By Andrea Romano
August 12, 2019
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Passengers looking to enjoy their in-flight beverages on Delta flights have been left puzzled by seemingly dark and dubious messages on the airline’s napkins. The oddly worded taglines on the paper products seem to be a case of confusing grammar.

According to Fox News, Twitter user Natalie Walker spotted one of these distressing messages on her flight to the Bahamas.

A tagline on the napkin read, “The world is better with you out in it.” Spot the confusion yet?

According to Walker and a number of other Delta customers, the strangely phrased napkin is easily read as, “The world is better without you in it,” which is a far more ominous thing to read when you’re just trying to enjoy a ginger ale.

Walker told Fox News it was a “real Rorschach test for my mental state,” even though she understood what the napkin actually said at second glance. Many people on Twitter agreed with Walker that the tagline’s syntax was a little too confusing for people to immediately grasp. Some people even used photoshop to make the napkins even more existentially sad (for people out there with dark senses of humor).

This isn’t the first time Delta has missed the mark with its napkin branding. Back in February, the airline decided to pull its “creepy” paper product design, which encouraged passengers to give out their phone numbers to strangers on flights as a sort of “love connection.” The campaign was a collaboration with Coke.

What Delta was trying to say was that people who are out there, exploring new destinations, make the world a better place. Even read correctly, some Twitter users responded to Walker saying the line was still a little awkward to read. While the napkin isn’t technically incorrect, perhaps a comma or rephrasing would have helped.

“We see your point,” Delta said in a video post on Twitter. “This video probably says it better than a napkin.”

An idea is always easier to convey in a one-minute video than in nine words on paper.

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