Or: English Is Weird and Also My Favorite Thing
Since I work in marketing, I have a tendency to avidly watch for interesting campaigns everywhere I go*. Magazine ads, billboards, commercials, graffiti…I’m always peeking at the ways commercialism is invading our lives.**
*This actually has nothing to do with the fact that I work in marketing, and everything to do with the fact that I have the attention span of a gnat.
**Hurray! Job security!
It’s everywhere, y’all.
So when I was driving around the Queen City (the QC if you’re hip, which clearly I am not, since I spell it out), it wasn’t really surprising that a billboard caught my eye.*** Specifically, THIS billboard:
***Distracted me into the horrifying realm of nightmarish possibilities.
NO NO NO NO NO. Is that even a thing that can happen?!**** But that brings up the whole idea of context clues and English.
****Of course it is. And of course I Googled it to make sure. And of course I will never sleep again.
Take, for example, the Got Milk ads for comparison:
Let’s break it down, here. “Got milk?” is asking if you’ve got something you may lack, something you desire.
“Hey, got milk?”
“Actually, no, but I DO have cookies and so now I really want some. Gimmie!”
“Got spiders?” is asking you if you’ve somehow ended up in the exact situation frequently illustrated by my nightmares.
“Hey, got spiders?”
“YES AND PLEASE BY ALL THAT IS HOLY COME AND SAVE ME.”
This applies to more things than actual ads. See if you can identify the positive usage and the negative usage!
I know, I know, this has been a very challenging quiz. But if you said the doubloon pile was the negative usage, you’re right! Because it’s guarded by flying spiders, which are more awful than monsters!
English. It’s all about the context.