Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Sunday, April 05, 2021

Etsy seems to be picking up steam lately as the Web marketplace of choice for unique handmade giftware.

It’s a bit too artsy-craftsy for me (except maybe for the custom-crafted t-shirts). But the name “Etsy” itself is unusual enough to intrigue me — and others, too:

And what about the name Etsy? Where does it come from? Ah, that is the mystery. There’s been a thread about that question for more than a year and a half on the Etsy forum. Etsy developer Rokali/Rob has done nothing to clear the mystery up, and has even cranked up his own fog machine. First he hinted that the name is somehow related to Federico Fellini’s film 8½. In a brief television spot on the company, he suggested that the name is from Latin et si ‘and if’. Another Etsy developer, RevolvingDork, cryptically mentioned the sentence “IT’S A SECRET TO EVERYBODY!” on the forum, and pointed to a screen capture from a video game (which has since been removed). Someone picked up on the clue and conjectured that Etsy is based on that sentence: ignore the article a, make an acronym, reverse the letters, and replace the i with a y. Simple.

Way to milk it. Actually, thanks to my bilingualism in Greek and English, I detected something vaguely familiar about the sounded-out word, and so did someone else:

No fellow Greek people around here!? The moment I discovered that website, it was rather too clear to me what the name meant! The sound ‘etsi’ in greek is an actual word, an adverb, meaning: so, thus, in this way.

What way? The handmade way, of course! I’m no linguist, neither have any connections to the Etsy team, so I might be completely wrong… But I thought you might want to know my version of the story…!

I concur. So if I had to guess, I’d say Etsy is derived from the Greek έτσι. It conveys a spare simplicity, which matches the operating principle behind Etsy’s business. And if that’s not the case, well, it should be.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 04/05/2021 08:33:37 PM
Category: Internet, Wordsmithing
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Life imitates art, a generation and a hockey league removed: Christian Hanson, the son of Dave Hanson of Slap Shot fame, recently jumped from NCAA college hockey to the NHL by signing a two-year deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Damn sight better than his dad could have hoped for, even if the Johnstown Chiefs had been a real minor-league squad.

For the record: I never much cared for Slap Shot, despite it being designated as the definitive hockey movie of all time. It’s got its moments, but overall it’s an amateurish effort at replicating ’70s-era puck.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 04/05/2021 02:58:08 PM
Category: Hockey, Movies, Pop Culture
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I may or may not have detected a curious retro-tech trend this past week: The reemergence of giant, two-handed grip calculators from yesteryear.

I don’t know how widespread these oldstyle, single-purpose electronic devices are, in New York or elsewhere. I just know that I spotted them in the wild on three separate occasions recently: Twice on the subway, and once in a coffee shop. The two subway calculator owners were as different as can be: One was a burly old man, obviously an absentminded-professor type, while the other was a young woman probably in her mid-20s. The coffee-shop calculator was a 30ish woman. All three shared the same trait: They were all pounding away on their number-buttons, obviously skilled and practiced at wielding their number-crunchers. And the kicker: All of them seemed to be performing their calculations strictly on the fly — no notebook paper or anything else to record the results, just focused on performing electronic arithmetic in public.

With any number of other, more portable devices floating around (cellphones, netbooks, iPods, etc.) that have built-in calculators, I was thrown to catch sight of so many oldie models. And in all three cases, these were old-looking calcs, not the cutesy-modern models made for schoolwork.

What could be the appeal? Obviously they’d be a cheaper option. The display is pretty huge compared to a phone, so maybe there’s that appeal. Beyond that, I can’t figure it out.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 04/05/2021 01:45:48 PM
Category: Fashion, New Yorkin', Tech
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