Thursday, February 17, 2011

Style Cream

Every time I see these chips in a store I have to giggle - and wonder what 'style cream' is supposed to taste like. I finally got around to buying a packet just for the photograph.

It may look like a very simple type setting error, but there's actually a reason for such an error. There are half a dozen flavours to chose from, and all of them are named for a country. So, off the top of my head, there's also "Italian Tomato" and "Indian Marsala." Only the "American" flavour is "style," that is, "in the manner of." Therefore it's no surprise that a non-native speaker parsing these packets would assume that "style" is modifying "cream" and not "American."

Even understanding the reason for the error doesn't stop me staggering every time. I'm sad to report that the chips do taste like sour cream and onion in American style, and not style cream, which I imagine would be a bit like eating hair styling products.

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