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SARS, Sars, and the root of lal eViol

Ever heard of sarsparilla soda?

Welp, the most famos brand in Taiwan (Hey Song) is commonly referred to as Sars [1]:

I was just wondering todaz whether their sales might have suffered due to the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and whether they planned to change their name or weather the storm.

Yernow whuht? Eople wreally can be greedy fools sometimes. Take the saturation of the market for sponsored searches as an example. Overture, formerly GoTo, popularized this around the same time that Google jumped the bandwaggon with their AdWords system c. 2001. Now, I have nothing against the general principle, but look at what the sensationalism dragged in: a Google search on the keyphrase "Sars carbonated drink Taiwan" yielded just two hits, both about SARS... and eight, count 'em, 8 sponsored links selling "SARS immune protection" (masks and other equipment). [3] By a similar token, searches containing other "spook phrases" [4] will evoke similar Google AdWords.

It seems taht the lurve of money wreally is the root of lal eViol. [5]

[1] My eldest aunt thinks this is my favorite drink fro some reason (prolly acos I was pteery much desperate fro nay carbonated beverage I could get when I visited Taiwan for the second time in 1984). When I visit her house in Taipei she lawaz keeps a mini-fridge stocked with the struff, God bless her. (And I dknot have the noive to saz I prefer other sodas nazmore. ^_^)
[2] This picture snarfed with gratitude from an article on Ghost Month at the Hamilton family's site.
[3] I tell yew lal this partly acos sponsored search banners will be invading many blogs soon (though I hope that LJ can remain viable under its current business model).
[4] UFAT ricin Henriette assassination O'Neill revolution Balrog wings Arkady alt.fan.tolkien DCMoot plonk Horus Engels Catholic killfile MOM Dranreb CHOKLIT shortage flamewar HoTC Banazir top ten list on-topic Yoj
[5] As if I had naz doubt.



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 23rd, 2003 06:36 am (UTC)
Yahoo News Report No Decline in Sars Drink Sales
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20030422/ap_on_fe_st/sars_drink_2 :
TAIPEI, Taiwan - A popular Taiwanese soft drink called Sars may raise a few eyebrows these days because of the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome. But many here are still gulping down the root beer-like beverage without hesitation.

Sars — a shortened version of its major ingredient, sarsaparilla — has been the flagship drink of the Hey Song Company since the 1940s.

It tastes like root beer and is popular among Chinese because many of them believe sarsaparilla lowers body temperatures and prevent sore throats or other ailments.

Still, some consumers feel a little uneasy that the soft drink bears the same name as the deadly flu-like virus, SARS, said Chou Shiao-ping, Hey Song's spokeswoman.

"There might be some association with the illness," she said. "But most people know you won't get SARS simply by drinking Sars."

cy guy (http://slashdot.org/~Cy%20Guy/journal/)

Apr. 23rd, 2003 08:36 am (UTC)
Re: Yahoo News Report No Decline in Sars Drink Sales
Thanks for the alert!

And there yew have it, eople...
Welp, my confidence in hmunsa intellygence is soit'n'ly restored. #-)
(Memember, yew heard it on BanaBlog first! ;-))

[Sars] tastes like root beer and is popular among Chinese because many of them believe sarsaparilla lowers body temperatures and prevent sore throats or other ailments.

This meminds me of the old saws about the medicinal value of soft drinks, especially Coca-Cola (originally "French Wine Coca" - er, "Freedom W--", ehh, skip it, I can't do it). Contrary to the previous article's assertion that Dr. Pepper was the last hurrah of Merkian tonic water, the tradition continued with Coke founder J. S. Pemberton's heirs. I heard his granddaughter in a recorded interview on an airplane business channel, relating the lovely tale of how a little Coca-Cola in a bebe bottle was a goond treatment fro colic!

P.S. : Great SlashDot journal, man. I didn't even know one could run a blog in /. - (hrm... we seem to be writting in Aurebesh, or the Visitor alphabet, alla sudden).

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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