August 11, 2004

Emergency call for Dr. IPA

Well, it seems that our idea about using phonetic transcription in advertising is seeping osmotically into the Zeitgeist. Or maybe the direction of flow was the other way around? Anyhow, TstT documents some Qwest ads that give pseudo-phonetic renditions of decomplexify and futureproofulate. But, as TstT explains in detail, they got it all wrong!

The results are ugly and unimpressive, as error always ought to be in comparison to truth. Quest's advertising agency used this

instead of this:


and then for futureproofulate, misused a completely different approach to the representation of pronunciation. You'd think that a company aiming to present a high-technology image would take a few minutes to get this kind of thing right.

Posted by Mark Liberman at August 11, 2004 11:31 AM