I’d have taken a photo the other day of the huge Athleta “coming soon” sign at my nearest mall, but feared risking the wrath of their security squad. What did I want to memorialize in pixels? The absolutely jarring “Power to the She” slogan. Nancy, of course, has already raked this slogan over the coals, but as far as I am concerned, it cannot be raked too much (unlike this metaphor, which I’ve already worn out).
Athleta’s actual use of the slogan since its January introduction certainly doesn’t convince me that the slogan speaks to anyone who knows how
to speak: Athleta has a Power to the She Award; its articles
introducing the winners of that award always begin “Meet the Power to the She Award recipient …” Huh? It’s clumsy and looks incomplete in text, almost worse than when it stands alone as a slogan. “She,” as a subjective pronoun, should never follow a preposition.¹ And “the She”? What does it mean? What is it meant
to mean? It makes my head spin. Just because some companies rely on non-standard English to make their points doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.² Not everyone
thought the atrociously ungrammatical “Think Different” was brilliant, after all.
Here’s what I don’t understand: Athleta is a pretty good name. Their Athleta chi blog has a great tagline: “connecting women to the energy of inspiration.” How about connecting women to the energy of logical word formation?
¹So if you’re thinking “but what about ‘with she and I’? Don’t think it ever again and consult a good grammar textbook. Please.
²Philosophy courtesy of my mother, an enthusiastic proponent of the “Just because everyone jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge, doesn’t mean you have to do it too” child-rearing method.