What is this BMW ad telling us?
“Famous: The BMW 7 Series. Infamous: The BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe.” –New York Times, Page B5, June 27, 2013
Infamous*? Is the 6 Series Gran Coupe an expensive** getaway car? Is it favored by drug runners? Does the engine have a tendency to explode?
Let’s not even get started on the pretentious accent over the E in “coupe” on the website. (It’s kosher, but rare in American car talk. Most Americans don’t say “coo-PAY,” they say “coop.”) I was surprised to see “coupe”—sorry, coupé—applied to a four-door vehicle. I guess the extra doors are what make it gran.
But it was “infamous” that made my jaw drop. Were BMW’s copywriters unaware that “infamous” is a word with zero positive connotations? It does not mean “intensely famous” any more than “penultimate” means “pinnacle of ultimate” or “epicenter” means “epic center.”
On the other hand, maybe the BMW copywriters are ¡Three Amigos! fans.
Previously in the Annals of Infamy: The infamous Alexis Bittar.
* Infamous (adj.):
1. Having an exceedingly bad reputation; notorious.
2. Causing or deserving infamy; heinous: an infamous deed.
a. Punishable by severe measures, such as death, long imprisonment, or loss of civil rights.
b. Convicted of a crime, such as treason or felony, that carries such a punishment.
** MSRP $76,500.