Tuesday, September 29, 2009

TO/TOO/TWO TUESDAY for September 29, 2009

MarieC has given us a To/Too/Two Tuesday conundrum! She says: This is on the container for the new McDonald's Angus burgers (which are quite tasty, BTW), and I sat and stared at it all through lunch, wondering whether or not I should submit it. An argument could be made that this homonym error was intentional, but in that case, it should have been "meat." Either way, the person responsible for this homonym error has made mincemeat of proper spelling and grammar!



I'm still trying to decide how I feel about this. When I first looked at the picture and saw meat where meet should have been, that definitely threw me off a little bit because it just doesn't look right. That being said, I have a good bit of background in promotion/advertising, and I do understand the use and significance of puns. Problem is, I can't figure out if this was a clever pun and I'm just being really picky, or if this was either a not-so-clever pun (because it causes the reader to stare confusedly at it) or an unintentional homonym error.

Dear readers, what are your thoughts on this? Comment away!

Thanks, MarieC, for finding this thought-provoking picture!

16 comments:

EVula said...

Yeah, I think this is an intentional pun. If it were any other product, I'd say it was a mistake, but... the whole point of the paragraph isn't to introduce just the sandwich itself, but to truly push the "meatiness" of the sandwich. With such a specific focus, I'm inclined to write it off.

However, it does look incredibly wrong.

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

I'm inclined to agree with you here on all points. I do wish that they would have emphasized the word meat somehow (a different color, in italics or bold, in quotes, etc) to sort of make it obvious that this word was very punny. As it is right now, it's definitely a little startling when you first look at it, 'cause "meat" in that sentence looks so weird.

Rob said...

I would say, not-so-clever pun. Some marketing person thought they were clever and groupthink got in the way of slapping some sense into him/her.

Daniel said...

I vote intentional but not so clever, too. (Trying to help establish our own little groupthink group!)

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

I'm actually surprised that McDonalds was OK with this weirdly-written pun. I dealt with them, albeit somewhat indirectly, when I worked in radio, and they seem like they have their act together and also seem pretty fussy about their advertisements and such.

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

At least our groupthink group would be full of good writers who would NEVER let something that looks so screwy slip by us! :)

David said...

I would vote for intended and not clever. I agree with your assessment that it should have been in a different font or color to indicate they knew what they were doing and doing it on purpose.

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

Yeah, I kinda think this was a marketing FAIL...

LadyStyx said...

Well if you're pushing the meatiness of the item...why not use Meat as the creation's name?

Meat, the Mega Patty

See...it still works. :)

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

It absolutely works...IF they put that comma there. You, LadyStyx, were smart enough to include the comma. :)

Wordacious said...

The meat/meet pun really doesn't bother me too much and in general I agree with you that McDonald's has their act together in terms of advertising; however, I have posted about two different McDonald's billboards that really rubbed me the wrong way. I don't know if you have seen these posts before or not, but I would love to know what you think.

http://walkinthewords.blogspot.com/2009/02/mcdonalds-coffee-billboard-pragmatics.html

http://walkinthewords.blogspot.com/2008/12/mcdonalds-coffee-billboard-semantic.html

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

Hi, Wordacious! I, too, take issue with the two McDonald's ads you posted about in your blog. I think the "90210 taste" one was, ironically, in poor taste. And I don't like the "Rich" one at all. I understand that the economy sucks and that it makes sense that companies are spending their advertising dollars trying to make it known that their products are affordable. However, in both instances you covered in your blog, especially the "Rich" one, I feel like McDonald's is sounding too snobby and pretentious in their ads. Plus, does McDonald's even need to push the inexpensive/affordable message too much? Consumers already know that products at McDonald's are affordable, and that's one big reason why they buy those products. That's why McDonald's is doing quite well in this economy, while other businesses are not doing so well.

sitboaf said...

With all the misused and unnecessary quotation marks out there, "Meat" is a perfect place for them - and they missed it.

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

Agreed. Excellent point, Sitboaf!

Organic Meatbag said...

I am pretty sure they meant "meat me" as in 70's porno style...bow-chicka-waw...chicka-waw...

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

Ha! Who knew there were pervs on Mickey D's advertising staff?