Tuesday, April 14, 2009

GreTo to Headline Writers: Enough Already

I'm not sure when and where it all started, but I've had just about enough of these celebrity nicknames that combine first and last names. It all seems to have begun with FloJo back in the 80's but it was born anew with ARod and J-Lo about a decade ago. Commentators took Alex RODriguez and Jennifer LOpez and turned them into easily marketable products, highly identifiable by their brand. From there it has only gotten worse in both the sports world, and in Hollywood. ARod begot HRod, KRod and even Orioles second baseman BRob: Brian Roberts. Its all stupid, but at least they were common names that were morphed into easily identifiable monikers for the sake brevity.

In Hollywood that's not the case. With the exception of Jennifer Lopez, who had to separate herself from all the other famous Jennifer's most of the people with these shortened nicknames don't need them. Take for example Lindsay Lohan. If you are a person who is inclined to read gossip sites do you really need differentiation between her and say... Lindsay Graham? If a headline says "Lindsay's coke fueled bender" are you really stopping to wonder: Do they mean Lindsay Lohan? No. So why would they dub her LiLo? That is so fucking stupid!

An even more egregious example floated in front of my eyes when I logged on to check my email this morning. The headline read: "ScarJo Chews Up Media Over Superhero Diet". ScarJo. Seriously? Is that where we are now? This woman is one of the most famous actors in the world, and it's not like she is named Jane Smith or anything. You would think that she would fall into the Angelina & Madonna school of reference, where only a first name is needed. Again, if you are a person who is inclined to follow pop culture happenings who else would occupy the number one spot on your Scarlett Quick Reference Guide? Let's take a look at other possible candidates. Top 8 answers on the board, name a famous Scarlett/Scarlet:

Scarlett O'Hara: On the Family Feud big board she'd probably be second to Ms. Johansson in popularity, but she is A) Fictional and B) Would be dead today if she was real.

Will Scarlet: I don't know if he'd even make most people's Family Feud board anymore, because god knows people don't read anymore, but he's the third person I thought of. Again he both fictional and long dead.

Scarlet Fever: In a "Scarlet/Scarlett based word associate game this one is bound to come up. However, since it is a disease it really wouldn't need differentiation from a hot young actress. On the other hand, the story was about weight loss and having scarlet fever would cause you to lose weight.

Miss Scarlet: In my household this would be higher on the list than in most, because of Inky's great love of the movie Clue, but once again this person is fictional, and in some outcomes: a murderer.

Matthew Scarlett: He is another one who would be high on the list in my house, due to his status as one of the all time best fullbacks in the history of Aussie Rules Footy. Also for the fact he plays for our beloved Cats. I think it is a safe bet to say that he wouldn't be in danger of being confused with Ms. Johansson in the US anytime soon.

The Scarlet Pimpernel: Yet another literary reference and another fictional and long dead character. Despite his status as the O.G. masked crime fighter and progenitor of Batman and his ilk, I would guess that maybe 1 in 100 people under 25 would know who or what he is. As an upside, he would have pretty much the most badass "J-Lo" type nickname of all time: ScarPimp... I'm feeling a comeback. 50 Cent can star in it.

Scarlett the Cat. No, not Matt Scarlett the Geelong Cat, this is Scarlett the actual feline who was badly burned in a crackhouse fire in the mid 90's. If you didn't live in the greater New York area you may not have heard this story, and as it turns out, she died a few months ago so she too wouldn't be in danger of being confused with Ms. Johansson.

So there we have it. An exhaustive and ridiculous list of just about every other thing that might pop into your mind if you were to see Scarlett/Scarlet in a headline. I hope this proves that there is no reason to ever use ScarJo when referring to Scarlett Johansson. But, more than that, I hope we can all agree to get rid of this phenomenon all together. GreTo has spoken.
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