There’s a new darling of the entertainment world out there. + That’s it, just + .
+ can mean different things to different people. To a chemist it means that’s a cation, the positively charged ion, the opposite of an anion, that one that travels to the cathode, which an electrician will recognize as the opposite of the anode, the anode being the positively charged electrode possibly symbolized on a schematic as + . A mathematician, not to be confused with an arithmetist, recognizes + as an means of identifying any real number greater than zero. An accountant hopes not to find + preceding the number on the bottom line of IRS Form 1040 which would indicate outstanding tax due. A doctor ordering blood knows it is important to include + after a patient’s blood type if the patient’s blood has the Rh Factor antigen present. A musician sees + and knows to raise the fifth note of a major chord by a half tone. (It sounds weird on paper but not so bad in the ear.) Back when you were an itty bitty youngster, even in the age of “new math,” you learned that + symbolizes addition, the one of the four basic food groups of math. Just kidding. I wanted to see if you were paying attention. Addition is one of the four basic arithmetical operations of mathematics, the combination of multiple numbers to determine a total or sum value. You know, 2 + 2 = 4.
The “experts” who upsell premium video content have latched on to an old hook that marketers have used for a while. Skip the words, symbols sell. If a picture is worth a thousand words then + is worth at least $4.99. That’s how much extra you’ll shell out for discovery+. That’s a bargain in the plus world now crowded with Apple TV+, BET+, Disney+, ESPN+, and Paramount+ . It’s such a hot commodity even free channels are “adding” it to their names like Documentaries +, Halloween +, and the succinctly named Free TV+ and Free Movies+ channels.
I’m being a bit unfair calling + the “new” darling. The French pay TV service Canal+ began broadcasting in 1984. Not television but still screen based (although often much smaller), Google+ was available on line and on phones from 2011-2019. In the non electronic world + has occupied a spot in brand names for everything from clothes (Missen+Main) to soap (Etta + Billie) to window treatments (allen + roth). It wasn’t until FX+ was released in 2018 that + began a surge in the television industry. (FX+ was shut down when Disney purchased the network the following year.) Oh there were a handful of PLUS appendices but that little + kept itself tucked away. Until now. Expect to see more [Fillintheblank]+ not unlike how many cable/streaming services released [Pickyourfavoritechannel]Go in the 2010s. Expect to see + more frequently on the smaller screens again also. Apple News+ coming up on its two year launch anniversary. After a slow start subscriptions hit an all time high in the 2020 second quarter.
You might say + is multiplying. (A mathematician wouldn’t but there probably aren’t many of them reading this anyway so go ahead and say it!)