0

I come across many marketing lines... say

High performance. Delivered

Now, I have a question. I know what is headlinese for what we don't bother much about grammar.

But, what sort of style is this? Can't it be written...

High performance, delivered!

The string 'High performance' and the word 'delivered' are connected and depend on each other separating them that too with the 'period' makes it ungrammatical. The 'comma' would have certainly worked and would have been a way better choice. What say?

  • 1
    Yes, marketing slogans and headlines are second-cousins. The minimalist punctuation and syntax of the original are designed to project the idea "no nonsense. high performance. plain and simple". The copy writer would consider your punctuation, with the comma and the exclamation point, too fussy and a bit gushy. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Sep 20 '16 at 10:23
  • 1
    The humorist Dave Barry wrote about this phenomenon 30 years ago; read "In Search of Excellence", and look for the part that begins "The advertisements are generally written in incomplete sentences..." – stangdon Sep 20 '16 at 12:29
0

Periods in the middle of words are called 'middle dots' or interpunct. It has root in ancient Latin script for interword separation.

The Greeks had used the middle dot as an accent similar to a comma. Today, the interpunct is widely used to present discrete thoughts or ideas together in copywriting.

High Performance. Delivered.

The middle dot connects performance and delivery here.

Here is a source to know more about the middle dot.

  • 1
    Periods are not suspended in mid air, unlike middle dots. I wouldn't even know where to find the middle dot on my keyboard. The dots were used to separate words in Latin, for ease of legibility. I don't think the interpunct has anything to do with short snappy slogans or speech. – Mari-Lou A Sep 20 '16 at 10:43
  • 1
0

One way to read that is to see it as a series of facts about the subject matter. Each fact is a short sharp sentence:

The BMW i7. Sleek. Fast. High performance. Delivered.

The last doesn't mean that the "high performance" has been delivered, but that the car has been: delivered to the world, that is. Of course, if you're lucky enough to get one, then you get high performance delivered too.

The more traditional way this might have been written is:

The BMW i7: sleek; fast; high performance; delivered.

I've been abused for using semicolons though - the reader didn't understand them. So I changed it to use the period as above.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.