Rantings of a sub-editor

March 31, 2010

Marketing gold?!

Filed under: punctuation — substuff @ 2:06 pm

Oh marketing people, bless your little cotton socks but you’re a nasty lot. Did you ever consider us poor grocery-bound sub-editors when you named this new ice cream? Hmm? It’s a Magnum. And it’s gold. So to call it Magnum Gold would have been just fine. Just fine and dandy.*

So what was with the ‘?!’, hmm? See, even just to write that sentence, I had to add a ‘hmm’ so that my question mark would not butt up against your crazy question-and-exclamation-mark combo (and still I sweated about the comma).

Anyone writing about this product looks damn crazy. Witness:

Unilever is combining a bit of rough with the smooth, as Wolfman star Benicio del Toro replaces Eva Longoria as the face – and eyebrows – of Magnum Gold?!

Yes, it looks as though the reporter either can’t quite believe what he or she is writing, or is a little deranged. As a sub-editor, I just couldn’t take it: this esteemed publication will be docking you of your ‘?!’ in copy. Now I suggest [wagging finger] you go and have a long think about what you’ve done!

*Having just done a Google image search for ‘Magnum Gold’, I wonder if Unilever knew how outnumbered the ice cream would be by horses and guns…



  1. Ah this debate about the name just makes me wonder what it tastes like yummmmmm !

    Comment by Anonymous — March 31, 2010 @ 4:14 pm | Reply

  2. Do you like Caramac bars? It's a bit like that. But colder. Sorry, colder?!

    Comment by substuff — March 31, 2010 @ 4:16 pm | Reply

  3. "Ah this debate about the name just makes me wonder what it tastes like yummmmmm !"Another marketing/packaging success!@cathyWhy do I get the feeling that in a hundred years time, brave reformers will be pushing for the removal of !!!!!11 from the end of interjections?"Look, a single exclamation mark has the same meaning and is easier to type. Also, as often as not, the LOL is implied and need not be written."

    Comment by Michael Reed — March 31, 2010 @ 6:20 pm | Reply

  4. Ah Michael, I have news: those brave reformers already walk among us. Today I received a request to write a post on exclamation mark offences, so I am busy gathering evidence. I suspect 'lol' may make a cameo appearance.

    Comment by substuff — March 31, 2010 @ 7:09 pm | Reply

  5. That sounds AAAAA++++, as we say on Ebay.

    Comment by Michael Reed — March 31, 2010 @ 7:13 pm | Reply

  6. I strongly suspect that whoever was brainstorming about what new name could be added to Magnum to make it sound extra special simply jotted the ?! on the suggestion board. Next thing they know it's been cast in stone with the accidental addition of ?!. Thus leaving Magnum too red faced to admit their error and pretending it was all meant to mean something?!

    Comment by Stefmez — March 31, 2010 @ 8:18 pm | Reply

  7. This may not have been the intended impact of your post, but I tried this yesterday and for the record, I can confirm that it tastes rather good. Still, why the ridiculous use of punctuation?!

    Comment by chrisjeff — April 19, 2010 @ 12:51 pm | Reply

    • I tried it too (in a research capacity, obviously) and I’ll second you on that. Strange colour, but very tasty.

      Comment by substuff — April 19, 2010 @ 7:34 pm | Reply

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