R.E.M Does NOT Equal REM

One of my most vividly recalled memories of my undergraduate advisor’s sleep course (Mary A. Carskadon) was her vehement anger over someone’s mistaken pronounciation of  “REM” (the sleep stage) as”R-E-M” (the band).

The bottom line: REM is pronounced REM (as in the first three letters of the name Remy). Perhaps you made this error upon reading “Case Number etc of Deceptive Banking,” but you are pardoned, for now. Oil of Olay and the Johnson & Johnson company are not, however; near the end of March of 2008, I saw an Oil of Olay commercial for a  “sleep and R-E-M (as in the band) promoting,” anti-aging cream. While there is a cloud of skepticism hovering over 1) an anti-aging cream and 2) even worse, a sleep and REM (the sleep stage) promoting one, I was most irate about Mary’s pet peeve. With that, I decided to write a letter to the Johnson & Johnson company highlighting the inept and juvenile attempt at market research. The only dilemma was that I wrote the letter on April 1, which means, it may have been perceived as a prank. Months later, I received my “thank you for writing letter” in the mail, enclosed with a 1.00 rebate coupon for an air freshener (or more like a 0.60 rebate given that postage was 0.40). Of course, the problem was never addressed. Perhaps it is because the same people who make a career out of market research are the same undergraduate business and communication majors who now roam the research corridors of the Kent State Department of Biological Sciences hounding us to buy more biomedical equipment.

The bottom line, part two: “Everybody Hurts” when you pronounce REM as R.E.M.

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