Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Crispety? How cutesy!

Well, looky here. Not only have the language mavens in Nestle's creative department added two new terms -- crispety and crunchety -- to the English lexicon, but they've also attempted to translate those words into Spanish.

Actually, I know enough Spanish to tell you that their "translations" are the Spanish equivalents of crispy and crunchy. So why bother to create the new words in English?

Do we English-speakers need our candy descriptions shaken up in order to want to buy more of it? Does a crispety, crunchety Butterfinger bar appeal to you more than a crispy, crunchy one?

Not me. Cut a coupla hundred calories off each bar (without changing the taste, of course) and then talk to me; otherwise, don't expect some fancy new words to make a new or bigger sale. Besides, we all know that hardly anyone actually reads the package, right? We want Butterfingers, we look for the bright-yellow bag with big blue letters. It could say Buttfingers and almost no one would notice (with the exception of copy editors -- and maybe some 8-year-old boys, who, as I know from experience, are obsessed with the word butt).

Crispety and Crunchety belong in the Graveyard of Desperate Marketing Terms, along with Baconator, Smell Gooder and Landfill (as a verb). I know there are more. Won't you add your favorites to the list?


  1. This reminds me of a Barney Miller episode in which a man (an English professor, I think) went berserk in a subway car and started tearing down ads because they used words like "crispety". Later, an ad representative had to come to the 12th precinct to press charges and the professor started to argue about how this type of invented language was debasing the English language. The professor finished by mocking the ad guy by coining the phrase "crun-crun- crunchiest". To the professor's dismay, the ad man loved it and said he'd use it in his next advertising campaign causing the professor to do a facepalm in disgust. I miss that show.

  2. I loved Barney Miller too! Unfortunately, I didn't see (or don't remember) that episode. Awesome, though.