Posts Tagged language

Devalued Word of the Day: Professional

Today’s devalued word epitomizes everything the devalued word stands for, or rather, doesn’t.  You know a word has gone bankrupt when it implies exactly the opposite of the literal definition.

And that’s what has happened with today’s word, “Professional.”  Thanks to descrupled marketers, the word professional is now shorthand for “Hey, let’s be honest. You don’t want to spend that kind of money on a socket wrench set. But you’re in luck, because this is the set that professional socket wrenchers actually buy. And somehow I also cost less than the other ones. Buy me.”

In fact, professional is the moniker that people attach to professions that aren’t.  Chances are, when people tell you they’re a “Professional _____,” it really means “Yes, for a living I do this thing that you never knew anybody could do for a living. I am a professional hula hooper.  And one day I hope to make money doing it.” You never hear people say “I’m a professional doctor” or “I’m a professional police officer.”

One exception I add here is the word “pro,” which is different than professional.  You can be a pro surfer, pro skateboarder, or pro snowboarder and make serious money rivaled only by the unplumbed depths of pussy it also earns.  Until recently I wouldn’t have included pro golfers in this group.

I find it telling that GMC chooses that word to describe their line.  “Professional Grade.” I’m biased against domestic cars, but they did receive 3 bailouts from the government.  Maybe all the professional pickup truck drivers lost their jobs?

So let’s beware the professional moniker until marketers stop being professional swindlers.

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Devalued Word of the Day

This is the ER for words that have been run over by a marketing Mack truck. Sucked dry of all meaning, nobody even registers these words anymore. They just skip right over them. Even worse, these words have been so thoroughly taken advantage of that they now inspire mistrust in the reader. Instead of their once positive meaning, they now connote the opposite.

Today’s word is “deluxe.”

I drove by a Del Taco advertisement today which peddled their “Deluxe Chili Cheese Fries™.” Let’s pretend, for a moment, that the word “Deluxe” didn’t mean “with onions and tomatoes.” It’s $2.99, Ok? Seriously, there should be rules. Something cannot be deluxe if it costs less than $3. It can’t be deluxe if it costs less than $100. That’s my rule for today to try to salvage whatever self-respect the word deluxe is clinging on to. Trust me, there’s not much left. It’s been trademarked together with the words “Chili,” “Cheese,” and “Fries.”

By Del Taco.

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