Something Is Going to Happen Tomorrow Today: 77 Days of Pronunciation Book


[UPDATE: We just added the "1" video. Notice how he pronounces "days" as "dace" to rhyme with "grace". What's up with that?]

VIDEO UPDATE AT BOTTOM OF ARTICLE

According to videos posted by Pronunciation Book on YouTube, something is going to happen tomorrow.

The Pronunciation Book series started innocently enough around three years ago with a simple video series that taught you how to pronounce words—usually English, but sometimes French, Spanish, or German—with a new word posted regularly. The words were generally obscure, arcane, unusual, or pop-culture related. The first was “Asus,” and they continued seemingly in rough alphabetical order at first, but eventually just at random.

Then about a year and a half ago, for the first time, a phrase appeared: “Please help me escape from this place,” which was dutifully pronounced. Even more curiously, a second phrase was then included in the same video: “I need your help with something, Chief.” Phrases appeared for a while, some alarming, some not, but the pattern eventually settled back to words, but still the messages using the words were odd.

Seventy-six days ago, however, the pattern changed again, when Pronunciation Book taught its listeners how to pronounce the word “77″ with the phrase “Something is going to happen in seventy-seven days.”

Each day, the countdown continued until day 36, when this more alarming yet somehow poetic message was posted.

Spectrograph of "silences" at the end of the video reveal an image.

Spectrograph of “silences” at the end of the video reveal an image.

What makes the videos even geekier is that at the end of each numbered countdown video is a toned silence, which—according to numerous sources—if analyzed in a spectrograph, adds a new line in an image each day. The image of a man in a suit with the word “Tomorrow” where his head should be.

[NOTE: I don't have a spectrograph handy, so can not directly confirm the authenticity of this image].

There are many theories going around as to what the Pronunciation Book videos could be for. The subject has spawned numerous blog posts and even a wiki devoted to capturing everything known about the videos.

I first heard about Pronunciation Book in a recent NPR Podcast show called TLDR, which claimed to interview someone who has solved the puzzle and even spoken with the videos’ creators, but refuses to divulge their identity, only hinting that there are a lot of Battlestar Galactica references in the videos.

The one thing this reminds me of is William Gibson’s novel Pattern Recognition, in which cryptic, small-segment videos are left randomly around the web (this was pre–YouTube) and quickly gain a cult of followers debating the meaning of the videos. My guess is that this is an art project or possibly part of an elaborate anti-war statement—many of the videos seem to allude to the war in the Middle-East.

Tomorrow is the seventy-seventh day, when something is supposed to happen. We’ll post the final video here on GeekDad. Wherever the videos have come from and for whatever purpose, though, one thing is clear: Something is going to happen tomorrow.

What do you think is going to happen tomorrow? Tell us in the comments below.

Update | 24 September 2013 | 11:40 AM ET

OK, so, then there’s this posted this morning:

Which links to this: http://www.bearstearnsbravo.com

Bear Stern Bravo? A game? Conceptual art? Something deeper? What do you think?

Check out the NewYorker for a full explanation » 

About Jason CranfordTeague

Jason spends his time playing video games with his wife and kids, designing web sites (like GeekDad), and writing books about the aforementioned topics. His most recent book is CSS3: Visual Quickstart available at finer book stores everywhere.

About Jason CranfordTeague

Jason spends his time playing video games with his wife and kids, designing web sites (like GeekDad), and writing books about the aforementioned topics. His most recent book is CSS3: Visual Quickstart available at finer book stores everywhere.

20 thoughts on “Something Is Going to Happen Tomorrow Today: 77 Days of Pronunciation Book

  1. I love stuff like this.

    Why 77?

    And yes, now you’ve made me decide to go back and re-read Pattern Recognition. Loved that trilogy.

  2. Nothing’s going to happen tomorrow except for “Never gonna give you up! Never gonna let you down!” I wouldn’t be mad at that, I’ll be witnessing the most elaborate Rick Roll ever

  3. It’s a marketing ploy, but I’ve gotten such a kick out of this series! Many of the videos give me chills with how creatively they’re done! I, for one, will be eagerly waiting in line for whatever they’re trying to sell at the end to repay the feelings of anticipation they’ve given me for free the last 77 days.

  4. I’m guessing it’s a promotion for a new Palahniuk book/movie/project. Many of the countdown videos feature long passages that sound (to me) as if they came from his pen.

  5. Reminds me of the “illuminati” countdown website. about a year ago, it reached zero and…. nothing happened. I think today will be anticlimactic at best.

  6. Sadly, this was nothing like I expected. They’d gone so far to make it creepy and weird and the result was extremely anti-climatic. The game is silly and frankly, stupid. I got bored after ten minutes. They make it act like a comedy but it’s really bad. Makes me think of an insurance commercial the whole way through and I could only take so much of that.

  7. There is much more to this. They have tumblr page for both and there is some stuff their. We called the number and it said “Few children survive this type of cancer, but bobby beat it…” and the call ended. It gives us a link to an address which in Google is a club called the box. Go into street view and there is very day to day stuff until you see the black figure.

    • Yeah I’ve been following the spectrogram and tumblr gifs after coming across these videos around the How to Pronounce 65 mark. When they say something is going to happen, I was expecting something to actually, happen? I’ve read the theories that it was counting down to government collapse or world war 3, which of course was ridiculous, but there were numerous sites that were predicting a Battlestar reboot or (as always) Half Life 3. I would’ve even been satisfied with a book or movie or the something that was talked about everyday. I called the number, heard the weird messages, checked out the address on Maps, went to the Bear Sterns site and all that. It’s just that it was so well done and creative. If I knew that it was just going to be an interactive video that you have to pay seven bucks to click on and it would just become something else. I wouldn’t have wasted my time. And the fact they’re trying to say it’s a long-term art piece is just garbage imo.

      Oh well I’m the one with egg on my face, not them.

Leave a Reply