Spot the curious mistake


Can you see the curious mistake* in this tag on a popular lunch bag? (And I’m not referring to the headline-case caps; you can read more about cap styling at this earlier Glosso post.)

At the risk of giving away the answer, Glosso finds it slightly strange that it looks like the error of a non-native English-speaker who is spelling phonetically a word pair (and a curious choice of words at that), and the phonetic translation only works if it’s pronounced with a British accent — but the company that produces the lunch bag is U.S.-based. Go figger.

Answers on a postcard please

* Well, Glosso assumes it’s a mistake

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5 thoughts on “Spot the curious mistake

  1. Dave

    It seems to me that, instead of the word ‘fashionable’, a better word would be ‘flexible’ (or any number of synonyms to it). “Fashion” can be a noun related to a style, or a verb, meaning ‘to make’. Here, it seems like they are wanting an adjective to describe the qualities of the neoprene material of the lunch bag, which is soft and flexible. The word “fashionable” is intended to mean “it can be fashioned (made) into different shapes”. At least that’s my guess.

    1. Louise Post author

      Bingo! But even if it is meant to be “sought after”, don’t you agree that it’s a) a strange choice of adjectival phrase – for a pattern on a lunch bag, and b) a very strange misspelling of that phrase, given that it’s an American company, and an American would pronounce the “r” in “sort”? So I’m guessing the tag-text was written by someone with a British accent.

  2. Brian Barder

    Yes, I think you’re right about the likelihood of a British accent at work here. An American-speaking writer would perhaps have written “A sword after pattern” (or possibly “paddn”), unless Americans pronounce the W in sword? Surely not! As for those treacherous Ts, I remember an NYC cab driver on our second day in New York in 1964 failing to understand what I meant by asking him to take us all to the “Staten Island ferry”. He finally twigged: “OK, I guess you mean Stadden Island!” Pesky foreigners!

  3. Brian Barder

    PS: Actually I made matters worse when he couldn’t understand my pronunciation of Staten, by explaining that we wanted the ferry near the “Battery”. “OK, you want the Baddery for the Stadden Island ferry!”


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