Humpty Dumpty’s Theory of Meaning

“I don’t know what you mean by ‘glory,’?” Alice said.

Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. “Of course you don’t—till I tell you. I meant ‘there’s a nice knock-down argument for you!'”

“But ‘glory’ doesn’t mean ‘a nice knock-down argument’,” Alice objected.

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”

-Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass, 1871

Mattel’s M-16 Marauder

In 1966, Mattel released a toy version of the M-16 called the M-16 Marauder Automatic Rifle. The gun’s big selling point was its shooting sound that didn’t require caps or batteries.

The gun looked so realistic that it was used as a prop in 1969’s The Green Berets in a scene where John Wayne’s character smashes an M-16 against a tree.

Mattel M-16 Marauder
Mattel M-16 Marauder
Mattel M-16 Marauder Ad, 1967
Mattel M-16 Marauder Ad, 1967