princess genevieve

samedi, septembre 27, 2008

Hoi Polloi

I was in the shower this morning, the only place I listen to the real radio, and I heard a commercial for Palm Beach. They were trying to entice you to visit, and their big selling point was that you could "hob knob like the hoi polloi" or something like that.

I got out of the shower, thinking, 'that's stupid. Hoi polloi means the masses. Why would I want to hob knob with the masses? Can you even hob knob with the masses?'

I went to yoga class, still thinking about this, so I called my dad after class to make sure I had the right definition of hoi polloi. He said, "No, it means the elite."

Well, clearly that is what the commercial thought it meant, but me, I still wasn't convinced. I googled it. I am right, but I also learned that a common misinterpretation of the word is the elite. And that you shouldn't say "the" hoi polloi, as hoi means the and you'd in essence be saying the the masses.

Now I sort of want to call the Palm Beach tourism board.

Libellés : ,


At 9/27/2008 9:57 PM, Blogger Amie said...

Hehe...somebody in marketing research wasn't doing their job.

At 9/28/2008 7:53 AM, Blogger trashalou said...

I'm right with you on this one! That ad would have annoyed the bejaysus out of me too. Another common mistake is 'the many hoi-pollloi' (can't remember spelling now so three should cover it;-) SO thgen it would actually read 'The the many many'!!!

At 9/28/2008 11:36 PM, Blogger Paisley said...

I think the misinterpretation probably arises from "hoi" sounding a bit like "high". So a guess at the meaning leads people to assume that it means those high up in society.
Admission - I was guilty of this misinterpretation too until my mum put me right at age 24! We never stop learning.


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