On slogans (in general)

January 24, 2009

Now that the logical argument is complete, let’s further our understanding.

First, what is a slogan? According to my dictionary, it is

  1. “a short and striking or memorable phrase used in advertising”;
  2. “a motto associated with a political party or movement or other group”;
  3. “a Scottish Highland war cry”

Indeed, the latter meaning is from the word’s origin, the early 16th century: from Scottish Gaelic sluagh-ghairm, from sluagh ‘army’ + gairm ‘shout’.

Let’s stick to the meaning most relevant to the context: a motto associated with political party or movement … or province. What is a motto? Again, according to “the” dictionary: a short sentence or phrase chosen as encapsulating the beliefs or ideals guiding an individual, family, or institution, … or people. Great. Then let’s go with the following:

A memorable phrase chosen as encapsulating the beliefs or ideals guiding the people.

The people being, of course, the citizens of some governed land (country, territory, province, state, municipality, whatever, wherever). The core focus is:

the beliefs or ideals guiding the people

Now that the meaning is established, let’s question the concept of slogans in general.

Does it make sense to have slogans?

Must they be totally representative? Is 80% good enough? 51%? Presumably, as the size of the land mass increases, the accuracy of representation likely decreases. Does it makes sense to attribute one short phrase to an entire country? To a province? To a city?

Is a slogan timeless? Eternal? Do slogans expire? Should they?

Are slogans deceiving?

Of course the answers vary depending on the slogan; each depends on its intended purpose (and perhaps whether that purpose has been, or will ever be, served).

If you disagree with BC’s slogan, The Best Place on Earth, please sign the petition asking for it to be changed:

http://www.petitiononline.com/bcslogan/

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