Wednesday, January 09, 2008

David Byrne and Wikipedia on IKEA Names

It's no secret to anyone who knows me that I fucking love the Talking Heads and I used to worship David Byrne as a god back in 1984 when I was 13.

Over the years I have developed my musical taste to include all styles, but there is still something fascinating about Talking Heads and especially lead singer David Byrne. He is one person I would love to meet... even though I've heard he is not that personable. He did, after all, pen the lyrics: "They say compassion is a virtue, but I don't have the time."

Anyway, I swear the man is a genius. On par with Shaun William Ryder even. Here is an excerpt from his blog... about IKEA names.

"Why does everything have weird names? Every container, shelf, cabinet or appliance had some odd name, as if people from Planet Sweden anthropomorphized these objects, naming each one they encountered as best they could**:


Yes David, everything at IKEA is named funny. And you can buy pickled herring there, and Marabou chocolate, lingonberry jam, meatballs, and even Bilar... and those things are wonderful. It's no suprise you would write about a trip to IKEA in your blog. You've been to Sweden... I know... I visited a very strange art exhibit you built in Liljeholmen a few years back.

But how the hell does IKEA name there furniture? A quick trip to Wikipedia will tell you...

Product names

IKEA products are identified by single word names. Most of the names are either Swedish, Danish, Finnish or Norwegian in origin. Although there are some notable exceptions, most product names are based on a special naming system developed by IKEA.[2]

* Upholstered furniture, coffee tables, rattan furniture, bookshelves, media storage, doorknobs: Swedish placenames (for example: Klippan)
* Beds, wardrobes, hall furniture: Norwegian place names
* Dining tables and chairs: Finnish place names
* Bookcase ranges: Occupations
* Bathroom articles: Scandinavian lakes, rivers and bays
* Kitchens: grammatical terms, sometimes also other names
* Chairs, desks: men's names
* Materials, curtains: women's names
* Garden furniture: Swedish islands
* Carpets: Danish place names
* Lighting: terms from music, chemistry, meteorology, measures, weights, seasons, months, days, boats, nautical terms
* Bedlinen, bed covers, pillows/cushions: flowers, plants, precious stones; words related to sleep, comfort, and cuddling
* Children's items: mammals, birds, adjectives
* Curtain accessories: mathematical and geometrical terms
* Kitchen utensils: foreign words, spices, herbs, fish, mushrooms, fruits or berries, functional descriptions
* Boxes, wall decoration, pictures and frames, clocks: colloquial expressions, also Swedish placenames

Still... no word on where Jerker fits into all of this.

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