Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Soap -- "Make the Sniff Test Yourself"

Dynamic English strikes again! Here's a word that has adopted another meaning, and one we all use. When a person tells you they've been "watching soaps," you know they don't mean to say they were in the bath all day long.

Today a "soap" or "soap opera" is a drama series on radio or TV. Originally these shows were sponsored by soap manufacturers such as Procter & Gamble, hence the adoption of an unlikely word.

One of the early TV shows was "Death Valley Days." It made the famous "20-Mule Team" brand of borax washing crystals even more famous. That, too, is peculiar. As a name for a brand it's not one that would be recommended by any modern advertising executive.

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