Wednesday, August 19, 2009

"Death by Doughnut"

What exactly is the appeal of alliteration?

Alliterative headlines are catchy, memorable, rhythmic. Germanic languages may be more prone to employ alliteration than other language families. Would be interesting to survey headlines and taglines in non-Germanic languages to ascertain whether there were stylistic devices employed in the same manner based on some feature of the structure of the words.

The recent editorial published in the Bangor Daily News drew my attention due to its use of alliteration: "Death by Doughnut"

But then there was also: "Sticky Scaremongering vs. Sweet Science"

The author of "Sticky Scaremongering," whose primary purpose in writing this piece is to defend HFCS, cites the FDA's labeling of HFCS as "natural" and Marion Nestle's view that it's no different than table sugar. And while there may be mercury in HFCS, it's a tiny little amount. The author ends the write up with the following statement:

In the end: sugar is sugar. Whether it’s table sugar, corn sugar, brown sugar or honey, it can be part of a healthy diet.

Not that you asked, but my view is that all sides should be presented and consumers should be able to decide for themselves what they eat. Entitling the blog "Ban HFCS" may be misleading. It's true: I don't like HFCS; from what I've researched I see no positive value in HFCS from the consumer perspective. But in the best of all possible worlds, people wishing NOT to ingest HFCS (whether they suffer from Fructose Malabsorption and HFCS makes them ill OR whether it's from a political/nutritional standpoint) should be able to go to a restaurant and have some sense of what they can order and have some menu options available. And people should be able to express concerns about HFCS without being labeled "Scaremongerers." And while Dr. Jason Newsom, who worked at the Bay County Health Department in Panama City, FL, may have gone a bit far in his assault on fattening foods, should he have been fired for his play on the slogan “America Runs on Dunkin”: “America Dies on Dunkin”? [Please note that I am well aware that his being fired may have had greater complexity than was depicted in the "Death by Doughnut" editorial.]

In closing, the editorial "Death by Doughnut" pointed out some interesting points for comparison that i found thought-provoking:
We Americans are content to be lectured about how illegal drugs can kill us or ruin our lives (“Just say no!”), we accept scolding about our alcohol intake (“Drink responsibly”), agree solemnly with physicians who inform us that tobacco kills more each year than car crashes and even allow educators and other professionals to give us guidelines on how we enjoy sexual relations (“Practice safe sex”).

But spoil someone’s enjoyment of that morning dose of fried dough and sugar? You’re treading on some dangerous ground, pal.

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