What’s so hard about an apostrophe?!

22 11 2015

When I was a kid at school I had a French teacher (ironic as you’ll soon see) who used to call apostrophes “tombstones”. They marked the death of one or more letters, he said. Handy little reminder that’s stood me in good stead over the intervening decades. Didn’t account for the possessive case but, hey ho…

Moving to Canada in my thirties then, I have been irritated almost daily by the national chain of coffee shops opened in 1964 by Tim Horton. The first was called “Tim Horton Donuts” which was completely non-contentious, despite the dodgy spelling of doughnuts.

Source: BlogTO

Then though, it got popular and re-branded as “Tim Horton’s”. Trouble was, those pesky language police in Quebec decided that the possessive apostrophe was a peculiarly ENGLISH thing and simply could not be tolerated in the province of Quebec. Putting “Chez Tim Horton” on all the packaging in addition to “Tim Horton’s” was just too big an ask, so a compromise was reached and they simply dropped the apostrophe. The now defunct Eaton’s chain went  simply by “Eaton” there for similar reasons. And that, dear reader is why we’re stuck with “Tim Hortons” coffee shops.

So I’m OK with all this to a degree, but why, oh why does that excuse the incorrect usage of apostrophes in all their advertising? Especially here in English-speaking BC?

Bu's Advert (sic)

Bu’s Advert (sic)

Samsung’s ‘Safety Truck’ Shows The Road Ahead On Screen So Drivers Can Pass It | Bored Panda

22 06 2015

Cool marketing idea. Not sure if it will make much impact to road safety on Argentina’s roads though…

Full length advert on the Bored Panda web page below.

Samsung’s ‘Safety Truck’ Shows The Road Ahead On Screen So Drivers Can Pass It | Bored Panda.

Bored Panda: Samsung's Safety Truck

String? Washing powder? What’s the difference?

15 04 2015

I’m a Product Manager. I Like To Capitalise Words for no good reason whatsoever, though I think that partly comes from learning German (which capitalises all nouns, not just proper ones) as a kid and then becoming a software engineer where camelCaseNaming recently became popular for long variable names. I say recently, because when I first started, X1 was considered long and it was a struggle to get people to understand that “index” or “count” was easier to understand and the computer didn’t really mind after all.

I’ve long had a love of word play, puzzles, hidden meanings etc., and this has sometimes helped in my current role. Of late I’ve been contemplating names for a software consultancy, and was reminded of the mad extremes that marketing can get to when sight is lost of the goal. If it becomes an end in itself, you can end up with Simpson’s Individual Emperor Stringettes in the blink of an eye… as only Monty Python can truly illustrate.

To paraphrase the Stones…

10 03 2015

It’s only marketing, but I like it, like it, yes I do!

Keep a dry eye if you can…

Now THAT is a cool advert!

13 02 2015

Land Rover has lost a bit of its cool lately.

Consider it fully restored with this bit of Valentine’s Day schmaltz from New Zealand.

Always wanted a Defender…

13 02 2015

… but this is beyond awesome!

A day for everything

28 01 2015

Today is Bell’s Let’s Talk Day, intended to draw attention to mental illness. Not a bad thing, and oh look, they get some decent positive marketing from it too. Imagine that! (Who are you calling cynical?)

There’s rumour that September 26th is National Marmite Day. Hm…

Love it, hate it, just don’t forget it! (Or Paxman will get you… now THAT is scary ;) )

Thankfully the dog’s anonymity was preserved.


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