I know. It’s supposed to sound like fuel. But that’s not what I see whenever I come across someone with one of these dumb backpacks.
Instead, my brain reads it as fool. Then full. Only on the third mental correction does it land on the right way to say it. Nobody asked me for my opinion, though, so instead of calling these backpacks something that makes sense, they went ahead with Fūl.
There’s this regional bank in my, uh, region that uses the tagline: The curious bank.
Every time I see it, though, I read curious as strange: The strange bank. I don’t want to bank at a strange bank. I want my bank to be super-normal. Boring, even. I don’t mind strange or unusual things (I ate squid once!). But banking? Let’s save the adventures for someone else’s money, please.
Also, and this is really just an afterthought after I’ve pondered the whole curious thing: Its logo looks like a fraction — five-thirds. What is that? Is that a number that makes sense to anyone? Admittedly, I’m a word person, so numbers can sometimes confuse me. But five-thirds? I’m almost sure that’s wrong. I don’t want my bank to be this way with numbers.
And Fifth Third — what does that mean? Again, it sounds like they don’t know how numbers work, and that diminishes my confidence in their ability to do banking right.
I have a great idea for an ad campaign for Gillette or Schick to use during the NHL playoffs. Listening? OK.
The TV spot opens on a sad-looking shirtless man with a scruffy beard gazing into the bathroom mirror. Cut to another bearded man looking forlornly into the mirror. Cut to a clearly distressed bearded man in the middle of shaving, face half-covered with cream. Cut to yet another man in the bathroom mirror with maybe an enormous beard. He is weeping. Fade to black. Announcer: Your team can’t always win, but your face can. Gillette (or Schick, whichever comes up with the best deal for me, obviously). Proud sponsor of the NHL and playoff beards. Logo flash. END/
Solid gold, am I right?
A variation: Montage of sad bearded men looking into the bathroom mirror in varying degrees of distress — crying, raging, scowling – and the final one is smiling and happy, admiring a long, full beard before reaching for the shaving cream. Fade to black: Announcer: No playoff beard is forever. Gillette (or Schick): Proud sponsor of the NHL. Logo flash. END/
OH! Or maybe this: Montage of NHL players’ less-than-awesome beards (I’m looking at you, Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks). Then a regular normal person with a terrible patchy beard at the kitchen table with his wife and kids, who clearly are befuddled by his “beard.” He sips his juice or coffee and says: What? Cut to black. Announcer: Not everyone needs a playoff beard. Gillette (or Schick): Proud sponsor of the NHL and playoff beards, even the bad ones. Logo flash. END/
Holy shit, everyone, I’m like the Don Draper of shaving-products advertising. I need a scotch.
Here’s something I saw the other day, and I stood there and looked at it for awhile trying to figure it out. I get that it’s a fitness club. What I don’t get is how to pronounce it.
Could be Yootside, sort of like a fitness club for youths pronounced Joe Pesci-style.
Could be a combining form of you and outside, which still leaves the pronunciation a mystery since the ou in you and outside don’t share the same sound, so it would look like it should be pronounced yowtside. Yowza.
Maybe the Y is pronounced separately, so it’s a question, as in Why outside? Good question. Why outside? Well, why not outside?
“I like to write things the right way,” said Pierre Gervais, the longtime equipment manager in charge of putting name bars on the Canadiens’ uniforms.
General Manager Marc Bergevin signed off on the idea, and voilà, linguistic sports history was made. Montreal is the first N.H.L. club to have a policy of rendering players’ names accurately on their uniforms.
Seems like a no-brainer: “rendering players’ names accurately.” Gervais says that the reason they never did it before was because the cloth that the names are sewn onto was too narrow, as though cloth comes in only one size and can never be made differently. But now, with technology, cloth comes in many sizes! Lame excuse, Pierre.
Gervais said the accents were made possible by technology. Until recently, the strip of cloth for name bars was too shallow.
At any rate, I’m glad that Montreal is the first team to do it.
Just the other day, I was singing the praises of the clever wordplay Jagermeister unleashed in its new ad campaign, and it was so inspiring that I decided to pay more attention to the good things in life and initiate a regular Words Used Well feature here at the personal blog.
But now I see that Jagermeister’s ad campaign includes this horrible thing:
So nevermind. For the We Hours was subtle and clever. But Chillinois is terrible. It’s too easy, and like Jagermeister itself, it’s just a little too much. A little obvious. Reminds me of all the bad Tiger Woods headlines I’ve seen in the world (Tiger Claws Back to Win Something) or the awful Barktober Sales Events at pet stores every fall.
It’s a good lesson, though: It’s hard to use words well. Noted, Jagermeister. Noted. Luckily, this ad is limited to only this state and maybe Chillaska!
And again, Jagermeister lured me in, then disappointed me. This time, though, no hangover and no story I need to make up about where I’ve been all night or why I’m wearing a prom dress.
I don’t drink Jagermeister anymore, mostly because nothing good ever happened to me when I was drinking Jagermeister. And also because I’m not 20 years old.
But I saw a great Jagermeister ad the other day on a taxi sign: A festive scene with the words For the we hours.
Nice. And while it didn’t make me want to take a shot, I appreciated the wordplay, and it made my morning commute slightly less tedious.
It occurred to me, too, that as a copy editor, it’s possible that I can be a little too critical. We notice things that are wrong or terrible (I’m looking at you, Chevy and your awful Malibooya ad), and we point them out probably far too often than we need to.
So I want to start acknowledging Words Used Well, an appreciation for the sublime moments in our language instead of the constant snark about its misuse. I hope to pay attention and notice the good things more.
UPDATE! I found the Jagermeister ad on an El platform.
So apparently there’s some concern about Obama’s new slogan: “Forward.” (Specifically, the period at the end there is vexing.)
“Even for some in the president’s orbit, the added punctuation slams the brakes on a word supposed to convey momentum,” the Wall Street Journal says.
Well, the president hasn’t called yet to ask for my opinion, but he’s probably just busy. At any rate, the slogan’s fine. Better than fine, actually. I think the period works quite well and adds some weight and finality to what might otherwise be a flat word. Sometimes, for emphasis, when we say something we’re serious about, we say “period” at the end to let others know we’re not screwing around. We’re going to Disneyland. Period.
The period in Obama’s slogan lets us know it’s not up for debate. We’re going forward. Period.