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Joe McQuaid's Publisher's Notebook: Travolta app proof we can handle anything


March 09. 2014 4:09PM

I don't know why anyone should be in the least bit worried about the future of this country. Okay, so maybe Putin and the Commies are kicking sand in our faces as they take over a country or two. Maybe the Sob Sisters (Jeanne Shaheen, Carol Shea-Porter and Anne Kuster) change their tune on Obamacare more often than most of us change channels.

But look on the bright side. This is the same country that can turn out a John Travolta app in mere hours.

Travolta, the actor, was on the Oscars show Sunday a week ago. He was to introduce a singer of one of the nominated film songs.

Whether he couldn't see the cue card or had had too much popcorn, he made a complete hash out of the name Idina Menzel. In Travolta-ese, it came out "Adele Dazeem.''

Truth to tell, if no one had called him on it, I wouldn't have caught the error. I knew there was a singer named Adele but the only Menzel I know of is "Mr. Football," Johnny Manziel.

Lucky for me and the rest of America, Travolta's error was seized upon and sent around the Twitter-universe almost as fast as the "selfie" photo that host Ellen Degeneres took with a few of her star-type friends.

Soon enough, some bright guy or gal had written the requisite code and produced the app that now allows you to entertain yourself and your friends for minutes at a time by typing in your name and seeing it "Travoltified."

In the interest of news research, of course, I tried it.

Joe McQuaid becomes "Jude Mceezald" in Travolta-speak. Maggie Hassan is "Mollie Herdson." And the lyrical Carol Shea-Porter becomes "Campbell Stewaeert," which sounds like she could compete in the Highland Games.

So I wouldn't fret too much about wee problems like climate change or the lack of capacity on the natural gas pipeline. If we can meet big and important challenges like the John Travolta thing, I can rest easy knowing grandsons Ike, Mike, and Spike will be in good hands.

In fact, I think the newspaper must have obtained an early version of the Travolta app because, in a story on a Keene man going off to hike the Himalayas, we quoted him as saying that climate change is a real "hot-bottom issue" these days.

"Hot bottom?" I would have gone with "hot button" myself.

Perhaps it was just a misplaced diaresis or umlaut.

My friend, John Harrigan, has been after us for years to place that specific punctuation over the "Coos" in our state edition's "From Coos to the Sea" tagline so it won't be mispronounced, John Travolta-style. Mission accomplished, Harrigan.

Write to Joe McQuaid at or on Twitter at @Deucecrew

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