The Washington Post

In other news, Paperless Post is an oxymoron now

Well, it's official. Words no longer have meaning. Paperless Post, the popular site dedicated to classy-looking, online-only invitations, has a line of print stationery coming in October. Its name? “Paper by Paperless Post.” Paper by Paperless Post. War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength. Paper by Paperless Post.

Friend, if you wanted to be in the paper-invitations business, you picked the wrong company name. And also, are we okay with this? Are we, as a country, ready for companies to start doing exactly the opposite of what they have always done and what their names say they do? The name Paperless Post, I thought, was a clear contract with the customer. ”Hey,” it said, “there is not going to be any paper.”

I tried to think of other examples, but there is no betrayal so simple and fundamental as what just happened. Best Western could suddenly offer Worst Eastern experiences. Staples could only sell bizarre things you didn’t need. But Paper by Paperless Post takes the cake.

Convention speakers can say whatever they want. Clearly, the rules of the English language are meaningless. If Paperless Post is in the paper business, then all bets are off. Maybe, in the world where Paperless Post makes paper, the same $716 billion in cuts can destroy and save Medicare, and a factory can close in a different presidential term than it closes. The American people can take it. We are ready for anything now.

It’s official. Words no longer have meaning. Paperless makes Paper.

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day. She is the author of "A Field Guide to Awkward Silences".


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