Every once in a while I realize that a word or title or phrase that I’ve known and used for a long time is actually a play on words or joke of some kind, and I realize that for years I’ve not gotten the joke.

The classic example is my favorite childhood TV show, Speed Racer. The theme song includes the refrain “Go, Speed Racer, go Speed Racer, go Speed Racer, go!” Speed drives the number 5 car, which is called the “Mach 5” In the original Japanese, the series and the car are called マッハごごご or “Mahha Go Go Go”. The word Go, being both the number five and an English import word appropriate for a racing car, is also the first name of the main character, Mifune Go. It was at least 20 years before I got the joke.

Recently, I looked in the sink at my office, and the familiar words “In Sink Erator” were written around the drain. I remember these words from childhood, as my house had the same brand of disposal. But as a child, I figured that “erator” was just a fancy word for “disposal”. It dawned on me today that “erator” isn’t a real word, and most people probably pronounce it to rhyme with “incinerator”. Made me wonder what people use the “In Sin Erator” for. Red hot indeed.

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