I’d missed the new marketing campaign for household brand Lysol until a column by New York Times advertising writer Stuart Elliott brought it my attention. Earlier this week, Elliott wrote in one of his regular “20 Questions” columns:
Will a new campaign for the Lysol line of products sold by Reckitt Benckiser, which is centered on the word “healthing,” prove to be the biggest bugaboo for English teachers and grammarians since R. J. Reynolds infuriated them with the jingle “Winston tastes good like a cigarette should”?
“Cleaning is hoping you’re killing germs. Healthing is knowing it.”
My answer: Nah. In the nearly six decades since that Winston jingle provoked an epidemic of pearl-clutching we’ve become blasé about (or unaware of) advertisers’ “bad” grammar (see “Lay Flat Collar,” “To Each Their Own,” et al.) and parts-of-speech-play (see “Tonight We Tanqueray,” “Let’s Merry,” “I Zappos to Get Noticed,” “Plus Your Life,” “Step into Awesome,” et al.). I suspect that some people even look forward to the next flight of language fancy from advertisers. I certainly do.
Still “healthing” bears comment – as does the Lysol brand itself.