2.20.2006

Should I Expect More From A Place That Can't Figure Out How To Make A Round Hamburger Patty?

To Do Is To Be.
-Neitszche
To Be Is To Do
-Kant
Do Be Do Be Do
-Sinatra

Just Do It.
-Nike adman

Daddy didn't do her.
-Some doctor on House.

Duuude...
Sean Penn, before he lost his sense of humor

Do.
It connotes action and forward movement. As a verb meaning "engage in", the word is usually followed by a noun or pronoun object, telling us what it is, exactly, that is about to be done.
As in:

1: Well, I'm off to do my taxes at the place where the lady dresses up like Uncle Sam and stands out by the street in the cold wearing a sandwich board and smoking!

2: Can you do this for me? The problem with sticky traps is that when mice get caught, they are inconveniently alive, and still must be murdered!

3: I've told you before, oh, you can't do that.

Wendy's has recently been flipping how we do "do". They've taken a page from Burger King's Packaging Playbook and put writing all over the stuff holding their food.
My recent Diet Dew did this Do:

DO fresh long after most places have put fresh to bed.

It goes on from there about how nice it is that they're open late with tasty fare.
At the bottom of the paragraph is their tagline:
DO WHAT TASTES RIGHT™

Text continues on other containers, as well.
On my chili, I'm told to:
DO slow-simmered.

So, it's "Do Adjective". Except when it's not.
Their website tells me to
DO a real hamburger.

Not an adjective, but still doesn't line up with our understanding of what do does. This, in fact, is more the usage of "do" in "do her", which, IMHO and ITOODAW*, I would consider slang. And, this makes the image of one doing a hamburger more American Pie than Wendy's may wish.

Of course, picking on advertisers for using slang is like picking on Jessica Simpson for being an airhead.**

But, still. If we don't make a stand, and say Hey! What are you up to, here, Buddy? aren't we saying to our kids that you can Do This when This = Any Old Word You Dang Well Please? Well, put me on the record as having Spoken. FWIW.

This is reminiscent of the dust-up over Apple computer's "Think Different" campaign, where folks were upset over their apparent ignoring of adverbian codes. They claimed they were doing differently, using "different" as a state of mind. Like, Think Pink. Or, Think Spring. According to spinsters,*** it's actually "Think [thoughts that are] Different." Whether or not you saw it as another example of style as an excuse to confuse gradeschoolers and ESL students, the hubbub on that one died pretty quick.

And the hubbub on this one? It's pretty much just me. And, actually, I'm already tired of talking about it.

*In The Opinion Of Dictionaries As Well
**there's no point, and you just end up looking like a prude.
***this, not this.

4 comments:

BP said...

I would file this one under 'things as annoying as using grow in conjunction with your business'.

PS You've gotta cut up that post below. This layout weirdness is killin' me!

Eric "Babe" Morse said...

Do you mean the duuuude post? I kind of think it's funny the way it goes off the page.... or another one?
Or do you mean I need to be more of a cut-up?

Justin said...

On the one hand, I agree -- this usage is an abomination!

On the other hand, if I was a highly-paid flack for Wendy's (VP for Grammar?), I might try to argue that this was actually an act of ellipsis, and the real underlying form was something like "Do [the act of eating things which have the property of being] X", where X could then be any of your examples and the result would be grammatical, but stunningly pedantic. And then I would tell you "DO read", by which I would actually mean "Do yourself a favor and be glad I actually made this garbage faster to read". And then you could wonder just how many lexical entries for "do" are in my head.

--SC

NickwithanS said...

http://dew.ytmnd.com/