All Along The Watchtower

films . videos . television

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Homograph trouble

General Motors currently has an advertising campaign promoting the fact that some of its vehicles are able to use ethanol fuels. The campaign is called "Live Green, Go Yellow."

That first word is an imperative verb, pronounced with a short "I" -- "Live," rhyming with "give," as in "Live free or die." But GM apparently hasn't explained that as well as they could have. So far, I've heard a sponsor announce on the Winter Olympics and an underwriter acknowledgement on NPR where the word has been pronounced with a long "I," rhyming with "hive," as in "Saturday Night Live."

It makes no sense in that second pronounciation, of course. And both of the announcers I've heard pronounce it that way were people you might expect to know better.

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