By Cory Doctorow at 4:00 pm Thu, Nov 10, 2011
Adam Greenfield snapped this "Occupy Legoland" piece at OWS, including a Lego QR code (!). As Adam says, 99%, but 100% awesome.
LEGO bricks used as protest medium.
This is a good generation. I am satisfied.
Nice idea. I was going to donate, but then I saw they’d written “LEGOS ARE EXPENSIVE”, instead of the correct “LEGO IS EXPENSIVE”.
So is there a script to generate a QR code and then translate it into LDraw?
I considered your pedantry (I’m hoping it was meant as humor) about pluralizing LEGO products and went to the google-monster. This http://www.ericharshbarger.org/lego/faq.html (question 18) is a far more satisfactory solution.
Which is correct as the plural of LEGO: ‘Lego’ or ‘Legos’? Neither, actually. The word ‘LEGO’, when used as a noun, should only refer to the company that makes the product. Otherwise ‘LEGO’ is supposed to be used as an adjective. Thus, when referring to the pieces, neither ‘lego’ nor ‘legos’ is correct… rather one should say: ‘LEGO bricks’ or ‘LEGO pieces’ or whatever.
I think lego or legos (not capitalized!) can be acceptable if you consider: kleenex, post-it, crock pot, xerox, coke and googling. This isn’t a new thing. :)
True, I usually wouldn’t care myself either but I wanted to throw in some quality information in case a grammar war erupted (which fortunately did not).
 AHAHAHA I spoke too soon. Go play in traffic you off-topicking nincompoops and stop with the needless grammar fight over a toy company’s brand usage preferences.
Definitely humour, with a little misguided kneejerk pedantry thrown in for good measure (the best kind!). I’m from the UK, and we always talked about “playing with LEGO”, and “LEGO bricks”. Cultural/generational?
I saw this when I was down there a couple days ago. Knew it would show up on BB (but I thought it already had, so I didn’t submit a photo myself ;)
Actually I could barely get close enough to take a photo myself – I was there when Crosby and Nash were about to show up so there were dozens of photographers, and they all also wanted a shot of the lego stuff :)
Has Occupy jumped the lego shark?
This was about all I could find on creating your own LEGO QR code:
Me, I was planning to print one out and just sit down with my kids’ bucket o’LEGO bricks and build it by hand. Because that’s how I roll.
My six year old calls them legos. All of his six year old friends call them legos. The two year old calls them ‘wegos’ but we can call his formulation an outlier.
If the six years olds call them legos, then they are legos, and pedants can go jump in the legoland lake.
I love the legoland lake. It’s so friendly. It’s impossible to drown in it. Legofolk could even walk across it if only they didn’t have a tendency to get stuck.
But you’re still wrong. Legos is wrong. Were we to defer to the Academy of Six-year-olds for our language – why, we’d all be speaking like, umm, six-year-olds. Which is fine for politicians but we’s all growed up now.
So, I assume you never use “coke” in a generic way? Or “crock pot”? Or “googling”? Hmmm? I’ve seen “googling” used in novels!
It’s called language, and language isn’t static. LEGO® should be happy about this, and indeed I’d imagine they are — it means their product is completely ingrained in our culture. Just like coke. And googling.
Coke? You mean that solid carbonaceous material derived from the destructive distillation of low-ash, low-sulphur bituminous coal (hello wikipedia!)? That’s its default meaning in my idiolect. Yes – I’m that old. Crock pot isn’t in my vocabulary at all. Googling is, and my idiolect has only one meaning for that activity (I guess you’ll have to take my word for it that it’s the only one). But regardless of your non-challenge, of course I agree with you that language is not static. Of course anybody’s entitled to their neologisms. It’s just that every time it happens, some people then have to ‘do more work’ to understand what the neologiser is trying to say. No biggie.
Your first sentence made me laugh. :)
Okay, fine, how about aspirin? Escalator — I’m sure you use that one whenever you visit the mall. Zipper started as a trademarked name! Fucking heroin used to be trademarked!
I was actually astonished at the list:
Pretty cool, if you ask me. Language is awesome like that!
It’s just that every time it happens, some people then have to ‘do more work’ to understand what the neologiser is trying to say. No biggie.”
So if “every time” someone says “coke” or “escalator” or “aspirin” or even “lego”, you have to take a moment to understand them? Really? Wow. It must be exhausting being that pedantic all the time!
I’m sure it’s quite clear what that someone is saying, in the context in which they are saying it. “Hey, dad, I want to play with my legos!” “Can I have an aspirin?” “Hey, let’s take the other escalator, this one is broken.” “This is some good heroin, man.”
Unless, of course, you’re being obnoxiously pedantic, and pretending not to understand in an attempt to make some silly, meaningless point that ignores what language is.
