Many years ago, the trade association for electrical retailers advised members to use the same language as their customers - for instance, replacing 'The leading electrical and electronics retailer' on their vans with 'The television people'. Comet, originally a battery-charging shop in Hull, has gone further. Its new slogan, devised with Saatchi & Saatchi, the advertising people, is a top-down classic. Comet knows it sells 'electricals'; it's in the 'electricals sector'. Unfortunately, an abstraction like 'electricals' rarely troubles the lips of its customers, who know Comet as a place to buy an £8 kettle or a £6,000 home cinema, traditionally called 'white goods' and 'brown goods'. No everyday word encompasses those things - so it might have been better not to try. As for the idea that anyone would 'live' electricals, that just sounds sad. That ambiguous word looks as much adjective as verb. And 'live electricals' are the last thing anyone wants when they plug in their bargain.
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