Mr. Plinkett’s Bookshelf

One of my favourite websites is because I find etymology useful for interpreting texts and understanding the intentions of the author(s). When I visited the site today, something caught my eye that I was not expecting to see: Doug and Mr. Plinkett

A connection between a character from YouTube and a website about etymology? How?

The bookshelf; how did RedLetterMedia get an image of Doug’s bookshelf? Doug is the creator of and the blog post’s author, Talia, recognized it from video calling with him. She reached out to RLM on Patreon but has yet to hear back. If she does, I hope she provides us with an update.

I cropped the YouTube screenshot from the blog post and ran it through the reverse-image search function on both Google and Bing. Google only finds the original image from the blog post and Bing doesn’t even find that. Given the video was originally uploaded in 2009, this is to be expected, since even if Mike had source the image from a different website, it’s unlikely that this website and the image are still up today.

If we want to speculate further, one option is to think about whether they may know one another or have a mutual connection. According to Doug’s biography, he’s from southeastern Pennsylvania which is a fair distance from Milwaukee, so a personal connection is unlikely but is not impossible either. Did Mike have a video call with Doug at one point? Or did Rich or Jay source it through one of their connections? Do they even remember how the photo was found? We will have to see.

I like one comment by Sara posted at the bottom of the blog entry that reads “I’m a passionate fan of both Etymonline and Red Letter Media and this has made my day!” While I wouldn’t say that this discovery necessarily “made my day,” it is a humorous and unexpected moment. Especially considering I referenced one of their memes at the end of my qualia video.

Here, Rich is featured in a philosophy meme about Nihilism and Existentialism. This one did make my day when I found it on Reddit years ago. The silly text overlay at the top is my addition and is one of many Richisms that have developed over the years. There are several RLMemes that have emerged actually; they’ve been at it a long time and appeal to a particular demographic which grew up alongside the internet. Given I am a part of this demographic, I also love internet mysteries, so cheers to one more.