pinking

Discuss word origins and meanings.

pinking

Post by Ken Greenwald » Wed May 22, 2013 7:26 pm

aaa
<2013 “A growing number of women who discover cancer in one breast are electing to have both breasts removed protectively, even without evidence that they are at genetic risk of having the disease spread. That kind of overreaction . . . reflects ‘the pinking of America,’ the high-profile campaigns to raise awareness about the risk of breast cancer: ‘we have overemphasized and scared people too much.’”—Time Magazine, 27 May, page 30>
PINKING?? A trip to the dictionaries didn’t provide any definition of ‘pink/pinking’ that seemed to fit. It wasn’t until I finally got the brilliant idea of doing a search on the pinking of America that I found the answer.

Ribbons of various colors have come to symbolize support or awareness for various causes (see here). The first wearing of ribbons of this type that I can recall is the yellow ribbons worn in lapels and tied around trees (the Ole Oak Tree) in support of the Americans being held during the Iran hostage crisis (1979-1981). Later they again appeared in support of our troops during the Gulf War (1991). A red ribbon became the color of choice in support of victims of AIDS (1991) and many other charitable organizations followed suit with colored ribbons of their own (see above link).

The pink ribbons – following on the idea of the yellow and red ribbons – first appeared in 1991 where they were worn by cancer survivors running in the Race for the Cure in New York City. In the 1990s businesses (Avon, Estée Lauder, . . .) began to team up with charitable organizations to have their names associated with various products in exchange for donations and today such realtionships are common and are very big business. (also see History of the Pink Ribbon)

The following is earliest example I came up with which uses the verb pinking and the phrase the pinking of America in the sense found in the above Time Magazine quote:
<2002 “Yet, not everyone is pleased with the pinking of America. A leading skeptic is Barbara Brenner, a two-time breast cancer survivor . . .”—Detroit News (Michigan), 29 October>
The following is from a more recent article:
<2011 “Welcome, Fans, to the Pinking of America: The Dallas Cowboys just got pinked. . . And not just the Cowboys. The entire Cowboys Stadium here. Pink is everywhere: around the goalposts, in the crowd, on the players’ cleats, towels and wristbands.

In case you haven’t noticed, October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, when the entire nation gets painted pink. This is also when ‘pink’ becomes more than a color: It becomes, for better or worse, a verb.

In marketing circles, ‘to pink’ means to link a brand or a product or even the entire National Football League to one of the most successful charity campaigns of all time. Like it or not — and some people don’t like it at all — the pinking of America has become a multibillion-dollar business, a marketing, merchandising and fund-raising opportunity that is almost unrivaled in scope. There are pink-ribbon car tires, pink-ribbon clogs, pink eyelash curlers — the list goes on.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Like Big Oil, Big Food and Big Pharma, Big Pink has its share of critics. Some patient advocates complain that Komen [[the cancer foundation Susan G. Komen for the Cure] and other pink-ribbon charities sugarcoat breast cancer, which kills about 40,000 American women and 450 men annually. Others complain that pink marketing, despite the many millions it raises for charities, is just another way to move merchandise and that it exploits cancer by turning it into an excuse to go shopping. And some pink-theme products have no relationship with any charities at all. . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .”—New York Times, 15 October> (see here for complete article)

And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the earliest example of pinking I came up with, which has nothing to do with the subject at hand. This pinking refers to the exposing of bare ‘pink’ skin in an act which saw its heyday in the 1960s and 70s beginning on college campuses – ‘streaking’ involves taking off one's clothes and running naked through a public place:
<1974 “If the nation had not regained its perspective on the generation gap before the streakers blossomed on the campuses, a platoon of experts would be emerging to interpret the significance of students who disrobe. They call this the ‘pinking’ of America, a bold, brilliant show of disdain for tired inhibitions.”—Toledo Blade (Ohio), 17 March, page 13>
____________________

Ken G – May 22, 2013 (who used to be in the pink (>:))
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Re: pinking

Post by Wizard of Oz » Sat May 25, 2013 9:44 am

.. it was America who donned the first pink ribbon but it is a well known International symbol for breast cancer .. I remember being in Bordeaux in 2011 and there was Three Graces fountain in Place de la Bourse with very large pink ribbons gracing the naked Graces and the water flowing pink .. in Australia we regularly have football teams having a breast cancer awareness day by wearing a pink version of their football jumper .. unfortunately you now have to have a colour index to associate each coloured ribbon with its source .. I understand that light blue is for Prostrate Cancer ..

Stop Press: .. ask and thou shalt receive >> ribbon colours for everything under the rainbow .. or over it ..

WoZ feeling colourful
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Signature: "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

Re: pinking

Post by Erik_Kowal » Sat May 25, 2013 10:00 am

I preferred it when the only pinking I encountered was the noise that told me my car's engine was starting to fail.
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Re: pinking

Post by Ken Greenwald » Sat May 25, 2013 4:12 pm

aaa
Wiz, No need to disrupt the press: Look and though shalt see – see my first link above. (<;)
___________________

Ken – May 25, 2013
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Re: pinking

Post by tony h » Sat May 25, 2013 10:27 pm

One use of pinking I have never understood and that is pinking shears : http://www.pandorasupholstery.co.uk/pro ... s/2_17.jpg
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Signature: tony

With the right context almost anything can sound appropriate.

