the company of Hello Kitty.
Japan’s hardest working feline is branching out into yet another new venture as part of a tie-up with the Shima Grand Hotel … From January 9, the Meruhen no Yu is getting even more visual appeal, in the form of new Hello Kitty decorations, which will let you relax while gazing at the Sanrio icon.
While only guests of the hotel have access to the Meruhen no Yu, anyone is welcome to stop by the hotel’s Café Furo Resta, also scheduled to open January 9. Once again, Hello Kitty plays a starring role in the decor, appearing dressed in both kimono and hakama, the billowing pants which were especially popular among young women during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Aside from dining on fare such as curry and Japanese desserts made with locally grown sweet beans, visitors will be able to take pictures with the retro-clothed Kitty, and, of course, special limited-edition Hello Kitty merchandise is likely to be on sale as well.


Alternatively you can book a Hello Kitty room in the Keio Plaza Hotel:



Don't forget to take your disciplining partner.

Sherlock.

Riding crop.

宜しくお願い致します。

Edit added 15 December because this is just too good to ignore. I discovered it this morning when I Googled "Hello Kitty South Africa" (link).

The Hello Kitty Dictionary, published by Harper Collins, describes a necklace as "a piece of jewellery which a woman wears around her neck" and then adds "in South Africa, a name for a tyre filled with petrol which is placed round a person’s neck and set on fire in order to kill that person". Oh dear. I suppose one cannot shield young children from life's harsher realities for ever, but this might not be the best way to go about it. 


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