W is for Weasel Words. This is a term used in advertising that describes a bit of copy that circumnavigates the facts in general by telling a little bit too much truth.
Here’s a dandy example of Weasel Words taken from my home freezer, on a package that was opened and sampled once and deemed inedible:
Glazed, Wing Shaped
Chicken Breast Pattie Nugget Fritters
with Rib Meat
Notice the quaint misspelling. It’s as if they were told by the FDA that if they called these products “wings,” they could be sued. Or perhaps that really was the case.
This reminds me of how I used to tease my wife that Velveeta wasn’t real food. First, I reasoned, is that it wasn’t kept with the other cheeses. Second was that I once saw a description on the box that defined it as “cheese food product.”
And this is the profession in which I make my living.
Another note of note: Added a couple more entries to my post of Great Quotes You Won’t Find In Bartlett’s.
Listening: Love and Money, “Shape of Things to Come” (via iTunes shuffle play)