Friday, May 1, 2009

from Honda. with curious grammar.

If you thought the choice of punctuation and capitalization on that title was odd, you’re not alone. I do too, and I can’t think of a scenario where I would choose to write a headline in that fashion. However that’s exactly what a new billboard from Honda does.

I see two different schools of thought crammed into one odd and hard-to-support execution. You can use periods, you can use lower case, but you can’t use both.

1) If they wanted the periods, they should have capitalized the first word in each line. Though they may lack the standard subject/verb construction, the periods clearly make the thoughts into sentences, and starting a sentence with a lower case letter is not common usage in any medium except, perhaps, text messaging- something board was not alluding to.

2) If they wanted to go all lower case, which is very much in style these days, they should have left the periods. The fact that the phrases that make up the headline are on separate lines makes it perfectly clear that they’re separate thoughts. And if that weren’t enough, “from Honda.” is in a bright green and “for everyone.” is in grey. If someone doesn’t understand that those are separate thoughts, they’re not going to understand the car-buying process well enough to put their John Hancock on the loan papers.

In essence, it’s a very odd choice, on that I can’t find any grammatical, graphical, conceptual, legal or common-usage reasoning to support. My guess is, either someone was trying to be edgy and missed the boat or it was a Frankenstein-style compromise between two factions as to how they should visually delineate two thoughts in a four-word headline.

The summary? Not horrible, not earth-shaking but a little odd.

No comments: