It's amaze

Christopher Philippo toff at MAC.COM
Wed Dec 11 13:35:56 UTC 2013

On Dec 11, 2013, at 7:46 AM, Amy West <medievalist at W-STS.COM> wrote:

> A fellow English adjunct, who’s younger than me, just ranted on FB about hearing Malcolm MacDowell say “amaze balls" (as she wrote it) on a TV commercial (Sprint?). My colleague was apoplectic. Does this count as catching on?
> I don't understand the -balls suffix.

There’s several ads like that; “Totes McGotes” is also used in them and evidently means “totally.”  The intention in using McDowell and James Earl Jones is humor, though I’m not sure why the company would think it would encourage anyone to spend money on their product.  Perhaps they’re aiming for the demographic that uses those words, which must be tweeners or younger.

I’ve never really understood commercials at all.  Negativland argued that Pepsi and Coke could stop advertising because they’ve achieved complete market penetration, people have their preference already (or don’t care), and that all that money could be spent on better things.  Makes sense to me.

Christopher K. Philippo

The American Dialect Society -

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