Grammar

Politically Correct Punch?

I wonder if anyone else has noted the subtle edit made recently in a Kool-Aid commercial.

The spot in question, which debuted over the past few months, depicts the start of a neighborhood lemonade war. The first line in the commercial is delivered by a young girl who sees that a young boy has set up a lemonade stand across the street from her own. It’s worth noting that most of the actors in the spot are black. The girl looks at the competition and says, “Oh, no he didn’t!”

The original version of the commercial had her uttering the word didn’t in some kind of stereotypical “ghetto” pronunciation: “Oh, no he dihh-ehh.”

Within the past few weeks, a new version of the commercial has appeared, and the revision is identical with the exception of one minor change: the word didn’t is now being pronounced correctly.

The logical assumption is that the makers of Kool-Aid ordered the line re-cut because of complaints. I will take a great leap of faith and assume that the complaints did not come from grammar enthusiasts like me who cringed every time we heard the offending word because it represents another example of lazy english. I will assume, instead, that members of the black community were offended by what may have been perceived as being a portrayal of a young black youth as uneducated.

I’ve heard several people pronounce didn’t as dihh-ehh; a co-worker infuriates me by pronouncing written as wrihh-ehh. The co-worker is white, by the way; no race is incapable of improper English.

What I can’t figure out is why anyone would want to intentionally mispronounce words in a manner that requires more work than pronouncing the same word correctly would.

I’m just glad that someone had enough common sense to fix it. Frankly, I don’t need any more reasons to grab the remote control when a commercial break begins.

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 28 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.