The ACME Corporation!

image

Acme n. [from Greek akme highest point of perfection or achievement] The canonical supplier of bizarre, elaborate, and non-functional gadgetry — where Rube Goldberg and Heath Robinson (two cartoonists who specialized in elaborate contraptions) shop. The name has been humorously expanded as A (or American) Company Making Everything. (In fact, Acme was a real brand sold from Sears Roebuck catalogs in the early 1900s.)

Describing some X as an “Acme X” either means “This is insanely great”, or, more likely, “This looks insanely great on paper, but in practice it’s really easy to shoot yourself in the foot with it.” Compare pistol. This term, specially cherished by American hackers and explained here for the benefit of our overseas brethren, comes from the Warner Brothers’ series of “Road-runner” cartoons. In these cartoons, the famished Wile E. Coyote was forever attempting to catch up with, trap, and eat the Road-runner. His attempts usually involved one or more high-technology Rube Goldberg devices — rocket jetpacks, catapults, magnetic traps, high-powered slingshots, etc. These were usually delivered in large wooden crates labeled prominently with the Acme name — which, probably not by coincidence, was the trade name of the animation rotation board used by cartoonists since forever. Acme devices invariably malfunctioned in improbable and violent ways.

— from the jargon definition of “acme” from Webster’s Dictionary

Posted from WordPress for Android

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s