Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Ah, 1975...a simpler time, when one could market a board game like this with a straight face: Seriously, does the phrase "ball-buster" in its colloquial sense really not go back to the mid '70s? I have to think this is an intentionally racy ad campaign, because otherwise an enraged man screaming "you're a ball-buster" at his wife seems an odd way to sell wholesome family fun. Actually, any way you slice it, it just doesn't seem right. I suppose it was just a flawed marketing campaign, and that's why I'm not playing Virtual Ball-Busting on the Xbox tonight.

UPDATE: The OED traces "ball-buster" back to 1954, and "ball-busting" to 1944, though it seems to have really come into its own in '74 or so. In fact, a 1975 citation describes the term as a "graphic, forceful expletive," which makes its use in a television commercial the same year a bit odd. I'd say it's some sort of dry-witted parody, but apparently it ran during the Super Bowl.

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