More holidays and anniversaries

Here in the U.S., it’s July 4th: Independence Day. So yesterday was, I suppose, Independence Eve. The 2nd was a notable anniversary, of the signing of the (U.S.) Civil Rights Act (of 1964, so that’s a 50th anniversary). And the 1st was Canada Day, to the north of us.

Independence Day. This remembrance of the signing of the U.S. Declaration of Independence is an occasion for parades, fireworks, and picnics. And of course attempts to take commercial advantage of the occasion, attempts that incline advertisers to word play. Two examples: from the Think Geek people and from the gay porn firm Channel 1 Releasing:


Go fourth!


Masturbatory yank your doodle dandy, plus merely suggestive make fireworks.

The Civil Rights Act. From the Wikipedia article:

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (… enacted July 2, 1964) is a landmark piece of civil rights legislation in the United States that outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. It ended unequal application of voter registration requirements and racial segregation in schools, at the workplace and by facilities that served the general public (known as “public accommodations”).

(Nice op-ed piece by law professor Sheryll Cashin — “Justice for Blacks and Whites” — in the July 2nd NYT.)

Canada Day. On the day:

Canada Day (French: Fête du Canada) is the national day of Canada, a federal statutory holiday celebrating the anniversary of the July 1, 1867, enactment of the British North America Act, 1867 (today called the Constitution Act, 1867), which united three colonies into a single country called Canada within the British Empire. (Wiklipedia link)

The occasion inspired Mark Liberman on Language Log to consider popular views of Canadian apologizing (“Canada Day: Sorry!”), illustrated with two serial comics on the subject: a Questionable Content here and a Something Positive here.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: