More Solecisms We Deplore

Dedicated catalog and online shopper that I am — why waste gas and suffer hassle? — I nevertheless run aground frequently on Copywriter Escalation, that is, the need to make products sound fancy and important.

Memo to sales writers everywhere. Fabric is the textile that a sheet, dress, slipcover is made from. Fabrication is a tale made up of the whole cloth, or in earthier parlance, bullshit.

Perhaps that is what you are writing when you tell me that these bedclothes and frocks are offered in the finest fabrications, but why would you want to be so blatant about it?

I’ve probably bought my last frock, as far as that goes, but I’d like to put a sheet on the massage table without feeling that I’ve contributed to the downward spiral of the once great English language. Christ on a crutch.

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18 thoughts on “More Solecisms We Deplore

  1. I used to grump and grouse about this sort of thing. Trouble is it’s everywhere now [including the BBC!!!! – shock horror] – and, as someone once said, life is too short to stuff tomatoes ……

    • Stuffed tomatoes are wonderful, but stuffed sentences — yi yi!

      As a so-called “Languages and Literature” major I have to deplore this stuff as a sort of guild obligation. I only raise a hue and cry about repeat offenders, but this one has gotten ridiculous: “Spring’s newest fabrications.” “Available in a range of fabrications.” Bleh.

      • Those are actually quite funny if you don’t know they’re talking about clothing. Would be a great advertising campaign for conmen or even plastic surgeons.

        • You used to see ads in the backs of men’s magazines (don’t ask me why I know) for “spurious aphrodisiacs.” The advertisers charged a pretty penny and the ads appeared month after month, so I guess they made a winning gamble that respondents wouldn’t bother to look up the word in the dictionary.

    • The last time I considered a dress it was floor length red PVC with spaghetti straps, princess seams and laces all the way up the front. I figured it would make for a killer arm shot. But I couldn’t think of anywhere to wear it.

  2. They mean fabrication as in concoction, deceit, fable, fairy story, fake, falsehood, fib, fiction, figment, forgery, hogwash, jazz, jive, line, myth, song and dance, untruth, work, and particularly as in yarn.

  3. “Can I get a drink for yourself?” is one of my current love-to-hate favourites here in Australia. You and yourself are not interchangeable. Drives me bonkers.

  4. There’s a new book out, something like, “Correcting America,” where someone is traveling around the US correcting typos and errors. I’m glad they’re bringing attention to it. Grammar and solecisms should be part of it. It’s harder to fault colloquialisms without insulting entire towns and being run out shamed and shunned ;-).

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