January 26, 2013

Of Toothpaste And The Superlative Universe

When I buy toothpaste for myself, one of the brands I often choose is the Colgate that says, "Great Regular Flavor." It's not that I give any thought to the product itself; I'm just amused by the claim as a piece of language. I find it a funny example of the overreach of the language of advertising, the overlapping uses of 'regular,' etc. It's 'great' but it's also 'regular.'  It's a superlative world we consumers live in; the regular (read: ordinary) is great.

This morning, it being Saturday, I cleaned my room a little bit and then went down to the supply closet to get some things, among them some toothpaste. I was delighted to see that the latest toothpaste supplied for the brethren is something that looks very much like Colgate 'Great Regular Flavor.' But I'm not sure it really is, because for some reason, I can't imagine what, the toothpaste is Greek. Unfortunately, apart from the few words and phrases one learns in order to trick people into thinking you are learned while preaching, I don't know Greek. So maybe someone can help me. I would love to know if this is the Greek version of my beloved Great Regular Flavor.

It reminds me of someone I knew in college. When I met him, our mutual friend introduced him by saying that he 'lived in a superlative universe.' And it turned out to be true. Every book he read was the most interesting book ever, everyone he met was the most fascinating person, every band he saw put on the best show ever, etc. Though it could be a little annoying at times, I think it a gift to live in the superlative universe; perhaps it's an insight into the very joy of God contemplating his creation and knowing it to be good. It's a great regular creation we live in, as great regular children of God.


A Secular Franciscan said...

I think the great G. K. Chesterton would appreciate your superlative friend!

Marc said...

'Αctivated flouride with calcium', in the upper right.

'Great fresh (lit. dew) taste', in the dark blue area, bottom right.

'Strengthens teeth, gives fresh breath', in the lower left.

But Colgate's marketing in Greece seems to go with red and white, including white lettering on a red quadrilateral shape (that has a name I cannot recall just now); Crest uses blue and white, as does/did Gleem (patriot Proctor & Gamble products...). My guess is that you've got a generic product.

Most of that is from Google Translate. I don't see any way to get 'great regular flavor' out of the Υπεροχη γευση δροσιασ, alas. '

'Regular' would be from ομαλός or κανονικός or μόνιμος etc.

Brother Charles said...

Thanks, Marc!