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Mr. and Ms. Velcro

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Topic: 1) Mr. and Ms. Velcro (1 of 7), Read 145 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Barbara Wallraff (msgrammar@theatlantic.com)
Date: Wednesday, March 24, 1999 09:23 AM

Phillip Afif, of Detroit, Mich., writes: "I wonder if there are words for the male and female parts of Velcro. You know -- the part that has tiny hooks and the part that is fuzzy. The dictionary just describes Velcro and tells what it is. It does not differentiate between the two sides in terms of names.

"On that same note: are there words for the two sides of a zipper?"

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Topic: 1) Mr. and Ms. Velcro (2 of 7), Read 142 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Aaron Reneker (zanazarius@yahoo.com)
Date: Wednesday, March 24, 1999 08:24 PM

According to one of the official Velcro sites I visited, the rough side of Velcro is made up of hundreds of little "hooks," while the rug-textured side consists of equal numbers of "loops." (Don't you just love those technical terms?) On a side note, did you know that Velcro was invented (so the story goes) after a walk in the woods? Amazing and annoying things, those cockleburrs!
As for zippers, I believe the two sides are made up of metal "teeth" (more technical terms :) ), while the little notched end at the bottom (of a jacket, say) is the "guide." The thing that is used to pull the two sides of a zipper together is called the "fastener." If there are actual technical terms for these items (and I'm sure there are), please let us know. I'm still getting over not being able to use "little plastic thingie on the end of a shoelace" to describe an aglet.

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Topic: 1) Mr. and Ms. Velcro (3 of 7), Read 136 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Barbara Wallraff (msgrammar@theatlantic.com)
Date: Thursday, March 25, 1999 09:32 AM

Aaron,

I know I've fallen behind in the presentation of Word Fugitives Bureau of Investigation Special Agent of the Week awards. Now I'm so impressed by your approach to this Fugitive -- you actually researched the question! -- that I am compelled to bestow a WFBI award on you. Congratulations! A member of the Atlantic Unbound staff will be in touch about which of the valuable prizes on offer you would prefer. (Don't worry -- they're free.)

By this I don't mean at all to criticize the more usual approaches to Word Fugitive hunts, which I might categorize as anecdote and riffing. In fact, the folks whom the WFBI Special Agent award was initially created to honor, the Toronto Serial Diners Collective (Serial Diners: where have you gone? We miss you!), were riffers to rival Thelonius Monk. If you're curious, see their contributions to some of the early Fugitives in the Court Record.

But sometimes being factual rather than "original" is the most original and interesting thing to do. Well done!

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Topic: 1) Mr. and Ms. Velcro (4 of 7), Read 108 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Deleted User ()
Date: Friday, March 26, 1999 10:51 PM

I recall reading some time ago about the rumor that velcro was a product of NASA and the result of space-age technology. This article claimed velcro was invented by a Basque sheepherder in the 1940's after examining the cockleburrs in the wool of his charges. The article declared the word 'velcro' to be coined from 'velour'- loops + 'crochet'- hook. Sounds reasonable; accurate? I do not know.

Ansel Avant

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Topic: 1) Mr. and Ms. Velcro (5 of 7), Read 121 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Ansel Avant (ansela@hotmail.com)
Date: Friday, March 26, 1999 10:53 PM

I recall reading some time ago about the rumor that velcro was a product of NASA and the result of space-age technology. This article claimed velcro was invented by a Basque sheepherder in the 1940's after examining the cockleburrs in the wool of his charges. The article declared the word 'velcro' to be coined from 'velour'- loops + 'crochet'- hook. Sounds reasonable; accurate? I do not know.

Ansel Avant

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Topic: 1) Mr. and Ms. Velcro (6 of 7), Read 109 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Mark Noble (mnoble@mc2-csr.com)
Date: Thursday, April 01, 1999 02:30 PM

Since Velcro becomes highly flammable in an oxygen-rich environment, I've heard it said that an abundance of the stuff contributed to the spread of fire on board Apollo 1 that killed "Gus" Grissom, Edward White, and Roger Chaffee.

http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/Apollo204/invest.html

While NASA didn't invent it, they probably perfected it into the product we know and use today.

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Topic: 1) Mr. and Ms. Velcro (7 of 7), Read 64 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Mark Iennaco (miennaco@arclight.net)
Date: Wednesday, April 07, 1999 02:00 PM

While Hook and Loop are the industry
terms, many of the techies out
here in CA use posi-cro (hook) and
nega-cro (loop). There is the
occasional observation that posi-cro
is indiscriminant (sp?) and will
hook up with anything fuzzy (sexual
inuendos abound :)

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Topic: Answer to Mr/Mrs Velcro (1 of 1), Read 61 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Joy Luttrell (joyzone@cheerful.com)
Date: Tuesday, April 06, 1999 11:08 PM

I believe the words already exist to describe the male/female portions of velcro. The mail are the hooks, and the female the loops.


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Topic: Mr. and Mrs. Velcro (1 of 1), Read 42 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Ric Johnson (ric@bitchen.com)
Date: Wednesday, April 07, 1999 08:29 AM

The industry (generic) term for Velcro is "hook and loop." So the male half is referred to as "hook" while the fuzzy female receptor strip is the "loop"


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