So you are at a wedding; it’s the evening time; and your hosts have arranged for a mobile crêperie to provide the evening food. Do you just select the most tempting flavour from the extensive menu, or do you stand there and try to start a grammatical argument with the crepe chefs?
We were recently recalling a wedding we attended many years ago, somewhere between Harrogate and York, where one guest was very insistent (though in a playful way) that the menu we were displaying was “wrong”. Apparently, we shouldn’t have used a capital ‘N’ for nutella, because on the jars, the ‘n’ is lower case. And it appeared that this made a significant difference to this particular guest.
We patiently considered the argument she put forward: the nutella logo relied heavily upon the lower-case n, which was also emphasised by being red in colour. This logo was something which the manufacturers would have spent a lot of money on developing and that it was a borderline criminal offence for a mobile crepe company to take a cavalier attitude to this considered marketing decision and use a capital ‘N’ on their menu.
So what could we say? We mirrored her playful attitude and asked if she approved of our spelling of Milky Bar and if so, would she perhaps prefer a white chocolate crepe instead? We pointed out that sugar & lemon involved no branded description on our menu (though we do use ‘Tate & Lyle’ sugar and ‘JIF’ lemon), so she would be safe to eat one of those. And our maple syrup is the authentic Canadian type, so she would have no problems there.
In the end, she decided it didn’t really matter that much after all and opted for the nutella crepe. She came back to our crepe cart later in the evening to tell us how much she had enjoyed it and that it was the best thing she had ever eaten at a wedding.
So in the end the spelling didn’t really matter that much – it was how the crepe tasted which was significant. As Shakespeare himself might have said: “a nutella crepe by any other name would still taste as sweet.”