About Alexandra Heep

About Alexandra Heep: The internet has allowed allowed Alexandra to maintain a semblance of life when encountering an unexpected, lingering health crisis. The Internet is a lifeline which not only allows her to remain connected to friends, but also survive, via writing.While Alexandra Heep is her pen name, she does not hide behind it. Instead, she used it to brand herself on the Internet and to create opportunities.

Alexandra published her first book, a collection of her best poems, on July 11, 2012. You can buy it at Lulu.com

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

What's In a Name?

I am a huge NASCAR fan, so as usual, I was watching yesterday. No, not the race, I watch everything that goes with it - practice, qualifying, etc - because that is when you get the scoop on everyone and what is going on behind the scenes. Also, you get to see interviews of your favorite drivers who otherwise get ignored if they are not running top 10, or if their name isn't Dale Earnhardt Jr.

During one segment, they were interviewing one of my favorite drivers in the Nationwide Series, Trevor Bayne. Now, if you have any knowledge of NASCAR at all you know that drivers have very prominent sponsors displayed on their race cars. No sponsors - no racing. Trevor Bayne's sponsor happens to me OUT! Pet Care, which is exactly how it appears on the hood of his car. Well, with colors and circles and all that but of course I can't duplicate that here.

I like cats, and cats are pets, so I went online and checked out the website. That is when I found out that OUT! has products like dog training pads and other items that are advertised to remove dog stains and odors. Well, they call it "pet" stains but the whole website is all about dogs, with pictures of dogs. I know that dogs are pets, but other animals are pets too. I went to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary and this is the definition of pet: "a domesticated animal kept for pleasure rather than utility."

Are dogs the only pets out there? Do only dogs cause pet stains? During my adult life, I have had plenty of animal species kept for purposes other than utility so in my mind that makes them all pets. I can safely say from experience they all cause "pet" stains. Ever tried cleaning up after a ferret? Or a snake when it does its business? This is what I was thinking about during the commercials. I may sound like an anal retentive nerd, but if it is okay to think about beer, sex, women, shopping, chores etc (depending on your gender) during commercials, I think it is quite alright for me to think about language.

As someone whose native language is not English, I rely on literal translations of words to make sure I use the correct ones. Or, as an ex-boyfriend once said to me: "Must you be so bloody literal?" So, where anyone else probably would lay this matter to rest, my mind went back to another "pet-related" incident years ago. My (at the time) eight year old daughter kept seeing Pet Smart commercials saying you could bring your "pets" to the store. She had a cat and I am sure you can see where this is going. Yes, I was the idiot who listened to my daughter's wish and brought her cat inside the Pet Smart to take it shopping. Needless to say the cat was not at all happy with all the dogs in the store, but that is another blog.

Why this obsession over one product and name? If you have any friends at all who are into NASCAR you know that a lot of us will buy certain products to support their favorite drivers - and stay away from others. I know of several guys who will pass up a Lowe's and drive farther to a Home Depot. Not because they like Joey Logano (whose sponsor is Home Depot), but because they do not like Jimmie Johnson (whose sponsor is Lowe's). Of course this works the other way around as well.

Also, it goes deeper than that. I am a person who does not like assumptions. If you see the word "pet" somewhere, people should not have to assume it is for dogs exclusively. If you are selling dog products, call them dog products. I could discuss this concept further when applied to targeting people in mass advertising, but my domesticated animal that I keep for pleasure wants her dinner.

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