Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Perfect Word

Okay, let's play "Spot Poor Word Choice":

From a description of an article in last week's New York Times "A journey into the Himalayas to the plantation of Darjeeling proves to be a teetotaler's version of a Napa Valley wine tour, but a lot less crowded."

You see it, right? Teetotaler. The meaning of teetotaler is a person who abstains, particularly from strong drink or alcohol. Since Prohibition, it's not a word that gets used much here in the US--it's a very British word. According to this, when spelled "teatotaller" it can indicate someone with a love of tea over all other beverages. Although it's taken from fucking Wikipedia, so grain of salt, darling. But when used as it is in the quotation above it's just flat out wrong. The article had nothing to do with the author's preference for tea over other beverages. It was a simple travelogue. The copywiter saw a pun and jumped on it without thinking through the word useage.

I was a little disappointed in the NYT when I saw this. I found it jarring.

1 comment:

Genevieve said...

When I read it, I didn't see it as a misspelling or missusage, but as saying that it was an alcohol free version of the winery tour.