Shopping cart in “Le Monde”, from the supermarket to e-commerce

IThere are proper nouns which, without being cumbersome, without being heavy to carry, carry in their wake a store of meanings. Thus Caddy, the supermarket trolley company, which has been in receivership since January 4. The Alsatian manufacturer – by its full name Les Ateliers reunited Caddie – has until the end of February to find a buyer.

For half a century, in The world and in everyday language, the brand has become one of the symbols of the commodification of our civilization through a metonymy substituting the container for the content. The confusion arises immediately. Caddie appears on January 25, 1968, in the middle of a long list of French companies which suffer from competition from low-cost countries (at the time, Italy…).

The lawyers of the mark will therefore cease to harass the newspaper in general – and the correction service in particular – each time a small c will be invited.

Ironic that this term arises a few months before a revolution that claimed to bring down capitalism. Two years later, the word Caddy is linked as if by a chain to its necessary corollary: the supermarket. Under the title “The hypermarket or the obligatory party”, Christiane Peyre recounts, on January 14, 1970, her wanderings in a supermarket in the suburbs.

A sociological dive from which she draws a formula that will never be denied: “the individual-caddie”. She thus designates this being “pushing his cart in front of him like a huge extra, greedy belly which he diligently fills, yielding at least one time out of ten to the enticement of enticing wrapping, keyphrase, promises, solidified in little bundles , of a new life that can be bought on the cheap”.

Note that, from the second occurrence, Caddy loses its capital letter and thus changes from proper noun to common noun. The lawyers of the mark will therefore cease to harass the newspaper in general – and the correction service in particular – each time a small c will be invited. There are countless threats of lawsuits and requests for rectifications (the first from 1972) that his lawyers will multiply. The guerrilla warfare will continue, even long after the Larousse and Le Petit Robert dictionaries have endorsed the common name.

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Purchasing power indicator

At this acme of the “glorious thirty”, the Caddy is cornucopia. On April 4, 1978, in an interview with Pierre Drouin, the intellectual Bertrand de Jouvenel confessed: “I enjoy pushing a shopping cart along colorful displays. » It carries the praise of a happy globalization through the distant origins of the products: “Looking around me at the very diverse women pushing their shopping carts, I whisper: ‘It’s to satisfy your slightest desire that they come from the end of the world.’ »

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Reference-www.lemonde.fr

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Mark Holland

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