I thank you – but I think you mean my second :)
I was actually perplexed by the examples you came up with. They didn’t seem to have anything to do with the point (about the questionable use of the term legos as shorthand for lego bricks) I was discussing. I have only just twigged that – for some reason – you have picked up the idea that I’m unsympathetic to the use of trade/brand names as linguistic currency. I don’t know what I’ve said that would lead you to believe that. I have nothing against hoovers or biros or whatever. And I’ve already agreed with you that language isn’t static. I’ll go further – I rejoice in that fact. I’m all for the encoinage of springiform encephalotextitis.
But some of the other stuff you’re saying is more to my original point about unconventional or unexpected usages. It’s fine to invent new uses for old words. Even when other words exist that do the same job. But when somebody says something’s superlative (for example) then they are forcing me as the interpreter to briefly pause, re-orient my mental processes to allow that they just mean superb and carry on.
Like I said, no biggie, no annoyance even. It’s just that it costs the transmitter nothing to make that novel use their currency but costs the receiver some work. A tiny amount of work that’s done in a flash. So it’s not even a complaint – it’s just an observation about the non-zero-sum asymmetry of the engagement which is unacknowledged by the transmitter. It’s slightly thoughtless, I guess is the worst accusation you could chuck at the perp.
Eventually superlative will, if it hasn’t already, become truly synonymous with superb. The language has changed and a word has been lost, except to those specialists who will regardless continue to use technical language in discussions of comparative adjectives and the like.
Unless, of course, you’re being obnoxiously pedantic, and pretending not to understand …
Oh I say. You’re in danger of taking this conversation to a bad place. If you don’t believe we’re treating with eachother honestly then you should stop right now.
Funny word, ‘pedantic’. Used so often as an insult. But it’s still synonymous with ‘precise’. Not a word ever used by somebody who wins an argument, I’ve noticed.
Very cool, but it looks like a robot barfed on the right there. Might want to clean that up as it obscures the Facebook keyword I might otherwise remember.
I understand occupy WS, but why Legoland? I go to Legoland (San Diego) all the time, they’re perfectly nice. Prices and fees are clearly posted, they haven’t decimated my bank accounts or retirement. I say leave Legoland alone you b*stards!
Where will it all end? They’ll be dissing Legolas next.
Legoland (San Diego) has a Washington DC diorama where little LEGO minifig politicians are enacting little LEGO laws that result in the depressed housing market in the LEGO Las Vegas diorama.
Take a look at the Vegas diorama. How many people (minifigs) do you see? It’s become a ghost town! And it’s the fault of those damned mininfig politicians who’re in the pocket of the minifig bankers (who work in the NY diorama).
The system is broken!
I believe the Lego/Legos thing is a regional problem: here in Australia, we refer to it as, “Lego”. “Legos” seems to be a North American usage. Meanwhile, here in Oz, “Leggos” is also a brand of pasta and sauces.
I refer you to these extracts from the brand manual, page 14
GENERAL RULES FOR THE USE OF THE LEGO® LOGO, TRADEMARKS AND WORD MARKS:
3. Always write the LEGO word mark and sub-brand names in UPPERCASE.
SPECIFIC RULES FOR THE USE OF THE LEGO LOGO, THE LEGO WORD MARK AND OTHER TRADEMARKS:
2. Always use the LEGO word mark as an adjective, such as The LEGO Group, the LEGO brand, the LEGO minifigure, LEGO toys, etc. (see ill. 3).
7. Never write LEGO in plural form (LEGOs) or in possessive case (LEGO’s) (see ill. 3).
Example H given on page 15 of good and incorrect usage illustrates some of these points.
Correct: Let us work with LEGO® bricks.
Incorrect: Let us work with LEGO
Ref: Lego Brand Guidelines, 24.02.11
…for all your questions about knob configuration.
It should say “LEGO® bricks are expensive”
I refer you to these extracts from the brand manual, page 14
Unless you’re a lawyer for the company that makes legoes, why would you care what their marketing material says?
None pointed out they’re achieved recursion..
Update: nevermind, I thought the 2 m-bikes where the occupy legoland table….
Language doesn’t follow a “brand manual”.
At ease, grammar soldiers! Read a book about etymology and the evolution of language. It’ll help y’all unclench about how to pluralize, or whether to feel embarrassed for using a term that is regional or in the process of changing. I’d recommend “Made in America: An Informal History of the English Language in the United States” by Bill Bryson. Good stuff.
PS – What do those tall red poles represent? Frameworks for unfinished giant protest puppets?
Couldn’t agree more. Bill Bryson writes a damn good book, and with his dry humour, makes learning about stuff like language really good fun.
Oh the irony. Sign should say “Legos are expensive, help us support the lego corporation and their overpriced pieces of plastic”
I love the Lego QR code. It’s interesting to see how people are adapting them into other media or craft; there’s a great Maker exhibition at the V&A Museum in London, and there’s a beadwork dress with QR codes incorporated into the design. Lovely piece of work.
Mail (will not be published) (required)
class war, Funny, happy mutants, lego, legos, occupy, ows, qr code
Submit a tip
The rules you agree to by using this website.
Who will be eaten first?
Jason Weisberger, Publisher
Ken Snider, Sysadmin