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
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
best – seller” – all my friends and family bought a copy
improved” – we couldn’t get the first model to work
few exceptions” – this would be one of those few
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:
glorious Sunday we had!” – several people actually showed up for
six last week!” – if you count the five deacons that fell out of
the boat during the men’s fishing trip
be a shorter sermon than usual” – don’t count on being at the front
of the buffet line today
wonderful job Miss Lucy did on our special music this morning” –
be thankful you had your hearing aid turned down
. . .” – yeah, sure.
Duduit is Editor of Preaching magazine and President of American Ministry
Resources. You can write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit his website