First, ‘leafs’ sounds like ‘liefs’ in Dutch, which means ‘lots of love’ like at the end of a letter. It is true that the plural of leaf is either leafs or leaves. Problem is, it should be leaves here, as it is about tea. Leafs is only used when emphasizing individual leaves, such as the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team or the leaf of a book.

So the wordplay isn’t really that clever. Me no like. Have a look yourself.

(Link: Ghazaleh)

12 Responses to “Nitpicking”

  1. G says:

    I was really annoyed when I first saw these baggies advertised, knowing that people will probably copy this into their vocabulary :p

  2. Eric says:

    You no like? Well then, feel free to ‘leaf’ the country any time 😛

  3. Natashka says:

    Is that Dutch humour going German? You need help 🙂

  4. Larry says:

    Pickwick (read: Douwe Egberts) has long had a problem with (wanting to be) English.

  5. Gabelstaplerfahrer Klaus says:

    Well, I DO like the shape of these tea bags.

    Off topic: your “Me no like” reminds me of the sentence “Long time no see!” Is this some sort of joke? These days I hear this greeting over and over in commercials, movies and what not, but it sounds like a joke although people seem to be serious about it.

  6. Natashka says:

    “Me no like” is meant as an understatement. You’ll hear cartoon characters or even children say this kind of learner’s English on purpose. “You Tarzan me Jane” is a good example of learner’s English.

    “Long time no see” is more poetic and by no means learner’s English.

  7. Jason says:

    Pickwick probably doesn’t want to advertise with “Pickwick leaves…”. I think the marketing department thought this would be an easy way out, it probably is, how many Dutchmen are going to notice anyway?

  8. Natashka says:

    Not too many, but to purposely treat your target audience like idiots is insulting. Bastardizing a foreign language to suit your purpose is not cool, especially deforming its grammar.

  9. Cheerioko says:

    I think that Pickwick must have reckoned that most Dutch people would not know the plural for a leaf (leaves) and thought that leaves would be mistaken for the verb to leave (as in Pickwick leaves the country).

  10. Natashka says:

    Then they can simply market their products in Dutch! They are a household name.

  11. Martijn says:

    @Natashka: I think they didn’t like ‘bladeren’ as a name… Can’t say I blame them 🙂

  12. He who is without a name says:

    It’s really spelled that way? That explains why I couldn’t find it on google!

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