How did we miss this one? (the "whizzinator")

Sam Clements SClements at NEO.RR.COM
Sun Apr 24 19:44:05 UTC 2005


a Google cache of the trademark/infringement case between the
"Urinator"(1998) and the "Whizzinator."  The Tennessee company seems to
think they have a leg up on the whizz guys.

Strikes me as just a pissing match.

sam clements

----- Original Message -----
From: "Laurence Horn" <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
Sent: Sunday, April 24, 2005 10:30 AM
Subject: How did we miss this one? (the "whizzinator")

> From today's cover story in the NYT Magazine, "Absolutely, Power
> Corrupts" by Michael (_Moneyball_) Lewis, on the overemphasis on home
> run hitting in the minor leagues and the concomitant abuse of
> anabolic steroids, which in turn leads to new and better schemes for
> evading the "putatively rigorous drug testing" in the minors, we have
> this observation (p. 48):
> "In 2003, players were going off into a separate room to fill a cup
> with urine; that was a joke.  Last year, the testers followed the
> players into the bathroom; steroid users were said to fill false
> penises--whizzinators, they called them--with clean urine and stick
> the down their pants."
> So I googled "whizzinator" and, lo and behold, 3760 hits.  While
> clearly the source is the trademarked product sold under that name
> (cf. it appears to have already
> undergone our favorite formation processes from earlier this spring:
> so-called genericide.  (Clearly, the use cited by Lewis involves a
> common noun and not the specific product marketed here as an "easy to
> conceal, easy to use urinating device with a very realistic
> prosthetic penis.* It has been extensively tested and proven to work
> under real-life conditions!")  So this item is already cozily
> ensconced in the lexicon and I've missed the whole process.  I can
> blame it on our local Stop and Shop for their failure to stock
> whizzinators in the false appendages aisle.
> Larry
> *P.S.  According to another site, it comes--oops, false
> advertising...better make that "it is marketed"--in "white, tan,
> latino, brown and black".  Presumably you can tell the Latino version
> by the accent, or the code-switching.

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