Friday, October 22, 2010




: the use of public appeals (as by a president) to influence the actions especially of business and labor leaders; broadly : the use of spoken persuasion

The word JAWBONING, in its presidential sense, specifically refers to the work of Lyndon B. Johnson in the mid-1960's. To deal with increasing inflationary measures, the administration JAWBONED big businesses into following government-imposed restrictions on price/wage increases, essentially to bribe said businesses with the freedom from future government regulation of industry. To add some more bodily metaphors: arm-twisting; also, you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours.

The word's core, JAWBONE, is a little less specific, and points in several directions:

1) A percussion instrument made from the jaw bone of a donkey, horse or mule. After the jaw bone is removed and cleansed, the teeth become loose and produce a rattling sound. Modern version: the vibra-slap.
2) One-man band, led by Bob Zabor. Renaissance man, of sorts. Also father of two. Runs Pinwheel Bakery in Ferndale, Michigan.
3) Manufacturer of "CNET's Highest Rated Headset. Ever." Military grade technology. Eliminates background noise. Apparently the headset "feels" your speech. The headset's glamorous appearance represents a "level of design innovation never before achieved in consumer electronics."

I beg to differ. Case in point: rhinestone calculators.

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