Advert in The Food Network Magazine, May 2012:
You don’t watch much TV, do you? (And how is this British?)
Okay, Ben, too subtle for me. I see by other comments you were really commenting on Clinique’s spelling of “colour,” while since your word in question is usually in the title, I was wondering how “clinique” is a NOOB.
Generally, when I’m writing a proper post about a particular word or phrase, I will put it in quotations marks as the title–e.g., “Greengrocer.” But when I am just having “a little bit of fun,” as in this one, I’ll do a different sort of title.
Thanks. I’ll keep an eye out for future quotation marks.
…and the absence thereof.
Colour v color
In its US marketing Clinique has always (well, as long as I’ve been a customer) used “favour” and “colour” — but “moisturize” and “defense.” I forgive the company this small, inconsistent affectation because (a) I like the products and (b) the ads show products only, no Photoshopped models.
Contrary to what the compilers of spelling dictionaries maintain, “moisturize” is a perfectly acceptable spelling in British English. “-ise” is not the British spelling, it is a British spelling and many reputable publishers (not least the OUP) prefer “-ize”, as do I. I fear that, perversely, American influence may lead to “-ise” ousting “-ize” in Britain.
In younger days I used to write ‘-ize’ because I liked the zed (sorry, I couldn’t resist that one!). Then in the early 1980s I worked for an American news agency in London, whose house style insisted on ‘-ize’, as well as a number of other things that were more foreign to me. Ever since I left that company I have written ‘-ise’ on principle…
P.S. There used to be a TV programme in Britain called ‘Liza with a Z’ (it was Liza Minnelli). When I first read the name I thought it was ‘Leeza with a Zed’, but it was always announced as ‘Lize-a with a Zee’. That sounded all wrong to me!
It seems reasonable for an American company to insist on American spelling, and silly to drop the nicer spelling as a reaction. Nose/face!
I’m afraid I am succumbing too. The spelling dictionary on the app I use most only accepts “-ise”. I could add the “-ize” version of every word but I am too lazy. This, perversely, is a form of surrender to American influence.
You’re right! It was a purely emotional reaction on my part. I just didn’t like being told what to do. Maybe it’s partly because my job was that of desk editor, so I had to police the house style and turn every journalist’s use of ‘whilst’ into ‘while’, ‘under’ [a number] into ‘less than’ it, and so on.
Yes, ‘Colour’ isn’t really a Britishism per se as it’s just the way the word is spelled (or spelt!) in all the other English speaking countries in the world including Canada.
In a way, you’re right. Colour isn’t a Britishism … it’s a Frenchism:
Origin: Middle English: from Old French colour (noun), colourer (verb), from Latin color (noun), colorare (verb) http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/colour
The Commonwealth nations spell -our, and Clinique is not the only department store cosmetic or clothing brand to affect this Britspeak in order to imply that its products are far more glamourous than some tacky US product line. As far as beauty products are concerned, anything European or eastern connected is immediately imparted with a greater degree of efficacy for some reason, the conventional wisdom being that European and Asian women are far more particular about what they put on their faces.
Oddly, this spelling affectation is missing completely when it comes to oral hygiene products….
“As far as beauty products are concerned, anything European or eastern connected is immediately imparted with a greater degree of efficacy for some reason…”
Hence ‘clinique’ instead of ‘clinic’.
It makes sense if the product is spelt in the French style to spell colour in this way.
Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:
You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. ( Log Out / Change )
You are commenting using your Twitter account. ( Log Out / Change )
You are commenting using your Facebook account. ( Log Out / Change )
You are commenting using your Google+ account. ( Log Out / Change )
Connecting to %s
Notify me of new comments via email.
Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.
Join 1,253 other followers