embarrasing erroneous stress

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Sun Oct 30 16:28:53 UTC 2005

The post-World War I shoulder patch of the Army's 1st Infantry Division consists of a large red numeral one on a dark, five-sided ground. A new computer game based on the campaigns of the  in WWII is called after the Division's allusive public relation's name, "The Big Red One," which was also the title of a 1980 war film directed by 1st Division veteran Sam Fuller.

As one might expect, the phrase in question is customarily stressed as "Big Red ONE."  But TV commercials touting the game stress it as "Big RED One."

This blunder (does anybody use the synonym "boner" anymore?) reminds of me of an allusively satirical slogan circulating during the Vietnam War, "If you have to be one, be a big _red_ one."


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