Tag Archives: language

Tribal alliteration

During a lively discussion with my daughter – currently doing A levels in both English & Philosophy – around how words have meanings, and what determines the meanings they have (“the meaning of a word is its use in the language” – Wittgenstein), as well as the fact that words have not just meanings but connotations, associations – how they broadcast (or betray) social standing and the like, I grabbed some coriander from the fridge, to discover:


“Potent, pungent and particularly pretty coriander crowns a curry.”

“That,” I said, “is the voice of a brand with confidence. A brand that knows exactly who its target audience is, and is relaxed enough to address them in a very singular tone of voice. They’re not actually conveying information about coriander. What they’re doing is having a bit of fun with the language, playing with alliteration, and effectively saying to their customers ‘this is fun, isn’t it? We know you’ll appreciate this (like we do) because you’re educated, literate, and have a sense of humour. You’re a Waitrose person”

“One of the family.” said my daughter.