Tuesday, February 17, 2004

When Life Imitates 'The Onion' | One of the unheralded joys of working at a newspaper is watching stories move over the wire and laughing at the awkward way in which wire service writers and editors try to demonstrate their grasp of popular culture. This Reuters piece, for example, posted on CNN.com, includes the painful headline "Polaroid warns buyers not to 'Shake It'":

OutKast fans like to "shake it like a Polaroid picture," but the instant camera maker is warning consumers that taking the advice of the hip-hop stars could ruin your snapshots.

OutKast's number one hit "Hey Ya" includes the "shake it" line as a reference to the motion that amateur photographers use to help along the self-developing film.

But in the "answers" section on the Polaroid Web site, the company says that shaking photos, which once helped them to dry, is not necessary since the modern version of Polaroid film dries behind a clear plastic window.

Bear in mind, this is a song that has been played and played and played on about a zillion radio stations for months now. Reuters only just figured out that it might be able to squeeze a story out of the song by checking Polaroid's Web site? Regardless, I'd have killed to be in the room when the copy editor on that story searched frantically for the correct spelling of "OutKast."


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