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What is there to say? I'm not very interesting. I'm not a good writer. I don't even dress well. If you insist on knowing something about me just wander through the archives. It's all there.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

On a plethora of prizes

I got an ad in the mail today for a prize sweepstakes. Usually, this kind of advertising doesn’t even make it to my eyeballs before it is deposited in the trashcan, but the word, plethora, caught my attention. I was surprised that they used the phrase, “a plethora of prizes”. Usually, advertisements are written for someone with an eighth grade education or less. Maybe, plethora has become an eighth grade vocabulary word. If so, then education has definitely improved in this country in recent years.

I started wondering if there was actually a legal definition for plethora. Must one provide proof that the number of prizes comprises a legal plethora? What percentage constitutes a partial plethora? Perhaps, the word “plethora” is like the word “genuine” and has no legal meaning.

The word, genuine, really has no meaning when used in advertising. Thus, we have “genuine faux pearls” and “genuine leatherette covers”. I don’t believe that advertisers need to meet any threshold in order to define something as “genuine”. It has become a non-word. I know that recently there has been some wrangling concerning the definition of the word, organic. I am not sure what was finally decided on, but we will probably have yet another meaningless word when things are finally settled. If we’re not careful, we’re going to run out of words that actually mean something.

If plethora has really gone the way of genuine, then I can genuinely promise a plethora of postings in the near future.

2 Comments:

Blogger Juri said...

You must have won that plethora of prizes! So busy spending all that money or playign wit h all those new gadgets . . . that's why we havne't heard from you in a while. :) Cyberspace has been a little boring without your unique perspective.

1/2/06 8:44 PM  
Blogger Glory said...

I hope to see you writing again sometime, Herb...and I hope all is well with you and your family.

24/2/06 12:21 PM  

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