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Author Topic: Baby Spinach
Jeorge
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Okay, since we have a thread discussing mathematical notation, I thought it would be fun (for those less mathematically inclined) to toss out something I read on my package of spinach.

quote:
Our baby spinach is loaded with Phytonutrients - natural health promoting compounds found only in plants such as Carotenoids and Flavonoids...
Does this read to you as thought Carotenoids and Flavonoids are plants? Does the sentence need to be rewritten? Is this ambiguous notation? [Wink]
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Jeorge:
Does this read to you as thought Carotenoids and Flavonoids are plants? Does the sentence need to be rewritten? Is this ambiguous notation? [Wink]

Yes to all. But I expect that sort of nonsense from packaging and advertising.
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The Rabbit
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Yes! In this sentence, "such as Carotenoids and Flavonoids" is a modifying phrase. Modifying phrases are supposed to follow the noun they modify, so in this sentence the phrase is modifying "plants".
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Jeorge
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If we put a comma after "plants," would that resolve the issue? Or not?
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Sean Monahan
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In that case, I think it would also help to put a comma after "compounds".
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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by Jeorge:
If we put a comma after "plants," would that resolve the issue? Or not?

No. With or without the comma, modifying phrases should follow the noun they modify.

Switching the order of the two modifying phrase helps.
quote:
Our baby spinach is loaded with Phytonutrients - natural health promoting compounds such as Carotenoids and Flavonoids which are found only in plants.
It still leaves a bit of ambiguity because it isn't clear whether "found only in plants" applies to all phytonutrients or just Carotenoids and Flavonoids.

For complete clarity I'd go with

quote:
Our baby spinach is loaded with Phytonutrients such as Carotenoids and Flavonoids. These natural health promoting compounds are found only in plants.

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Samprimary
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I'd do it like this:

quote:
SPINACH
IT'S GOT WHAT PLANTS CRAVE
IT'S GOT PHYTONUTRIENTS


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Jon Boy
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The modifier doesn't need to go right after the noun. The problem as it's written is that it requires a pair of commas or dashes around "natural health promoting compounds", but it only has one. Put a second dash at the end of that phrase, and it's fine.
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Jeorge
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They chose a very good way to word it, from a marketing standpoint (even though it's not correct), because the way it reads, this phrase: "found only in plants such as," at a quick glance, tells the reader that spinach is in a very special class of plants. And then, of course, the addition of the word "our" at the beginning implies that other brands don't have those things...
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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by Jeorge:
They chose a very good way to word it, from a marketing standpoint (even though it's not correct), because the way it reads, this phrase: "found only in plants such as," at a quick glance, tells the reader that spinach is in a very special class of plants. And then, of course, the addition of the word "our" at the beginning implies that other brands don't have those things...

Marketing is a special class of communication in which its desirable to mislead people without lying outright.

I my field, that's a violation of professional ethics.

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Jeorge
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I think it's a violation of professional ethics in any field, but some fields don't view it that way!
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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by Jeorge:
I think it's a violation of professional ethics in any field, but some fields don't view it that way!

No argument there.

I wonder if any associations of marketers promote a code of ethics for their profession. If so, I'd like to see it.

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Jon Boy
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quote:
Originally posted by Jeorge:
They chose a very good way to word it, from a marketing standpoint (even though it's not correct), because the way it reads, this phrase: "found only in plants such as," at a quick glance, tells the reader that spinach is in a very special class of plants.

I don't see how it does. As written, it says that carotenoids and flavonoids are plants, which they are not.
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advice for robots
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Likely there's one copywriter, if that, working for the company who produces the spinach. And that copywriter is writer and proofreader all rolled into one. He/she included the keywords the requested. The ambiguous wording was not noticed by the content owners, and the copy was approved and probably not looked at critically beyond that point. It's not an ethics problem as much as a procedural one.
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Jeorge
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quote:
Originally posted by Jon Boy:
quote:
Originally posted by Jeorge:
They chose a very good way to word it, from a marketing standpoint (even though it's not correct), because the way it reads, this phrase: "found only in plants such as," at a quick glance, tells the reader that spinach is in a very special class of plants.

