Oddest advertising slogan in America? (this week)
In the olden days -- that is, last month, before my hiatus in the US -- listening to NPR broadcasts on the internet meant using either the Real or the Windows Media player, or iTunes. Now NPR appears to have its own proprietary NPR Audio Player. It works fine, and -- good for NPR -- has space for a billboard-ad sponsor, bringing at least some revenue to the network.
Right now the sponsor is the British tourism agency, which is flogging the motto: "Be a BRIT different."
Huh??? Did any native speaker of, well, American, get a look at this campaign before it went live?
I suppose "a BRIT different" is meant to be an "interesting" variation on "a bit different." But in American, "a Brit" means "a person from the United Kingdom." Therefore the slogan simply makes no sense, unless it's some rococo formulation like "feel a joy sublime." ("Be a different kind of Brit" ???) I often feel sorry for non-native speakers who try earnestly to make a good impression in English-language advertisements but end up embarrassing themselves. There are zillions of examples from Japan, Korea, and China. But when the "non-native" speakers are from the country that invented the language?
Oh well. And go ahead and visit Britain anyway. It is very nice.