Saturday, September 8, 2007

Language Perversion

I got a call this morning (!!) from Qwest - the (sounded) young lady on the other end started out by telling me that it was a "courtesy call".

10 seconds later, I knew she was lying to me.

It wasn't a courtesy call, it was a marketing call: she was trying to get me to sign up for one of their service 'bundles' (DSL, digital TV, phone). Now, maybe it's just me, but a courtesy call is something along the lines of "So, how are ya? Things goin' okay? Anything you're unhappy about with our service, or that you think we need to work on? Can we buy you a beer?"

Trying to convince me to spend more money on services that I neither need nor want is NOT a "courtesy" call - and calling it such is just another perversion of the English language. Such perversions of the (American) English language are usually the result of some marketing drone having a case of mental flatulence: "Hey! Instead of just asking folks to buy more stuff, let's tell them it's a COURTESY call and then try to get into their wallets!"

Here are a few more things in Marketing Speak, and their English equivalents:

"New and Improved" = Get ready to start paying more for this

"New Package" = Same price, less stuff

"Service" = like the cow gets from a bull

"Economical" = not worth what you're paying for it

"Quality" = won't break until the warranty expires

"Guaranteed" = if you bitch long enough, we'll replace it

"Latest technology" = damned if we know if it'll work

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