September 10, 2006

Unintended Implicatures

At the grocery store today I bought some croissant. They have two kinds: regular and "multigrain". The funny thing is, they don't label the bin with the regular croissant "regular croissant" or just "croissant": they label them "fresh croissant". The implicature is that multigrain croissant are not fresh. If I were the storekeeper, I don't think I'd want to suggest that.

Quite a few years ago Canadian Airlines (since absorbed by Air Canada) had a similarly questionable naming policy. First class was called "first class", but second class was called "Canadian class". You'd think that a Canadian airline would not suggest the equation of "Canadian" with "second class". At least they didn't pour salt in the wound and call first class "American class". Sometimes I wonder what business people must be thinking.

Posted by Bill Poser at September 10, 2006 05:37 AM