So, I was reading this article earlier today on food names, or rather the names that are created for foods in order to sell them to us. The author cites only a couple of examples, but I’m in complete agreement with the sentiment. I can’t get behind the marketing tactic of purposely misspelling the names of foods in order to make them seem more palatable to some lowest-common-denominator concept of a consumer. Maybe I’m hopelessly naive, and these tactics are wildly successful for them; but I doubt it. I’m hard-pressed to think of many truly successful food items that are also egregiously misspelled. Cheez-Its, maybe? Cheez-Whiz?
This “whimsical” misspelling of cheese is especially common, probably due to the convenient substitution of the letter “z” for the voiced “s” sound, and also perhaps due to the fact that such foods don’t contain real cheese, its place being taken by some sort of pasteurized processed cheese food by-product. Mmmm. The z-for-s substitution also appears in sassy plurals, as if the misspelling somehow makes the simple grammatical concept of number more accessible to the teeming masses. An example:
I’ll have two bagz, pleaz. Then there are the names that turn “-cks” or “-ks” into the much more mysterious and edgy “x,” as seen in this Pringles product I will never eat.
That sux. Another common offense is the replacement of a hard “c” (a source of potential confusion considering the umpteen million ways a “c” can be pronounced) with the deceptively more constant “k” (which is often silent).
But hey, at least “k” is funny, right? Womp-womp.
To capture these images, I went to the Pathmark on Altantic Avenue, which is not only the least convenient grocery in my neighborhood but also a portal to hell where all joy goes to die. But it does offer some peculiar delights, such as this overheard snippet of phone conversation.
YOUNG WOMAN ON PHONE: Shit, my legs is sore. I can’t hardly walk.
Nuh-uh. I told her I fell on some ice. Shit, if I told her the truth, she be knockin’ on your door like that.
Boy, hush. That’s my moms you talkin’ about.
Glorious. I also came across an example of another pet peeve of mine, food names that evoke sexual pleasure:
And how did this winner ever make it out into the light of day?
And finally, my favorite, SOYLENT GREEN: THE CEREAL!