Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Mon Dec 4 14:56:11 UTC 2006

Awesome new blend, just in time for the holidays. Note that this
article provides scare quotes for "pornament" in the headline but not
for the three instances in the text.

(Local 6, WKMG-TV, Central Florida, Dec. 1, 2006)
X-Rated 'Pornament' Christmas Decorations Raise Eyebrows
Opponents Say Items 'Defame' Christmas
Several new holiday decorations considered X-rated are being sold in
Florida at a store popular with young children, according to a report.
Six controversial ornaments, which can be purchased for $9 at
Spencer's stores in Jacksonville and other parts of Florida, include
an X-rated snowman and reindeer.
A television station reported that the pornaments can be found on
store shelves at the Regency Square Mall in Jacksonville in plain view
of children and to anyone who walks into the Spencer's stores.
Store workers said that there were no restrictions on who can purchase
the pornaments in the store.
"It is just sad they have to stoop to this kind of thing to defame
Christmas," Hillcrest Baptist Church Rev. Jim Patterson said. "It says
we are nothing more than sexual acts or psychical being and we are
much more than that. We are spiritual beings and this is a spiritual
holiday. And, why bring it to that level. It makes no sense to me."
Some shoppers said they like the item and that they would make a great
gag gift this holiday season. "I think they are kind of funny and they
don't offend me," a shopper said in the report.
Officials at Spencer's headquarters had no comment on the items.
However, the back of the boxes say, "Unlike those other elves, we know
everyone on the list (even the naughty ones) needs to have a smile and
a laugh this time of year."
The pornaments are also available online.

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

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