Using Comparison Words Without a Comparison
My Dog is Smarter than Your Honor Student from Melrose and Fairfax

We do get tired of comparisons. We get so tired of them we make fun of them. But what if we made comparisons with nothing on the right side. My dog is smarter. In math, that would look like dog > and nothing more.

And yet, advertisements do that all the time. Words like fast, most-efficient, cheapest, most luxurious, etc, are all comparisons, but they have left off what they are comparing too. In other words, they cannot be validated or quantified. They cannot be pointed out as a lie because they don’t say anything. So, why do marketers keep using them? Maybe it’s because we are so used to seeing them, we don’t even think about it as marketing blather.

“a fast, 2D rendering engine”

I ran into this very thing today in a software training course for a specific development language, “a fast, 2D rendering engine.” 2D rendering engine can be proven by definition, but fast? What is the base line metric we are comparing this to?

Several of my clients would recognize this theme, if they were reading this. My mantra is to only make assertions you can back up with data. Otherwise, your competitors can call you a liar with their own comparisons.

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