Words still mean things

We all knew why the infamous H&K catalog depicted cartridges loaded backwards in a pistol magazine – photographers are not necessarily knowledgeable in the fields of their client’s businesses. In the gun industry however, we have Oleg.

I only bring this up to point out, once again, that a cartridge is not a bullet, any more than a tank of gasoline is an automobile.

The bullets shown on the catalog cover were not backwards. They were seated in the cases in the proper orientation. The cartridges however were inserted backwards into the magazine. Some people have loaded bullets backwards so as to achieve some desired terminal effect, as was explained in John Ross’ book for example.

If you walk into a gun store and ask for bullets, they’ll show you the bullets. If you ask for cartridges, they’ll bring you to the shelves of loaded ammunition. The standard, “Well you know what I mean so quit yer damn nitpicking” only comes after you’ve cleared up the misunderstanding that will certainly ensue when you use the wrong words.

Later I’ll post a story about my using one wrong letter in one word in a correspondence with a customer, and what happened because of it.

Anyway; many years ago we hired a sketch artist to depict a saxophone in a humorous cartoon advertisement. It was going to be an ad by a music instrument dealer, directed at musicians, so we wanted it to be accurate (we wanted our humor to be taken seriously). Since we knew the artist was not a sax player, we brought her in, showed her the various signature features of a sax, and then gave her one to study before doing the artwork. The ad also involved a dinosaur, so we had her look up that particular species of dinosaur and study it. That’s the kind of thing Walt Disney did for his cartoonists, and so it’s far from being a new concept. He brought a live fawn into the studio for his artists to study before doing the movie “Bambi”.

One thought on “Words still mean things

  1. There’s a quatrain that applies here:

    “A bullet comes out of the barrel,
    A cartridge goes into the breach
    As you carefully select your apparel,
    You should do the same with your speech.

    Colonel “Jeff” Cooper

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