Thursday, December 04, 2008

pilpul on toothpaste

After brushing his teeth my son came to me last night and said he has a kashe on the toothpaste box. The box says "great regular flavor" but also says "great mint taste." A stirah -- is it the "regular flavor" or is it "mint taste"?

It must be, continued my son, that the "regular flavor" is "mint taste" and there is no stira. But if so, he reasoned, why would they put down both "mint taste" and "regular flavor" on the box? If the two are the same, writing both would be redundant. Elah, they are not the same -- but if so, hadra kushya l'duchta!

My wife resolved his dilemma by suggesting that the box prints "regular flavor" for those who have used this brand before and expect the flavor they have grown accustomed to. The box lists "great mint taste" for those who have never used the product and are not familiar with what its "regular flavor" is.

Just curious -- do other people just brush their teeth and go to sleep without a pilpul shiur on the toothpaste, or is this normal in other households as well? : )

6 comments:

  1. Why can't it be both at the same time? Alternatively, perhaps one can draw a chiluk between taste and flavor?

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  2. At least your son brushes his teeth!

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  3. Barzilai4:18 PM

    I like the fact that you took his question seriously. There are people out there who spend their whole working life, every hour of the day, thinking about what's the most effective nusach to put on the box, and to just pooh-pooh it as "ah goyishe kop" is silly. ?That's why many Jewish products used to look like industrial waste containers. There's a lot of chochma out there, and before you improve on it, you have to understand it.

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  4. >>>Why can't it be both at the same time?

    That's what I thought.

    >>>Alternatively, perhaps one can draw a chiluk between taste and flavor?

    A lomdishe answer!

    >>>There's a lot of chochma out there, and before you improve on it, you have to understand it.

    Maybe he has a future in marketing. Who knows?

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  5. Barzilai7:33 PM

    Maybe he will copy and improve on the Lubavitch juggernaut in the big world out there beyond New York.

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  6. Anonymous10:40 AM

    Maybe it's a ta'us d'fus. I know you can't answer a rambam that way!

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