You are, we car

NO!!!!!!! If ever a slogan was designed to wind up a native speaker, it has to be this one. What are Fiat up to?!

Well, it seems this is their launch slogan (in Germany – or do you know better) for the new Fiat 500. The sweet “Italian mini” may be pulling in the prizes, but this slogan gets a “uh-oh” from me worthy of Family Fortunes (Family Feuds to our American readers, Familienduell to the Germans). Uh-oh.

“But nay”, the poetic will tell you. This is anthimeria, which, you may be surprised to hear, is not a disease in urgent need of treatment but a language trick – usually turning a noun into a verb.

Any copywriter worth their salt can come up with them. eg, “Don’t just book it, Thomas Cook it”. But there is rhyme and rhythm to that one. It works. Unlike “You are, we car”. Unlike that German classic “Come in and find out”. Denglish at its best. Only this is Italish. Ouch.

Sorry. It’s plain ugly and confuses. But as I’d never buy a cinquecento anyway, what do I car.

Alex Woodruff

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