A Sale By Any Other Name

I was driving through a neighboring town yesterday and spied this sign in a fancy schmancy decorating store: “Stop in for our Special Upholstery Event.”

Huh? That did give me pause. Just what the heck is an upholstery event? I’m picturing a cocktail party with finger foods served on couches, fabric balloons, some live music, perhaps? Nope. Turns out in advertising talk, “event” is the new spin for the now too-crass “sale.”

This new phrase is right up there for me with an “invitation” to a “celebration” at a clothing store or car dealership. You know, the ones that start: “You are cordially invited to (fill-in-the-blank).” Okay, let’s get real here. What the advertising copywriter really means (and I know what I’m talking about here, having done a stint as one) is: “We’ll throw a few balloons around so you’ll come spend your money.”

So, what advertising phrases irk you?

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