Lutoné or Lutón?
Kingsland High Street – Photo by David Horspool
By ADRIAN TAHOURDIN
Luton Airport, once immortalized in song by Lorraine Chase (apologies for the earworm) has recently had a lift in the form of an advertising campaign for easyJet (see above).
I’m a big fan of easyJet; I particularly appreciate its choice of cheap flights to hitherto inaccessible destinations on the Continent. But I can’t help feeling that something has gone wrong with the poster ad: “Lüton” (German) and Lutôn (Portuguese) are fine, but Lutoné? (Or is it intended as a distant echo of the French alcoholic drink Dubonnet, which itself was the subject of a famous advertising campaign once?) I think they would have done better to go for Italian Lùton or Spanish Lutón – both countries well represented on easyJet’s flight network after all. And you can imagine Spanish passengers arriving at Lutón.
There’s a well-known, socially engaged sandwich chain with a French name. It eschews the necessary accents, but as its name is entirely in upper case that’s perhaps understandable. Ê and À can look awkward after all.
On the other hand, I’ve always been irritated by the high street bakery Delice de France. If you’re going to be pretentious then don’t forget to put an accent in the right place, otherwise the temptation is to pronounce it “deliche”, Italian-style. So that should be Délice de France. But, according to the website bakeryinfo.co.uk, they’re about to change their name to Coup de Pates.