Here is a picture I took of the Tuscan countryside a couple of years ago:
It's beautiful, isn't it? Now here are some pictures of The Vineyards at Summerfield, NC, a new housing development:
The Vineyards at Summerfield is also nice, but in a very different kind of way.
So how in the world could anyone in her right mind write,
Inspired by the splendor of central Italy's glorious wine country, The Vineyards at Summerfield offers residents the grandeur of country living along with the conveniences of an urban location . . . . The Tuscan theme can be seen and felt throughout the community.
But Teresa Loflin ("Special to the News & Record") did write that in today's TriadHomes section of the News & Record, and every word of it is false, including and and the. And in addition to being false (and silly), it's puzzling.
Let's dispose of the false, silly parts first. (1) The grandeur of country living means Mr. Darcy at Pemberley, not Mr. Bank Vice-President in a subdivision of big houses on small lots. (2) The convenience of an urban location means you can walk to a restaurant, shop, or show -- not that you have a 30-minute commute down Battleground Avenue to get to work. (3) A Tuscan theme would seem to require some actual Tuscan architectural elements on the houses. But there are none, apparently, except for a terra-cotta roof on the clubhouse. Of course you can find those in Tucson, too -- so maybe if the Tuscan marketing doesn't work, the developer can try for a Southwest marketing campaign. (Or maybe he just got confused by the phonology of Tuscan / Tucson?)
Anyway, on to the puzzle. Houses in The Vineyards at Summerfield start at $500,000, which would indicate that the target buyers are not uneducated.
But what educated person is likely to be swayed in the slightest degree toward buying a house simply because a developer has slapped an ersatz Bella Tuscany marketing theme on what is a perfectly generic housing subdivision?
I mean really. My 16-year-old son Sam and his friend Neal burst out laughing when I showed them the N&R's photo of a row of tract mansions along an asphalt road, sporting the headline "Summerfield neighborhood provides Old-World elegance."
Better to name the subdivision after something you bulldozed to build it ("The Oaks at Summerfield"), or what your dog used to do there before you started building ("Bramble's Ramble"), or after the farmer who used to own the property ("Garrison's Glebe").
But let's leave Italy out of it, please.