Thursday, January 29, 2009

Great Moments in Copywriting

From today's Los Angeles Times:





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6 comments:

Blackwell said...

I'm sorry, is the period directly below the quotation mark? It's like an interrobang! (or however you spell it)

June Casagrande said...

Funny. I didn't even see that. I couldn't get past the first two sentences. Ah, yes. That's what Freud wanted to be remembered for.

Now if only some ad whiz would get wise to all the money to be made using Abe Lincoln's likeness to sell rhinoplasty services. And, hey, can you think of a better Ambien pitch man than MLK? I mean, if he remembers he had a dream, he must have been disturbed out of REM sleep ...

Blackwell said...

Okay, maybe I'm fried from watching my kids bubble all day (yay state tests), but I cannot figure out what's up with the first two sentences. Plz 2 explain. Kthx.

June Casagrande said...

If you're having trouble understanding the first two sentences it's because you ARE on the ball. They're that "he shoots, he misses" brand of logic.

"Freud's problems (ILLOGICAL. FREUD ISN'T ICONIC FOR DEALING WITH HIS OWN PROBLEMS. IT'S HIS THEORIES, NOT HIS PERSONAL WOES, THAT ARE MOST ASSOCIATED WITH HIM.) weren't all in his head (TRANSLATION: "HE HAD PROBLEMS IN HIS ASS."). And when his hemorrhoids were hurting it was hard to think about anything else (TRANSLATION: "HEMORRHOIDS ARE A DRAG, BUT WE HAVE NO SOLID INFO ABOUT HOW MUCH THEY INTERFERED WITH FREUD'S WORK. SO WE'RE GOING TO STATE SPECULATION AS FACT).

Summary translation: "In the grand tradition of forcing dead famous people to hawk products, we're going to appropriate Freud as our hemorrhoid pitch man. And we're going to write our copy from a point of view that assumes the reader already knows Freud suffered from this problem, because when you talk to someone as if they should already know something, they're too intimidated to question whether it's true."

Honestly, I don't mind appropriating dead famous people to sell stuff as much as I mind leaps of logic. A peeve of mine.

Anyhoo, you were right to respond with "huh?"

Blackwell said...

I get it now!

Go public domain. Too bad them folks can't actually roll over in their graves.

But you noticing this and me not is exactly why you get to be the copy editor and I get to corrupt children's minds. (Goodness gracious, my internet spell-checker thingy says "children's" is wrong. Boo! Oh, speaking of, at Howl at the Moon (a dueling piano bar at Citywalk) last night someone actually managed to use an apostrophe correctly for the "word of the day": "OJ's guilty." Can you believe it? Drunken fools can punctuate!)

June Casagrande said...

"Go public domain."

Exactly!

And I'm skeptical about the O.J. punctuation. There's a good chance that they would have put an apostrophe there regardless of whether it was a contraction a possessive or a plural. Might've been knee-jerk.

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