Quote: “Farëzerfallen.” Ad for the German airline Lufthansa.
Figure of Speech: soraismus (sor-AYS-mus), the foreignism. From the Greek, meaning “pile on.”
In its latest ad campaign, Deutschland’s national airline employs a deliberate soraismus, a figure that mixes languages pretentiously. Promoting “Eazenträvel,” Lufthansa shows its grasp of a fundamental linguistic principle: German is funny (when it isn’t scary).
The company’s ad agency borrowed the device from the Katzenjammer Kids, the oldest surviving syndicated comic strip. “No! You can’t vatch me fix der chimbley!” the Captain tells the two boys in a typical panel. It’s a laff-riot!
Most rhetoricians deem the soraismus a vice, and therefore outré, if you comprenday nous. But, as Shakespeare and Bill Clinton proved, vices can be hilarious. Figaro therefore attaches the soraismus label to the practice of foreignizing English terms, regardless of what the rhetorati say.
What about the current überfad of swapping “super” with the oh-so-Euro prefix? Figaro declares that soraismus strictly verboten.
Snappy Answer: “That’s using the ol’ fährfignoggin!”
Share obnoxious foreignisms here.