06 December 2014

X, Y, Z

By chance last night, I discovered that ME tv, one of my high DVR channels which shows a wide variety of shows from Perry Mason to Cheers, also airs Wonder Woman.

I loved it as a kid. Still love her theme music sans the goofy lyrics. And the gymnastics done as Wonder Woman are cool including her high jumps which must have been by trampoline? Those are still very cool.

I watched an episode, fortunately from the later years when it was shifted from World War 2 time to present day. Wonder Woman works as Diana Prince in a government agency sort of like a special agent for the FBI.

In this episode, 3 scientists have unwittingly worked to create a terrible weapon, realized it, destroyed their notes, but are now being abducted and replaced by androids.

The codename of the project? XYZ.

Really? It sounded like a placeholder name to me, as though someone had written a Star Trek script and put in "technobabble" where technical speech was to be added later. On Grey's Anatomy, they write "medical medical" where specific medical jargon is to be added later.

But no, the ominous weapon in this episode was Project XYZ.

And they said it at least 50 times, possibly closer to 100 times, in the course of the episode. That took some discipline to say "Project XYZ" or "the XYZ weapon" seriously over and over and over.

Here's a go to tip if you've got a placeholder name like XYZ in your script or story: use a letter from the Greek alphabet or two. Not three because then it will sound like a frat house. Or pick any name from mythology, bonus points if you go more obscure with Incan, Egyptian, or Indian instead of Greek.

Project Omicron, the Theta weapon, Project Osiris, the Shiva weapon: all more ominous than XYZ which feels like another way of saying "and so forth."

A year ago on TTaT: Life of Art SitRep #200 Two hundred? Woohoo!

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