Morrison’s linguistic aberrations

Wolf Kettler | October 9th, 2009 - 12:06

At 8:10 this morning I promised myself that I would not go on about it but, as the expression goes in German, I cannot jump over my own shadow. So I will, go on that is.

For reasons, which are inconsequential for this post, I found myself in a local branch of Morrison’s this morning. As I was passing the bread section, I saw it – a dwarfish baguette that Morrison’s call Petit Parisienne. Regular readers of my blog have spotted the problem immediately, I am sure.

Many languages (not English), assign a gender to nouns. Male and female, and in some languages neuter. A table in English, for instance, is a table. In German, der Tisch (masculine), in French la table (feminine) and in Italian la tavola (feminine). Sadly, I cannot go on because I do not speak any other languages well enough. Adjectives follow the noun where gender is concerned, as do articles.

French dictionary by Wolf KettlerPetit (small) goes with a masculine noun, whereas a feminine noun requires petite. A Parisian male is le parisien, whereas his female counterpart is la parisienne.

Hence, it should be either Petite Parisienne or Petit Parisien. Morrison’s Petit Parisienne is an impossibility.

Curiosity being one of the qualities, which I call my own, I telephoned Morrison’s to find out who was in charge of naming products. I spoke to customer services, reception, PR and internal communications but nobody could tell me. Everybody I spoke to was very friendly but also highly suspicious of me. It will probably forever be a secret who at Morrison’s creates product names.

As for taste, the little Parisian (see, in English it works) is edible, sort of, but not authentic.

French breakfast in my kitchen with Morrison's incorrectly named Petit Parisienne

French breakfast in my kitchen with Morrison’s incorrectly named Petit Parisienne

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