Arnaud's Blog

Opinions on open source, standards, and other things

Not just “virtually” but literally annoyed

What is up with all the use and overuse of the word “virtually” in advertisement? Am I the only one to be annoyed by that?

I can’t say when it started but it seems to have become the norm. I hear it all the time and I find it really annoying.

Sometimes it makes sense to me. Like in this ad for some cosmetic product which claims to “make all skin defects virtually vanish”. This seems like a proper use of the word. The defects don’t show anymore but they haven’t actually vanished.

Most of the time though it’s used in the less common way (although this may no longer be true I guess) of meaning “almost”. Like in the ad for this air purifier that “virtually eliminates all odors” or this software product which is “virtually bug free”.

I don’t know but that seems just wrong to me. But I suppose in a country where superlatives are the norm in advertisement only a minority of people will actually be annoyed. Well, I’m one of them.


September 6, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized | ,

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