Sweet Like Candy


Did you hear me!? I said MILK!!

I had to laugh when I saw this today. I get the idea of course. Milk seems pretty healthy, so why not emphasise that ingredient? If it were the main ingredient, the manufacturers wouldn’t need to do anything, as it’d be listed first (did you know that ingredients are always listed in descending order of how of them much are featured in the product?)

But it’s not, so how else to emphasise that these sweets contain milk? Why, with giant capital letters in bold, of course.

Well, it works at least. We’re all now well aware that the cheap €1 bags of toffee bon bons you can get at the supermarket contain milk (though they contain more sugar and glucose syrup). It’s funny how unsubtle this method is though, when the English language gives us so many different ways to more subtly indicate that they might not be terribly unhealthy (though I’m sure they are), through tone, structure, word choice etc. Despite having all this at their disposal, the manufacturers simply  threw their hands up and said, Nah, let’s just make MILK really big!

Note, by the way, that the name of the sweets is bon bon. Normally, there’s no space there and the word is just bonbon, though why I’m looking for linguistic accuracy in a €1 bag of sweets I have no idea. There is a logic to putting the space between the two bon‘s though. You see, bon bon in English usually refers to a particular type of sweet (though this varies from place to place: here in Ireland it’s a round, chewy sweet I always associate with the cinema). It comes though, from French, in which it refers to sweets in general. And you don’t need to be a French expert to know that bonbon is simply the word bon (good) doubled up. So even though French doesn’t add a space, clearly the makers of these delicious, somewhat milky treats were aware of the etymology of the word when they added a space.

But regardless of how they’re spelled, or how much milk they contain, they’re pretty nice, and well worth a euro. Just don’t eat them all in one go. I don’t like the sound of those diglycerides of fatty acids…

2 thoughts on “Sweet Like Candy

  1. Isn’t it because allergens have to be listed in bold? Having said that, the elongated font is a bit over the top. A bit of a stretch perhaps….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Of course! They have to be distinguished in some way, through font or capitals. As I’m apparently allergy-free it never occurred to me. Definitely still over the top though.


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