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Bean mail

You've got snail mail, voicemail, email, and maybe even gmail. Now, Japanese toy maker Takara introduces Ma-Mail.

In English, that means "Bean Email". The name is a pun, because it has the last syllable of "bean" (ma-meh, 豆) doubling up with the first syllable of email (meh-ru, メール), to form ma-meh-ru.

Basically, the idea is that you give someone a can filled with soil; they water it, and in 5 days, a bean plant sprouts up with one of six short messages printed on it. You can see the TV commercial here in Windows Media format.

(Preemptive note to language wonks: Yes, I know that the last syllable in 豆 is shorter than the long sound that starts メール. Cut me some slack.)




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