November 17, 2007

Meditations Composed Whilst the Author was Supposed to Be Studying for the Government Final


I suppose the surest mark of an addiction to print is the desperate need to read whatever printed material is in sight at any given moment. I must admit to this problem. I read anything, everything, whatever is in my general area-- the backs of cereal boxes, soup cans, milk jugs, etc. It's especially bad in the shower. I've read the back of that stupid Finesse bottle I-don't-know-how-many-thousand times.

Which brings me to the point. As those of you who share my problem may very well know, the back of the Finesse bottle was obviously written by someone who should probably have been hired as a garbageman (oh, pardon, waste-removal specialist-- mustn't be gender-specific) or something equally menial instead. Because they obviously can't write. The back of that dumb bottle is covered in grammatical gaffes. I stare at them in helpless frustration every time I take a shower. I yearn to take a red pencil, scratch them out, and rewrite the blurb in a torrent of grammatically flawless eloquence. I long to be hired in the place of that hapless shampoo-bottle-blurb-writer, just for a day, that I might set right one wayward little corner of this universe and leave the world a better place than I found it. But, alas. Alack. I can't. I must simply stare in mute agony.

After years of enduring this trauma every morning, I have decided that the only way to deal with my angst is to express it. So here it is, Ladies and Gentlemen-- the back of the Finnesse bottle:

"True beauty is more than skin deep. But tell that to your hair.
The surface- the cuticle more precisely is where your hair's beauty
is more evident. Enter the Finesse exclusive silk and soy protein
formulas that smooth and improve the cuticle, strengthening every
strand to leave hair more soft and naturally shiny. For hair that's
irresistibly alluring to the eyes and beautiful to the touch."

That last sentence in particular really, really bugs me. It may be technically correct, but stylistically it's the equivalent of wearing white socks with black dress shoes. Don't they mean "beautiful to the eyes and irresistibly alluring to the touch?" It's so obvious. . .

Well. I feel better having shared that with you all. I think I'll go study Texas' 5th Constitution now.

1 comment:

Amity said...

Oh, that is painful. Have you tried reading the ingredient list out loud instead? I find that works quite well as a distraction from bad copy, and gives you the additional ability to quietly recite words like methylisothiazolinone to yourself in moments of boredom. (Gaffe, isn't it?)