Two wrongs don’t make a right
January 27, 2015
The following letter was submitted to the paper after being sent to Algonquin Highlands Reeve and chairwoman of the county’s tourism committee Carol Moffatt. Dear Carol,
I just tweeted that “Unwind Local” is the most grammatically ugly phrase I’ve come across since “Shop Local.” I read in the Echo that you stated that this is “an unfortunate trend” but that the county must capitalize on the trend. Not at all. Two wrongs don’t make the third one right. Whether ungrammatical, it is linguistically ungainly and awkward reading and sounding. I suspect it is virtually meaningless as well. The Echo story notes that it is the culmination of a number of “un” words — unmatched, unparalleled. These are fine. The problem here is that these are adjectives, descriptors whereas “unwind” is a verb, a call to action. They don’t go together at all. I seriously question whether “shop local” and “eat local” have established themselves with the public so deeply that we must follow the same example. Rather, I would suggest that, instead of just taking the easy route to devising a theme, Ms. Virtanen take a fresh look at the goals and develop a phrase that really expresses something meaningful for the county. A final note that damns the theme as it stands is that it could be used by any recreational area. Muskoka (they wouldn’t dream of saying anything so bumpkin-like), Georgian Bay, and so on. “Unwind local” fits right in with people who say “youse,” “Lay down, Jimmy,” and “real good.” As I said on Twitter: it tells the world we’re hicks.
Yours sincerely, Jack Bush