Not over the “You’re Going To Love It Here” signs, but that NH state officials (and others) don’t know the difference between a motto and a slogan.
By definition, a slogan is “a phrase used repeatedly, as in advertising or promotion.” Hold that thought. The cute slogan, “You’re Going to Love It Here” was created by a Portsmouth NH advertising company for use in marketing and advertising the state of New Hampshire to tourists, new businesses, and any one else wanting to visit or move to the state.
A motto is “a brief statement used to express a principle, goal or ideal.” New Hampshire’s state motto, “Live Free, Or Die,” originally coined by General John Stark, was adopted by the NH Legislature in 1945 as its official motto. John Stark was one of NH’s heroes of the American Revolution.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m as ‘patriotic’ as anyone else. I have at least seven proven revolutionary patriots as direct ancestors, all of whom were New Hampshire natives. One of my ancestors was involved in Weare’s “Pine Tree Riot” two years before the American Revolution even began.
Its sad when NH officials, and a lot of other people, don’t understand why using the motto “Live Free, Or Die” might not be the the best way to attract visitors to the State.
I’ve come up with some alternate slogans, that are in keeping with the state motto, that should be considered for NH welcome signage:
“Visit NH — We’ll Take Your Breath Away” (Fits in with the “Die” idea)
“Visit, Spend Money, Then Go Home”
“We’re Right Wing and Loving It”
“If You Don’t Like Our Motto, Get the Hell Out”
“Someone Get Me a Dictionary, But Only If Its Free”
In keeping with these themes, the sign colors should be black and yellow–similiar to the caution tape used at crime scenes.
Its obvious that the NH Division of Travel and Tourism Development spent considerable money (actually the money is from taxes, so NH residents paid this) to have the slogan created, not to mention the cost of all those brochures and maps that were printed up, and the cost to have a marketing plan written, and the contests created, etc.–all to promote a simplistic, but not offensive slogan, that probably would have brought in some visitors, and their wallets, to New Hampshire.
That department is probably feeling pretty embarrassed right now–embarrassed because even the governor doesn’t know the difference between a slogan and a motto.
Now to rectify this terrible situation, it seems New Hampshire residents won’t mind paying an additional $10,000 to $100,000 to change the slogan wording to motto wording on the current signage–it won’t be “Free.”
I’m going to guess that the folks who are behind changing the signs, are the same ones who have been talking about how to glue the Old Man of the Mountain back together. What part of “I’ve Fallen And I Can’t Get Up” don’t you understand? (Wow, now there’s a great slogan!)
There is something strangely bovine about all of this.
P.S.: I love New Hampshire, and I know you are going to love it here!
-New Hampshire: Where Every Composer Is a Winner-