Tag: linguistics


SubstantialisciousThis word is used in Snickers’ new ad campaign, wherein they plaster these long, awkward neologisms (e.g., “Peanutopolis,” “Hungerectomy,” etc.) on buses and billboards and on their candy bar wrappers themselves.

What struck me about this one is that anybody reading it would promptly assume that it is a fusion of “substantial” and “delicious”; but wouldn’t that produce “substantialicious,” not “-scious”? In fact, the only words that end in “-scious” are “luscious” and the various forms of consciousness. I don’t think they meant to evoke lusciousness, and even if they did, shouldn’t they have coined “Substantialuscious”?

Things got worse when I opened the wrapper:

Substantialiscious \sub-'stan(t)-shu-'li-shus\
(noun). The weight of something when you weigh it with your tongue.

It is, of course, an adjective, a fact that a contributor to Urban Dictionary even tried to point out, albeit incorrectly.

It’s an easy target, I know, but I’m just genuinely surprised that they let something like that get out the door; it’s a fairly clever campaign, and “Hungerectomy” in particular presupposes that the average person is smart enough to know what the suffix “-ectomy” means. And wouldn’t somebody who knows that also know an adjective from a noun? It’s just confusing.

7 Responses