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Posted on Apr 29, 2010 in zeitgeist | 1 comment

The Genius Of Phonetic Emphasis

Driving to work today I was behind a van belonging to a kitchen fitting specialist. This, in itself, is nothing remarkable. Then I noticed the tag line across the top of the back of the van:

“Thee kitchen fitting and flooring specialist”

Interesting. Is it a typo? Some weird Elizabethan theme? Plumbing in a ruff?

As the van turned a corner in front of me I saw that it was exactly the same on the side of the van. So, it was deliberate at least.

Then it struck me. It wasn’t saying “Thee” it was saying “The“. The emphasis, usually suggested by italics was being phonetically spelled out.

Only one mystery remains. Was this deliberate to catch the eye or to further emphasise the emphasis. Or, perhaps more likely, someone thought that “The” is actually a different word when emphasis is added and is spelled “Thee”.

Either way, it is its own particular kind of genius.

The name has been withheld to protect to the genius of it all.

1 Comment

  1. A fine observation. I think you maybe over estimating the public’s ability to read ‘The’ and ‘Thee’ differently. So I’m going to support the idea that this was in fact an example of good slogan/tagline writing, created by a person that understands the capabilities of his target market. My other suggestion is the dude owns a hot tub time machine and simply used that to engage Shakespeare himself to do a bit copywriting for him. http://goo.gl/OAw1

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