I walked past a gym yesterday. (A glance at my waistline will tell you that this is something I do a lot.*)
For once, though, something made me pause. It was the large slogan in the window: Find Your Fit.
It wasn’t just the fact that this line had been shamelessly stolen from an old Fitbit campaign; it was yet another example of a tagline using an adjective as a noun, like Find Your Happy (Rightmove) and Goodbye Serious (Wall’s ice cream).
Yes, ‘fit’ can be a noun and ‘Find Your Fit’ could be a grammatical slogan – but only for somewhere like a bra shop.
So common is this mangling of grammar that there was a piece about it on the Guardian site last week; when it’s noticed and remarked on outside the trade press, you know it’s probably gone too far.
The article mentioned plenty of examples I was aware of – such as Find Your Epic (Visit Wales) and Eat More Amazing (Deliveroo) – but there were a couple that were new to me:
Start Your Impossible (Toyota – not sure why they’ve gone for a line which suggests ignition problems) and Experience Amazing (Lexus).
It’s not just a UK thing, nor is it a new thing; after a bit of research online, I found this article from 2014 with some startling examples from the States including:
Rethink Possible (AT&T)
Your Best Beautiful (Olay)
15 Seconds of Smart (Farmers Insurance)
Generate Positive (Sungevity)
Celebrate Your Extraordinary (Sephora)
Unlock Your More (Fiat)
It also mentioned a line from the UK charity Scope which I’d forgotten about: End The Awkward. (Sounds like a suggestion to finish off anyone who doesn’t move gracefully. Wonder if they considered Kill The Clumsy?)
I imagine that those responsible for crafting (ha!) such lines are fully aware of the grammatical crimes they are committing, but believe that they are more likely to catch people’s attention if the words jar. Awareness is seen as more important than the danger of annoyance.
I, however, think different. (Sorry, ‘differently’. Blame Apple.)
Since it’s now reached the stage where the device has become commonplace, it isn’t going to seem unusual any more. And anyone who does notice it is just going to be annoyed.
It’s time to ditch the ungrammatical.
(* It doesn’t help that there’s a Subway next door to the gym, even though they’re doing their best to put me off by exhorting me to Eat Fresh.)