Dot Com


PALMER ON CAM ON STREET: In every era there are words, phrases and rhetorical devices we soon hate. LIKE, for instance, which teenagers have, like overused so much that, like, you can't talk to them anymore, you know? In the catch phrase category, "Is that your final answer" has had a meteoric rise to loathsomeness--possibly because comes with an image of Regis Philbin, kind of like "I am not a crook" comes with an image of, well, you know. But for me, everything that's come before pales in comparison to a one-and-a-half-word expression that has landed on society like a huge black cloud of tsetse flies. And what's even more depressing is this particular phrase serves a functional purpose, so it will probably be with us for a long time. The phrase is dot com.

MONTAGE OF ADS, ETC. LISTING A WEBSITE, WITH EMPHASIS ON THE DOT COM PART/VO [voiceover]: These days, it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that dot com. Businesses are identified solely by their dot coms, and are proud of it. People go to work not for companies, but for dot coms. If you identify yourself as working for a dot edu or even, god help you, a dot org, your listeners roll their eyes, look sad, and then they won't cash your check.

PALMER ON CAM AT COMPUTER: Dot com has taken over our lives when we weren't looking. So were did this ubiquitous plague come from? There's only one place to research such a question. One goes not to the public library dot com, but to the net. (palmer turns to computer and types)

COMPUTER SCREEN W/ DOT COM BEING ENTERED/VO: Just enter www dot com dot com, and wait smugly for a wealth of information to spew forth. Except that it doesn't, because there is no dot com dot com.

COMPUTER SCREEN: NO SUCH LISTING/VO: Or if there is, it's a secret, unattainable site operate by a mysterious cabal out to rule the world. And succeeding. There isn't a dotcoms dot com, either, or dotscom dot com.

COMPUTER SCREEN: DOT.COM/VO: Dot dot com exist, but it's the web site of Distributed Operations Technologies, and they sound just as suspicious as dot com dot com.

COMPUTER SCREEN: DOT COMM: But you can come close: the web has Dot comm. Dot com, which is some kind of transportation company.

COMPUTER SCREEN: DOT CALM: dot calm dot com, which has been for sale since 1997;

COMPUTER SCREEN: CALM DOT: And calm dot dot com, which plays tranquil music for people who are so screwed up they go to their computers looking for tranquility.

COMPUTER SCREEN: MOCTOD/VO: For those interested in palindromes--as well as the dyslexic--there isn't a com dot dot com, but there is a Moc tod dot com.

COMPUTER SCREEN: Dot con dot com is the web site for a book about how the internet is overrated--a book being sold on the internet...

COMPUTER SCREEN: and then there's my favorite, dodd dot com, which is the web site of the Dodd family. I hope they have a daughter named Dotty.

PALMER ON CAM: If they do, though, she doesn't have her own site, because there's no dotty dodd dot com, or dotty dot com. So that's available for all you people named dotty out there. But there aren't many other names that haven't already been dot com...andeered.

COMPUTER SCREEN: JOSHUA DOT COM: The eight most popular children's names in our state in 1998--according to Babynamers dot com--were Emily, Hannah, Madison, Samantha, Emma Jacob, Michael, Austin, Joshua and

COMPUTER SCREEN: ANDREW DOT COM: Andrew--but only Emily and Emma are still dot com available.

VOS: COMPUTER SCREEN/HUMANITY: If you were thinking of grabbing up the big picture, dot com wise, I'm sorry to say humanity dot com
SCREEN/HUMANRACE: human race dot com
SCREEN/ALLOFUS: all of us dot com
SCREEN/MANKIND: mankind dot com,
SCREEN/FOLKS: folks dot com
SCREEN/ME: me dot com
SCREEN/WETHEPEOPLE: and we the people dot com are also taken
SCREEN: LIFE DOT COM/VO: And as long as we're dealing in patriotic phrases, you should know that life dot com,

COMPUTER SCREEN: LIBERTY DOT COM/VO: Liberty dot com ...

COMPUTER SCREEN: PURSUIT DOT COM/VO: And the pursuit of
SCREEN/HAPPINESS: happiness dot com, have also been snatched up;

PALMER: Although liberty dot com is for sale. Think about that ... dot com.