Sorry if that thread title was a bit inflammatory. Here’s what sparked the question. I’ve always been intrigued by the use of particular words in advertisements and my assumption that every little word is chosen with care to maximize gross margin return on investment (GMROI.) Last night I was watching a video tape (yes, a video tape) of some comedy shows I had made while living in Florida. There was a commercial of a car dealership with a young, attractive couple sporting huge, beautiful Colgate smiles, which went as follows. “Our credit was in the dumpster! Blankity Blank Ford got us the price and the financing we deserve!” Deserve. Deserve? Now, the linguist in me knows full well that this word simply ripples with the capacity to be manipulated. The young couple has just stated that their credit was in the dumpster, so the dealership has a verbal shield ready when actual couples with actual bad credit flock to this dealership in search of a .0005% rate on their loan and instead receive a 45%. But of course, we all know that the word also has an emotive feeling of entitlement, the same feeling which was being projected by those huge, Colgate smiles. I personally know better than to allow word choice in ads to affect me, but what about the general populace? Through the next two hours of the video, I heard the word deserve used no less than seven times. The price you deserve. The financing you deserve. The selection you deserve. The service you deserve. Etc.