The Quick 10: 10 Cereals That Will Give You a Toothache Just By Reading About Them

I could probably eat cereal for every meal. I love Franken-Berry, but I only allow myself to have it once a year (at Halloween, of course). Otherwise I would probably go through the whole box in a day, because I'd eat it for every meal and snack on it dry. Despite my love of cereal, I find these 10 kind of questionable. And if you remember one from your childhood that definitely wouldn't make it to the shelves these days, tell us what it was in the comments.

1. Sir Grapefellow was "grape-flavored oat cereal with sweet grape starbits." I don't want me oats to taste like grapes. Sir Grapefellow himself was a British Flying Ace, circa WWI.

2. Kombos. "Orange-flavored flakes of corn." I don't think corn flakes should taste like fruit, either.

3. Baron von Redberry was Grapefellow's arch nemesis! As his German counterpart, Redberry's cereal was berry-flavored oat flakes with sweet berry marshmallows. Word is, it tasted a lot like fruit punch.
4. Quisp and Quake. Quisp is still sold in my local grocery store. It's "vitamin-powered sugar cereal!" Quisp supposedly tastes like Cap'n Crunch but with a texture that won't cut your gums when you bite into it (can any _flossers verify this?) and Quake was similar, but shaped like gears instead of saucers.

OKS5. OKs. The idea isn't that bad, I don't think - essentially, they're the same as Alpha-Bits. I think it's just the execution of the idea I find a little odd. The dude's name is Big Otis. He had a bit of dialogue on the cereal box: "I am the big oat man from Scotland. And OKs are made of oats. These new Kellogg's OKs are the biggest thing that's happened to oats in 25 years. They are on their way to being the new favorite of kids and adults everywhere. Here's the meat of the oats in it's tenderest, tastiest form. Flavored as only Kellogg's knows how. OKs are rich in special oat protein. Aye, and OKs oats come to breakfast tasting better than you've ever imagined. They're K - E - Double L - O - Double Good!" Thanks to Topher's Breakfast Cereal Guide for the text.

6. Sprinkle Spangles. The cereal was star shaped, and each piece was supposed to be covered in sprinkles. Dom DeLuise was the voice of the Sprinkle Spangles genie, who liked to claim, "You wish it, I dish it!" Photo from X-Entertainment

surprize7. Surprize. AGGGHH!! The spelling, for one, is completely hideous! "Mr. Wonderfull's Surprize"? It burns my retinas. But the very idea of creamy chocolate ("chocolate flavor") lurking in each individual piece of cereal makes me a little urpy. I don't like when there's an unexpected substance in the middle of my food. It's why I don't like raisins in bread or cookies and it's why I can't eat doughnuts with pudding or jelly in the middle. Ew. Sorry for the rant; this one just really grossed me out.

8. KABOOM seems to be similar to other fruit-flavored cereals, except for the terrifying circus theme. That's probably just me, though. It's particularly notable because it was the box of cereal used in the Kill Bill scene where Vernita Green unexpectedly pulls a gun from the box, shoots through it and sends cereal flying all over the kitchen. Get it, "KABOOM!" Oh, that Quentin Tarantino.

BIG MIXX9. Bigg Mixx was sold for only a year in the early '90s, and seems to have basically been a mash-up of whatever leftover cereals the company had after packaging everything else. They pretty much just dumped a bunch of different cereals together and called it Bigg Mixx. I'm strangely intrigued. Anyone ever try this one?
10. Orange Blossom Cereal. This one was named after Strawberry Shortcake's buddy and was an "Artificial orange flavor-frosted corn cereal." I think I just can't get past orange-flavored cereal.

How Do You Stress the Word: THANKSgiving or ThanksGIVing?

Here’s something else to stress about for Thanksgiving: where to put the stress in the word Thanksgiving.

If you’re from California, Iowa, or Delaware, you probably say ThanksGIVing, with the primary stress on the second syllable. If you’re from Georgia, Tennessee, or the Texas Panhandle, you probably say THANKSgiving, with the primary stress on the first syllable.

This north-south divide on syllable stress is found for other words like umbrella, guitar, insurance, and pecan. However, those words are borrowed from other languages (Italian, Spanish, French). Sometimes, in the borrowing process, competing stress patterns settle into regional differences. Just as some borrowed words get first syllable stress in the South and second syllable stress in the North, French words like garage and ballet get first syllable stress in the UK and second syllable stress in the U.S.

Thanksgiving, however, is an English word through and through. And if it behaved like a normal English word, it would have stress on the first syllable. Consider other words with the same noun-gerund structure just like it: SEAfaring, BAbysitting, HANDwriting, BULLfighting, BIRDwatching, HOMEcoming, ALMSgiving. The stress is always up front, on the noun. Why, in Thanksgiving alone, would stress shift to the GIVE?

The shift to the ThanksGIVing pronunciation is a bit of a mystery. Linguist John McWhorter has suggested that the loss of the stress on thanks has to do with a change in our concept of the holiday, that we “don’t truly think about Thanksgiving as being about thankfulness anymore.” This kind of thing can happen when a word takes on a new, more abstract sense. When we use outgoing for mail that is literally going out, we are likely to stress the OUT. When we use it as a description of someone’s personality ("She's so outgoing!"), the stress might show up on the GO. Stress can shift with meaning.

But the stress shift might not be solely connected to the entrenchment of our turkey-eating rituals. The thanksGIVing stress pattern seems to have pre-dated the institution of the American holiday, according to an analysis of the meter of English poems by Mark Liberman at Language Log. ThanksGIVing has been around at least since the 17th century. However you say it, there is precedent to back you up. And room enough to focus on both the thanks and the giving.

TAKWest, Youtube
Watch Boris Karloff's 1966 Coffee Commercial
TAKWest, Youtube
TAKWest, Youtube

Horror legend Boris Karloff is famous for playing mummies, mad scientists, and of course, Frankenstein’s creation. In 1930, Karloff cemented the modern image of the monster—with its rectangular forehead, bolted neck, and enormous boots (allegedly weighing in at 11 pounds each)—in the minds of audiences.

But the horror icon, who was born 130 years ago today, also had a sense of humor. The actor appeared in numerous comedies, and even famously played a Boris Karloff look-alike (who’s offended when he’s mistaken for Karloff) in the original Broadway production of Arsenic and Old Lace

In the ’60s, Karloff also put his comedic chops to work in a commercial for Butter-Nut Coffee. The strange commercial, set in a spooky mansion, plays out like a movie scene, in which Karloff and the viewer are co-stars. Subtitles on the bottom of the screen feed the viewer lines, and Karloff responds accordingly. 

Watch the commercial below to see the British star selling coffee—and read your lines aloud to feel like you’re “acting” alongside Karloff. 

[h/t: Retroist]


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