T-shirt-able


T-shirt-able
(tee-SHURT.uh.bul)
adj.
Relating to something that lends itself to being printed as a slogan or logo on a T-shirt. Also: T-shirtable.
Example Citations:
At a time when the machine was fast becoming the dominant icon of the age, many thinkers saw this wondrous new mechanism as the most elegant way of seeing human endeavour. Inspired by the machines that were beginning to populate the world, from fairground automata to the elaborate clocks decorating churches, they claimed that life could be explained by the same processes of physics and chemistry.
One of the leaders of this movement was the philosopher Rene Descartes. As well as coining one of the world's most T-shirtable slogans, he tried to bring the new mechanistic perspective to bear on the mind/body issue.
— Anthony Tasgal, "The science of the brands," International Journal of Market Research, June 22, 2003
Cut to the present, and the Sabres have no trouble throwing millions at a player like Vaclav Varada, a decent talent, but not exactly T-shirt-able. Then again, who on the Sabres really is?
— Joshua Maloni, "Shoot for the stars," The Buffalo News, October 27, 2002
Earliest Citation:
There is a bunkerlike unit made for viewing next to a glazed administrative office complex alongside a restaurant perched on a high wall next to the oversized, swooping torqued plane of the roof atop the giant I max theater. As for the cone in the center of the complex, which sits above a crater and is composed of two mutually enfolding, tilted arcs about 30 meters high, it should serve as the most T-shirt-able branding device in recent memory.
— Liane Lefaivre, "Journey to the center of the earth: Hans Hollein's Vulcania digs deep below the surface for a new museum experience," Architecture, October 1, 2002
Notes:
It's a literal sign of the times that if something is popular or controversial, if it's either "hot" or "cool," then some low-end entrepreneur, dollar signs in his eyes and "ka-ching" noises in his ears, will put it on a T-shirt and peddle his one-size-fits-all wares to the public. Some recent examples:
• In April, before American forces had even entered Baghdad, there were T-shirts bearing the likeness of Iraq's Minister for Information, Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf, better known now as "Comical Ali."
• Within a couple of weeks of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, T-shirts appeared emblazoned with the words "Let's roll!," Todd Beamer's inspiring last words. (Beamer was one of the passengers on United Airlines Flight 93 who struggled with the terrorists before the plane crashed in a Pennsylvania field.)
• Within days of the 2000 U.S. presidential election and its Florida recount fiasco, T-shirts were being hawked with slogans such as "Stop Electoral Dysfunction" and "Indecision 2000. Whose hole did you punch?"
Naturally, any short slogan that can be slapped on a T-shirt can also be shoehorned onto a car bumper sticker, a phenomenon that has inspired at least one political figure to coin a new adjective:
Now, there is no quick bumper-sticker way to say what I just said, but that's what's happening. And it is in that process that those weapon system decisions get made. ... In every case when you're balancing things, something gives and something gets and something is — you make a judgment call as to what extent would you rather have this than that. And those are the kinds of decisions that we're making at the macro level, they're the kinds of decisions that will get made by the services and the components. And it is — it is — it is not bumper-stickerable.
— Donald Rumsfeld, "Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld media availability," Federal News Service, September 6, 2001
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