Thursday, February 17, 2005

Multivalent Liquid Plumr Gel

A while ago, we were having problems with the shower not draining, so I bought some Liquid Plumr Gel. Eventually, the problem was fixed with the super's help, but we still have the container, about half full, in the bathroom.

This morning, I noticed something about the claims they made on the container in an effort to convince you to but it over Liquid Draino. Namely, it was deliberately multivalent.

On the side of the bottle it said:


with the large and small words in different colors. Depending on if you read it up close or from a distance, you got two different messages. There were two interpretations for the word TOUGHEST, and possibly of the meaning of the GUARANTEE and BEST as well.

From a distance, you read "BEST, TOUGHEST, GUARANTEED!" Thus, you think that TOUGHEST refers to the Liquid Plumr Gel, that of all the brands it is TOUGHEST. Further, it is the BEST. Both of these two claims are GUARANTEED.

Close up, you see that TOUGHEST refers to the clogs, and the claim is that on the most TOUGH clogs, Liquid Plumr is BEST. No mention is made about how it fares on clogs that are not so TOUGH. The claim they do make is GUARANTEED.

Thus, there are two messages, one which catches your eye, and the other which is probably the only one that is quasi-legally binding. But both were intended. An interesting modern multivalence.


John said...

In the words of Tom Waits, "the large print giveth and the small print taketh away."

joshwaxman said...



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