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"Quiet Moment" Name Shift

February 21, 2007

"Why can’t a quiet moment be an adventure?" – Starbucks advertising campaign

This one seems easy: Because it’s not?

"Adventure" can mean many things, but least among them is "not-adventure." The ad portrays a satisfied customer in a quiet secure moment in the back yard resting in a tree-shaded hammock. That is not adventure, that’s relaxing.

Naming things to shift focus to something not intrinsically related to the thing instead of naming in ways that inform effective action should strike us as absurd and manipulative. But instead, we often take the new name "literally" and run headlong with all the metaphorical implications.

Why this impulse to do one thing while calling it something different, even something opposite? Do we feel guilty for relaxing? If we rename relaxing "adventure" does this still the nagging itch to go have an adventure?

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