I don't see how it does. As written, it says that carotenoids and flavonoids are plants, which they are not.
Right. My point is that not everyone is as perceptive, as good critical readers as Hatrackians, and at a quick glance, if you're not paying really close attention, it sounds like it's saying more than it really is.
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Jeorge
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quote:
Originally posted by advice for robots:
Likely there's one copywriter, if that, working for the company who produces the spinach. And that copywriter is writer and proofreader all rolled into one. He/she included the keywords the requested. The ambiguous wording was not noticed by the content owners, and the copy was approved and probably not looked at critically beyond that point. It's not an ethics problem as much as a procedural one.

Yes, thank you for giving me a good dose of optimism. I needed that today. [Smile]
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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by Jon Boy:
quote:
Originally posted by Jeorge:
They chose a very good way to word it, from a marketing standpoint (even though it's not correct), because the way it reads, this phrase: "found only in plants such as," at a quick glance, tells the reader that spinach is in a very special class of plants.

I don't see how it does. As written, it says that carotenoids and flavonoids are plants, which they are not.
If you didn't know that carotenoids and flavonoids were chemical compounds rather than plants, you could very well conclude from this sentence that they were special kinds of plants (like spinach) which have Phytoneutrients.
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scifibum
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
I'd do it like this:

quote:
SPINACH
IT'S GOT WHAT PLANTS CRAVE
IT'S GOT PHYTONUTRIENTS


It's gonna give you flavonoid flavor fever.

And blast your face into tasty town.

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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
It's gonna give you flavonoid flavor fever.

And blast your face into tasty town.

That does not sound good. Not at all.
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King of Men
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
quote:
Originally posted by Jon Boy:
quote:
Originally posted by Jeorge:
They chose a very good way to word it, from a marketing standpoint (even though it's not correct), because the way it reads, this phrase: "found only in plants such as," at a quick glance, tells the reader that spinach is in a very special class of plants.

I don't see how it does. As written, it says that carotenoids and flavonoids are plants, which they are not.
If you didn't know that carotenoids and flavonoids were chemical compounds rather than plants, you could very well conclude from this sentence that they were special kinds of plants (like spinach) which have Phytoneutrients.
Well yes, if you read that sort of stuff in the first place. Apart from hopeless nerds who will never get laid, who does that?

[Razz]

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The Rabbit
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quote:
Well yes, if you read that sort of stuff in the first place. Apart from hopeless nerds who will never get laid, who does that?
I guess mostly moms.
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Jeorge
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quote:
Well yes, if you read that sort of stuff in the first place. Apart from hopeless nerds who will never get laid, who does that?

[Razz]

How did you know??? [Eek!]
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King of Men
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
quote:
Well yes, if you read that sort of stuff in the first place. Apart from hopeless nerds who will never get laid, who does that?
I guess mostly moms.
Well, that proves my point, then. [Big Grin]
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
I'd do it like this:

quote:
SPINACH
IT'S GOT WHAT PLANTS CRAVE
IT'S GOT PHYTONUTRIENTS


It's gonna give you flavonoid flavor fever.

And blast your face into tasty town.

ITS GOT WHAT FACES CRAVE
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Geraine
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Speaking of spinach.....

My wife and I visited my parents on Sunday and my mother made us both a spinach smoothie. She added some pineapple, mango, and strawberries in there to give it some sweetness.

She handed me a glass full of bright green smoothie and I was almost afraid to try it. It turned out to be very tasty. I couldn't even taste the spinach at all with the exception of a slight aftertaste.

Avocado smoothies are really tasty too if you can find the giant avocados that are the size of a pineapple. You can usually find them in some of the mexican supermarkets. Just add ice and sugar.

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