The late-night kebab is a much-loved snack in many parts of the world, and France is no exception. Here we have a kebab van, with a name that’s probably okay in French. Yes, it’s in France so it shouldn’t matter that it’s funny in English, but I bet a few French people have giggled at seeing a restaurant named ‘Zizzi’ in England (which in French means ‘willy’). And so I feel I can do the same when I see French signs that wouldn’t last long in English-speaking countries. Take ‘Musti Kebab’ here. Apart from that rust or grease or whatever it is on that middle section of the van that opens up for sales, I’m not sure I could ever buy a kebab when the word ‘musty’ is playing on my mind. I’d be picturing meat covered with mothballs and some sort of green, dusty coating.
In fact, I’m not sure I would have ordered orange juice last summer, had I known I’d get this particular brand, pictured. Who wants to drink loser juice? That’s a tad childish, perhaps, but this is one reason behind so many product names having feel-good words like ‘premium’ and ‘care’ in them. Just when I thought I wasn’t falling for it, I found myself taken aback by a bottle of orange juice and sniggering at a kebab van like a teenager with a dirty magazine. Am I alone on this?