9.06.2005

You Have Violated My Fragging Rights

In this post, I talked about a crazy headline that used one-word sentences to create a hip little slogan. Unfortunately, it didn't hold together gramatically. In my library today, there was a giant check from Wal-Mart®, like this one:

BigLake_Walmart_lg

There, on the check, is Wal-Mart®'s do-good slogan:

Good. Works.


OK, now I get that they do "good works". And I even get that the act of doing good works out well in the end. Both of these meanings can be taken from the phrase. But what does the sentence "Good." mean? In the other example (Quality. Hometown. Care.), at least the three words were descriptors, and it kind of held together. This, I can't buy at all. To me, the sentence "Good." only works in this context:

SHE: I'm leaving, and never coming back!
HE: Good.

And the sentence "Works." just doesn't.

What is it with the sentence frag tag lines?* Do you have other examples? I know I've seen more...

*Oooh. Frag Tags. I like that.

9 comments:

polyglot conspiracy said...

Hmm. One thing I can say is that, in writing on the internet, "frags" (which I totally can't think of, by the way, without thinking "Fraggle Rock") are common as a means of emphasis. As in, "I love. This. Blog. So. Much." See a recent Language Log post mentioning them, as well as a post of my own.

I think this is probably the feeling they're going for:

"Good." - makes you think, "Ah, good! Good for me? Good for you? What is good? Good. Good is..."

"Works." - makes you think, "Ah, good works! We can do 'good works,' and good also works! I get it. Oh Wal-Mart. You're so witty. And emphatic. And. Stuff."

etc.

ACoolKid said...

Frag Tag:
You're.
It.

eric j. sherman said...

It all falls into the category of "not enough domains," I believe. They were probably setting up an email for people to respond to the Good Works program but their first choice had already been snatched by a Methodist congregation. Then they thought about using "mitzvah" but thought it might be too political. It ended up having to be good.works@gmail.com.

Dr. Phil: So, Cletus, everytime you get drunk, you get arrested... how's that working for you?
Cletus: Works.

Eric "Babe" Morse said...

pc: thanks for the links regarding (as Liberman puts it) "individual words presented as typographically separate sentences." I'm sticking with "frags", though it doesn't quite get the "for emphasis" part in there. And I almost went with a Fraggle reference in the post title, opting instead for an obscure Johnny Dangerously line.

ACK: Are fragtagbacks allowed?.

frank: you made me look up "goodworks"-ish domains. There are many variations, but I love the title on the Wal-Mart page:
"Wal-Mart Good. Works."
Forcing you to read, and say in your head:
"Wal-Mart Good."

eric j. sherman said...

Jane: Meijer is so expensive. I have no idea where to shop for Cheetah's birthday present.

Tarzan: Walmart Good.

pc said...

Wal-Mart Good.

Target Bad.

(currently taking bets on how many more jokes we can squeeze out of this, along with the puns on "frag/tag.")

Eric "Babe" Morse said...

How about:

emphragments

Does this get that it's a series of one-word sentences, punctuated for emphasis?

And (since y'all keep me thinking about this):
One I've seen somewhere that I like is "Real. Good." because it makes sense. It's real. It's good. It's real good. Not real good grammar, but hey.

eric j. sherman said...

emphrags
empfrags
oompfras
Oprah
Uma

TheLoof said...

My favorite television show, Monk has always been advertised: "Obssesive. Compulsive. Detective." Which I think is very clever, because each individual word in its own self is a part of him and his personality. Plus, it's cute because it's a play on OCD. That is what came to mind when I read your post. >.>