Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Very Well Qualified

No, I am not peddling automobiles. The focus here is on advertising, or rather the implications of the language used therein.

Here we have that certain leases are available to "very well qualified lessees." We often hear the same phrase with regard to buyers. No matter. The implication is that we are too stupid to understand the basics of car buying, that we might, in fact, assume that anyone can walk in and drive out.

Anyone who has lived more than seventeen years and has at least a third-grade education knows that he will be vetted, credit checked and otherwise hassled during the closing of the deal, should we get to that point.

First, it was advertised that the dealer would lease autos. Or sell them, but we knew that. Then it was advertised that these deals were for "qualified buyers." Duh. Yet this is not good enough, so we have modified the phrase thusly: "well qualified buyers." At this point, fog begins to settle in. Is the modifier an adverb modifying the adjective "qualified" or is it an adjective modifying "buyer"? It is the case that one is either "qualified" or he is not. So then, he must be "well." Of course we cannot sell a vehicle to one who has epizootic, malaria or even the common cold, for he is not a "well" buyer.

However, for good measure, let's pile on some more meaningless verbiage. Introduce, therefore, "very." To what end? What does it mean? How does it improve the conveyance of the concept? [I can't help myself. Stop, Fingers!]

Just advertise the car, for crying out loud. Your sales staff is highly competent in the skills of 1) sorting out buyers from tire-kickers; 2) determining the financial health of the buyer, and 3) twisting the arm to bring the pen to the dotted line.

We are qualified. We know slop.

A succinct summation: Either one is qualified or he is not qualified. Modifiers do nothing to improve the message, or the meaning. In fact, they obfuscate. It is much like using a modifier with "unique." Again, either it is, or it isn't.

6 comments:

jimgrey said...

The "qualified buyers" and "well qualified buyers" stuff is code that translates to certain credit scores. My experience has been that "well qualified" = 800 or greater, and "qualified" is 750-800.

Grace said...

Gotta agree with Jim Grey here - it's a CYA thing. "Whatta ya mean I'm not eligible. I'm qualified" "ah, but you are not WELL qualified"

Vee said...

I usually mute TV ads, but when I don't Hubby and I often laugh at the wording. I'm trying to remember when I have purchased something based on a TV spot and I can't thimk of anything.

vanilla said...

Jim, you are doubtless correct. May I still be irritated?

Grace, yeah, we live in a CYA society.

Vee, me neither.

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

I think you are uniquely qualified to bring us this message.

vanilla said...

Shark, why, thank you! (I will accept the qualifier, inasmuch as I am sure you mean there is no one else qualified to do it.)