Quote: “Diet and light brands are actually health and wellness brands.” Coca-Cola CEO Neville Isdell, in the New York Times.
Figure of Speech: syncrisis (SIN-crih-sis), the not- that- but- this figure. From the Greek, meaning “to compare.”
Get ready for some wholesome new drinks from Coke and Pepsi. Called “sparkling beverages,” they’re a down-home mix of artificial flavorings and sweeteners, together with a salubrious dollop of carbon dioxide. Their makers will lovingly fortify these diet colas — sorry, sparkling beverages — with vitamins and minerals. Mm-mm!
The Coke head (the head of Coke, we mean) already thinks diet colas are part of a healthy lifestyle. He expresses that happy thought in a syncrisis, a re-labeling figure that helps you frame an issue. It’s a tricky figure, though, because repeating the old terms tends to reinforce them in the audience’s heads. If Mr. Isdell doesn’t want people to associate diet colas with the word “diet,” he shouldn’t mention the word at all.
Snappy Answer: “So is Diet Coke all you drink?”