Quote: “The Fit is Go!” Ad campaign for Honda, submitted by Figarist Brandon Smith in Ask Figaro.
Figure of Speech: metallage (meh-TALL-uh-gee), the getting all medieval figure. From the Greek, meaning “making a swap.”
Honda’s new itty-bitty car uses itty-bitty words for its slogan. That, we’re sure, is deliberate. But Brandon wonders why the “go”? Is the ad agency attempting a self-loathing Asian version of Fahrfignugen? Or, on the contrary, is it employing a patriotic NASAism, as in”The system is go” or “We’re go to launch”?
Either way, we’re go for a metallage. The figure takes a part of speech that isn’t a noun — such as a verb or adjective — and uses it as the object of a sentence. You can see a great instance of the figure in the film Pulp Fiction, where Samuel Jackson threatens “to get all medieval on your ass.” And President Bush deployed a metallage when he accused Democrats of being “the party of cut and run.”
Figaro usually loves the figure, because it injects novelty into our hoary language. But using it on a cute car strikes us as a tad too precious metallage.
Snappy Answer: “The campaign should be stop.”