I’ve written on
this subject before, but the examples just keep coming.

live in a culture in which people don’t always want to come out and say what
they mean – particularly those people who are trying to sell us something.
We’ve always had euphemisms around – “senior” instead of old,
“pre-owned” instead of used, “revenue enhancement” instead
of tax. We all know that a rose by any other name is still a rose – or
a tax, or a used car.

But the advertisers
seem to be going to new and grander extremes to attempt to convince us that
their products are other than what they appear to be. For example, I was reading
the other day in Direct, a marketing magazine, and they identified some
popular current marketing phrases. I thought I’d share some with you – along
with my interpretation of what they really mean.

been pre-approved” – but we still want you to fill out this six-page
application, and we may not give you a card after all

“Cost recovery
fee” – we want our product to sound cheaper than it really is, so
we’ll just add this on so it sounds like it’s someone else’s fault

results may vary” – don’t get your hopes up

warranty” – whatever goes wrong with yours isn’t covered

“A national
best – seller” – all my friends and family bought a copy

“New and
improved” – we couldn’t get the first model to work

“With a
few exceptions” – this would be one of those few

“One size
fits all” – just not very well

Of course, we
church leaders measure up pretty well to those high – paid marketing types in
our use of language. There is a reason that “ministerially speaking”
tends to mean exaggerated. For example:

“What a
glorious Sunday we had!” – several people actually showed up for
a change

“We baptized
six last week!” – if you count the five deacons that fell out of
the boat during the men’s fishing trip

“This will
be a shorter sermon than usual” – don’t count on being at the front
of the buffet line today

“What a
wonderful job Miss Lucy did on our special music this morning” –
be thankful you had your hearing aid turned down

“And finally
. . .” – yeah, sure.


Duduit is Editor of Preaching magazine and President of American Ministry
Resources. You can write to him at michael@preaching.com, or visit his website
at www.michaelduduit.com.

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About The Author


Michael Duduit is the founding publisher and editor of Preaching magazine. He is also the founding Dean of the new College of Christian Studies and Professor of Christian Ministry at Anderson University in Anderson, South Carolina. Michael is author and editor of several books, including the Handbook of Contemporary Preaching (Broadman & Holman Press), Joy in Ministry (Baker Books), Preaching With Power (Baker) and Communicate With Power (Baker). From 1996 until 2000 he served as editor of the Abingdon Preaching Annual series. His email newsletter, PreachingNow, is read each week by more than 40,000 pastors and church leaders in the U.S. and around the world. He is founder and director of the National Conference on Preaching and the International Congress on Preaching, which has been held in 1997 at Westminster Chapel in London, 2002 at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and 2007at Cambridge. He has been a pastor and associate pastor, has served a number of churches as interim pastor, and speaks regularly for churches, colleges and conferences.

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