So I saw an ad tonight for some new UPN sitcom called Cuts. I think it's about some inner-city guy who gets a job at ritzy, upper-crust hair salon, but that's not important right now.
The tagline for the show was "he's gone from street... to chic!" At least, I think that's what it was supposed to be. You see, the key words from the line appeared on the screen in appropriately representative fonts. And the first word, shown in a spray-painty, urban, kind of worn down font, was definitely "street." But the second word, the one in the predictably ritzy, gold-and-diamondy kind of font? Well, it wasn't "chic."
It was "sheik." As in "the leader of an Arab village or family." (via) As opposed to "the quality or state of being stylish." (via)*
And yes, they do sound the same (sheik can also be pronounced to sound like "shake," but that's not important now). Homonyms are tricky like that. But if you're in charge of promoting a network show - even if the network is UPN - shouldn't you really check to make sure you're using the right word?
Because "going from street to chic" and "going from street to sheik" are two entirely different shows altogether.
* And yes, I saw that an alternate definition for sheik was "a man who is much concerned with his dress and appearance," but considering some of the synonyms suggested include "dandy" and "fop," I don't think they meant that version, either.