Date: Sun, 29 Mar 1998 17:28:57 -0500
From: Beverly Flanigan flanigan[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]OAK.CATS.OHIOU.EDU
Subject: Re: RE Re: Think Different

The adjective/adverb debate is not off-topic at all, but we need to keep
our perspective straight. First of all, ad agencies neither influence
usage (goodly or badly) nor do they "break grammar rules" and "get away
with their brazen attempts to cover grammatical errors"--they simply do
what ordinary people in large measure do, and nobody notices but us.
"Winstons taste good like a cigarette should" may have shocked a few of us
in the '50s (myself included, as a prescriptivist high schooler who always
corrected her parents' speech--shame on me), but it hardly shaped a
long-coming change from conjunctive 'as' to 'like'; and writers to ADS
recently have acknowledged that they now accept 'like'. Finally, one
writer said he urges students to "think different [adj?] and write
different [adv]." An MA student of mine from Pittsburgh regularly omitted
the -ly (as most people do in this area) until it was called to his
attention during his PhD studies at Penn (but not by Labov, who directed
his dissertation). He had, of course, never noticed the "omission" before.
Why didn't I "correct" it when I had him captive for two years? Of course
I did, for formal writing; but that hardly changed his underlying usage

At 01:08 PM 3/28/98 -0500, you wrote:
I love the slogan "Think Different", the campaign, the product, and pretty
much agree with Greg's analysis of acceptability, but I blame the folks at
Chiat/Day for the missing "ly."

Folks at Chiat/Day, like advertising people everywhere, prefer to think of
themselves as exceptional beings who break rules for the betterment of
society. Sometimes they do it because they get a kick out of it, like
shoplifting when you're 12 or driving way too fast or crossing in the
middle of the street against traffic.

The ad agency I work for recently helped Carvel, an ice cream company
located primarily in the northeast, launch a campaign for a small ice cream
cake designed to celebrate life's smaller successes. My peers decided to
call it "Little Love" but they wanted something a little more unique. So,
it was put up for a vote as to whether it would be "Li'l Love" or "Lil'Love."

Naturally, the horrendous name "Lil'Love" is now plastered across
television, newspapers, radio, point of purchase displays and product
packaging. Nobody can tell me if there is a point to the apostrophe, or why
there isn't another one, or what was the problem with "Li'l Love." I know
the answers: they don't know, except they were breaking a rule and it felt

But like people in advertising everywhere, my coworkers tend to break the
safe rules, the ones they can get away with and still get a good night's
sleep. They break grammar rules.

Advertising folks like to say, "Well, in advertising you can get away with
that" but I dont think advertising actually gets away with anything.
Advertising people think they get away with things, but really, the world
is laughing at advertising folk's vain attempts to be God-like, such as
putting an apostrophe in the wrong place.

They also dont get away with their brazen attempts to cover grammatical
errors with cries of "It Tastes Good, Like a Cigarette Should!" as if to
say, "Look, an old grammar flub! Our grammar flub is, therefore, tradition!"

Regarding the success of the Apple campaign: its success is phenomenal,
and serendipitous circumstances are reinforcing it. The product is selling
faster than Apple can keep up, the stock is at a 52-week high, the company
had its first profitable quarter out of the last five, the Windows/PC
magazines are giving Apple grudging but glowing product reviews, Intel is
in psychological retreat (besides suffering its first serious financial
problems in a while and its CEO resigning), Microsoft is fighting the
Justice Dept. and battling a torrent of complaints about product delays and
security failures, scalability and reliability of Windows NT. Apple is
doing very well, and, as it is one of only two brands that I have any
loyalty to at all (the other is Levi jeans), I am glad.