Homophonic spree

23 February 2005

There’ve been some radio adverts recently* for need2know.co.uk starring Tom Baker, a website about, er, stuff (despite visiting it I haven’t much idea what it’s meant to be for). As well as noting “that’s ripping off NTK‘s name, surely?”, I’ve also thought “that URL is a bitch to advertise on radio, as you have to tell people it’s a number ’2′, else they end up here instead”.

Then on further reflection, I realised it was worse than I thought. After all, ’2′ could not just be misinterpreted as ‘to’, but also ‘too’ and ‘two’. Similarly, ‘need’ could be ‘knead’ and ‘know’ could be ‘no’ as well – so there are 16 different ways of deciphering those words upon hearing them. So, a big ‘well done’ on whoever came up with the idea advertising one of the most homophone-laden URLs possible on the radio.

On a related note – McSweeney’s list of e-mail addresses it would be really annoying to give out over the phone.

* I say ‘recently’, I’ve only started re-listening to radio this week after buying a nice shiny digital radio.


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