Today's award for marketing hyperbole goes to HP Foods, maker of HP Sauce. According to the label on the bottle, HP Sauce is a "legendary and uniquely distinctive taste sensation" and also "everyone's favourite".
I love this for a number of reasons.
1. Everyone's favourite. Just not true.
2. Legendary. I'm not aware of any legends surrounding HP Sauce. If anyone else does, please let me know as I would love to hear them.
3. Taste sensation. Not just a taste but 'a taste sensation'! This sounds impressive, but remember that sensations can be unpleasant as well as pleasant. (I think HP Foods is hoping for association with 'sensational'.)
4. Uniquely distinctive. If it is unique, surely it is also distinctive. Or does HP Foods mean the sauce is distinctive in a way that no other distinctive taste sensation is distinctive? Perhaps - but what does that mean?
(Incidentally, the HP website says the firm has been "providing the nation's sauce solutions for over 100 years" - one for Private Eye's 'Solutions' section perhaps.)
The ambiguous Oxford comma
6 days ago