Re: pinking

Post by Wizard of Oz » Sun May 26, 2013 2:21 am

.. ooooooooops .. my humble (looking for ribbon for duh awareness) apologies ..

WoZ wearing a rainbow
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Signature: "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

Re: pinking

Post by Erik_Kowal » Sun May 26, 2013 4:16 am

tony h wrote:One use of pinking I have never understood and that is pinking shears : http://www.pandorasupholstery.co.uk/pro ... s/2_17.jpg
That question crossed my mind too, so I decided to see what Michael Quinion has to say on the subject:
"The word pink is generally agreed to be derived from the similar Dutch word pinck. However, there are two theories about which sense of the Dutch word was involved, and how it became applied to the colour. One is that it came from pinck in the sense of “small” (which turns up in the modern English word pinky for “little finger”), through the expression pinck oogen “small eyes” — that is, “half-closed eyes” — and that this was borrowed into English and applied to the flowers of the common English cottage-garden species Dianthus plumarius, which has been called a pink since the seventeenth century. The other theory says it came from pinck in the sense of “hole” (which is the origin of pinking shears, the device used to make ornamental holes in cloth) and was applied to the flowers of Dianthus because they resembled the shape of the holes. Either way, the colour comes from the plant, not the other way round."
(Incidentally, the discussion I linked to above also covers a number of other colours.)

In another entry, devoted specifically to explaining the origin of pinky for 'little finger', Quinion adds some more details regarding the connections between pink and its cognates and the plant, the colour, the finger, the eye and the scissors.
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Re: pinking

Post by tony h » Tue May 28, 2013 4:34 pm

Erik: I can't believe Mr Quinon is correct with regard to Pinking Shears. so much so that I have posted this comment to him:

"which is the origin of pinking shears, the device used to make ornamental holes in cloth"

This didn't accord with my experience which is that Pinking shears have a practical purpose. When working woven cloth pinking controls fraying. Long threads pulling out are awkward for hand stitching and worse can catch on machinery damaging a garment in production.


This quote from Wikipedia seems correct:
Pinking shears have a utilitarian function for cutting woven cloth. Cloth edges that are unfinished will easily fray, the weave becoming undone and threads pulling out easily. The sawtooth pattern does not prevent the fraying but limits the length of the frayed thread and thus minimizes damage.
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Signature: tony

With the right context almost anything can sound appropriate.

Re: pinking

Post by plwimsett » Mon Mar 31, 2014 8:12 pm

The more generalised version of pinking is to cut with pinking sheers or scissors. It is apparently named after the flower "pink" which has scalloped edges. Though rarely used nowadays, their main purpose for some reason seems to be cutting off the corners of books.

Pinking can also refer to a small explosion (or ping) in an engine, or to pargeting, the decorative plastering to outer walls.
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Re: pinking

Post by trolley » Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:13 pm

Isn't what's happening (with regards to the Breast Cancer Campaign) a pinkening of America and not a pinking.
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Re: pinking

Post by Erik_Kowal » Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:03 pm

Or maybe even an empink(en)ing...
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Re: pinking

Post by trolley » Mon Mar 31, 2014 11:14 pm

Joseph McCarthy lost a lot of sleep over the empinkening of America.
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Re: pinking

Post by Erik_Kowal » Tue Apr 01, 2014 3:46 am

trolley wrote:Joseph McCarthy lost a lot of sleep over the empinkening of America.
That's because he was obsessed with turning in the reds under his bed instead of merely turning in; he was sleepless with zee-tattle.

Hence his resort to the pinko swear.
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Re: pinking

Post by Wizard of Oz » Wed Apr 02, 2014 3:39 am

The other theory says it came from pinck in the sense of “hole” (which is the origin of pinking shears, the device used to make ornamental holes in cloth) and was applied to the flowers of Dianthus because they resembled the shape of the holes.
.. my problem with this is that pinking shears do not make holes in fabric .. they are used to cut along the edge of fabric .. or naughty naughty along the edge of paper which blunts your shears .. if they make holes you are definitely using them incorrectly .. another term for similar shears is scalloping shears which produce a rounded pattern rather than the sawtooth pattern of pinking shears ..

.. plw I have to disagree with your observation on pinking shears just depends which circles you move in .. just a couple of weekends ago I was in company with about 400 women, and say 10 men, and all of them would have with them, or own a pair of, pinking shears .. it is true that overlockers and the wider range of stitches available on household sewing machines do make it easier to use other techniques to stop fraying .. craft uses for pinking shears has grown with the popularity of scrapbooking ..

WoZ making books (real books not scapbooking)
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Signature: "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

Re: pinking

Post by plwimsett » Wed Apr 02, 2014 6:17 am

Why are they called sheers though, when they're the size of scissors?
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