At lunch today, I passed by an Au Bon Pain. In the window, there was an advertisement for a new turkey with cranberry chutney on ciabatta bread sandwich—their Thanksgiving special, I assume. What caught my eye was the slogan above the picture of the folded lunchmeat and perfect berries, "Turkey in high-def."
Go ahead, read that again.
The disconnect between a television term and gourmet sandwiches is a large one. I suppose the marketers at Au Bon Pain feel that tech-geeks with huge home entertainment systems and foodies clamoring for artisan breads are the same demographic. Funny, I've only been to an Au Bon Pain once or twice in my life.
While this is a peculiar move for the bakery, it points to an interesting development. High-definition is going mainstream. Au Bon Pain expects that people other than techies will be familiar with this term. And they are mostly right, I suspect. High-definition is becoming a cultural phenomenon—between next-generation video discs like HD-DVD and Blu-ray or the video game competition between Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3, people are getting in touch with their inner videophile.
But, I still wonder, will the term "hi-def" become generic? Is it the next "google"?