June 10, 2008

Random Commuter Observation - Grammatical Petulance Division

The walls of the Metro Center station are covered these days with posters put out by the West Virginia Tourist Board (or whatever the entity calls itself). The posters are a series of photographs of mountains, streams, woods, etc., etc., with one-word captions written across them - words like "Breathe" and "Clarify" and "Peaceful".

"Okay, Tom," you're saying warily to your collective selves, "What's the problem?"

Well, I'll tell you. You see, the copy employed by the WVTB is grammatically inconsistent. Some of the words are verbs, some adjectives. And there's absolutely no rhyme or reason to it. I find that quite jarring to the senses. Indeed, the more I see it, the grumpier it makes me. Hence this post.

Isn't this kind of sloppiness violative of some basic rule of advertising?

Posted by Robert at June 10, 2008 08:33 AM | TrackBack

Sounds like a state to the northwest of the deecee area needs some "Schoolhouse Rock" reruns!

Posted by: ChrisN at June 10, 2008 06:46 PM

The real mistake is reading posters put up by the government.

Posted by: The Bovina Bloviator at June 10, 2008 11:27 PM

"Some of the words are verbs, some adjectives."

I noticed it as I read it. Mildly irksome, but then I read student's research papers that make this look clean.

And there are rules: If you want to embed your brand name in the minds of the public, you have to have a consistent message with a consistent approach.

Imagine Nike switching it up from "Just do It" to "Jordan did It" or other changes of tense, syntax or style. As "location, location, location is to retail, "reiteration, reit... etc."

Heh. Had to yank your chain there.

Posted by: tee bee at June 12, 2008 12:04 PM