Tag: Straplines

More on straplines

Today I came across this little treasure in Aberystwyth on the side of a Stannah Stairlift van parked on the outskirts of town.

And the winner of the longest strapline ever goes to...

And the winner of the longest strapline ever goes to…

So I thought I ought to add it to my collection of fantastic straplines.

I doubt that Sunderland and Sydney appear together in the same sentence very often. I’m pleased, though, that mobily-challenged Australians and Geordies are both able to get up and down staircases thanks to Stannah. I wonder if they use the same strapline on vans in Australia? Or perhaps it says: ‘From Lapstone to London, Up stairs and downstairs, We help people to retain their independence’

By the way, normal service is resumed in the weird thoughts department. I suspect that I’ve adjusted to the change in the water.

More of those delightful straplines

Today I was at the Shrewsbury Food Festival, which, as with any major community event such as this, is fertile ground for strapline spotters such as me. As the queues for the portaloos were too long, my thoughts here came to me when I got home.

The best one I saw there was a combined Virgin Trains and random spring water company strapline created for the event. It went like this:

  • Virgin Trains and Random Spring Water Company: together refreshing your journey and refreshing you.

That’s quite a claim. I can see why they came up with that as it is quite catchy (and makes me want to drink water). I bet it took a team of people and a few weekly meetings to get to that. Water is refreshing so that makes sense. But I can’t see how Virgin Trains can ‘refresh’ a journey.

These people need to eat a lot of food

These people need to eat a lot of food

One of the sponsors of the Shrewsbury Food Festival is an estate agent called Monks. Their strapline is:

  • bringing people & property together

Oh dear. Stating the obvious or what? And why the ampersand instead of ‘and’?

They sell houses

They sell houses

Those were the two worst offenders I saw today (I saw lots of straplines for food producers emphasizing the healthy, local and organic-ness of their wares).

Then on the way home I saw this really bothersome one from Shresbury 6th Form College:

  • Shrewsbury 6th Form College: Unlocking potential…Shaping futures.
If you're feeling locked, study here

If you’re feeling locked, study here

As well as being an airy fairy strapline, here I question the use of ellipses. The word ellipse comes from Ancient Greek and means ‘falling short’ or ‘missing’. Ellipses are used to indicate missing text in a quoted piece of material. If the omission comes at the end of a sentence, then four dots are used rather than three. So in the strapline above, the implication here is that this is a quote and that some text is missing from the middle of a sentence.

‘Unlocking potential of Shrewsbury’s most locked minds and shaping futures’ perhaps? This is quite wordy so I can see why ellipses have been used.

The other issue is that the ‘S’ in shaping should be lower case as only three ellipses have been used. They either need to change this to four ellipses if the ‘Shaping’ is the start of a new quoted sentence or change the ‘s’ to a lower case. And who are they quoting?

I think sometimes I worry about these things too much.

The world is full of meaningles straplines

Recently I’ve noticed that the world is full of meaningless straplines. I’ve always known they were there, but until last week I didn’t really stop to read and analyse them. They seem to fall into two main categories: philosophies for the meaning of life or persuasions towards a way of life via a product or service.

Before I go on, I should add that I’m worried that I am not completely fulfilling the aim of this blog: writing about weird thoughts I have while sat on the toilet. This new interest about straplines didn’t come to me while on the toilet, but, rather, while on a train (and not on a train toilet due to previous bad experience – see last entry).

So here are some recently spotted straplines that annoy, amuse and / or interest me:

At Stafford Station I came across this one:

  • Staffordshire University: The home of great minds
Sunny Stafford

Sunny Stafford

This intrigues me for a number of reasons. Firstly, I am a student of Staffordshire University so I ought to be flattered that this strapline indicates I have a great mind. Thank you, Stafford station! Secondly, this might imply that other towns which contain great upstanding educational establishments do not house great minds. Or if they do, perhaps their stations also ought to declare: Exeter University: The home of great minds, Bath University: The home of great minds. Then where do all the dunces live? On the roads between these towns?

At Crewe station I saw this one:

  • Virgin Trains: Everyone home safely everyday
Travel by Virgin, you're safe in their hands

Travel by Virgin, you’re safe in their hands

This one annoyed me because it is clumsy. It is the ‘everyone’ and ‘everyday’ combination that I stumble over. And is it true? Not sure it is. It should say ‘Virgin Trains: Everyone home at some point and hopefully in one piece’.

I then also came across this one:

  • Staffordshire: The creative county
Only creative people here

Only creative people here

No offense to the lovely Staffordshire but I’m not sure it is renowned for housing more creativity than, say, Oxfordshire, or Nottinghamshire, or Devon. I reckon if a scientific study was to be carried out on the total creative output from the counties of England that Staffordshire might fare quite well, but would it come top? It may be the home of great minds but are they creative great minds?

Later at home after my train journey, upon scanning Facebook I saw this one:

  • Happiness has no formula

What does that mean? Happiness is not a science. Of course there is no formula. Although five tonnes of money might help, mixed with eight acres of sunshine and three kilogrammes of smiles from passers by.

My hometown’s strap line is:

  • Shrewsbury: The original one-off
There is only one Shrewsbury

There is only one Shrewsbury

Do not ‘original’ and ‘one-off’ mean the same thing? It’s almost as annoying as ‘very unique’.

On Monday at college I saw this one:

  • Stay hungry, stay foolish

So the home of great minds (i.e. Staffordshire University) can only keep its crown if those minds keep eating?

Here are some famous (and less famous) ones that irritate me:

  • Apple: Think different (sound advice but what does it have to do with iPods, iPhones and Macintosh computers?)
  • Tesco: Every little helps (oooh I really don’t like this often heard strapline)
  • Gillette: The best a man can get (that’s quite a claim)
  • Honda: The power of dreams (airy fairy and meaningless)
  • HSBC: The world’s local bank (is there a branch in Iwatsuki?)
  • L’oreal: Because you’re worth it (this tops the worst)

And finally, local governments make the best straplines and here are just a few:

  • Ashford Council: Best placed in Britain
  • Chorley Borough Council: Making Chorley Smile
  • Christchurch Council: Where time is pleasant
  • Dartford Borough Council: If only all Councils were like Dartford
  • Durham Council: Altogether better
  • Knowsley Council: The Future is Knowsley
  • Somerset County Council: Opportunity when you want it, help when you need it

I’m going to go live in Knowsley or Dartford. I can’t decide which is the best place to be.