silly adverts

Dave Wilton dave at WILTON.NET
Mon Oct 27 15:16:00 UTC 2008

Yes, "certified" means that the dealer has inspected the car and ensured
that it meets a specific standard (which differ from brand to brand).
Certified used cars usually come with some type of warranty, not as
comprehensive as a new car, but better than nothing.

Unlike "pre-owned," the word "certified" in this context denotes a feature
of value and differentiation that a potential buyer can use in making a
purchasing decision.

-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of
Laurence Horn
Sent: Monday, October 27, 2008 7:43 AM
Subject: Re: silly adverts

At 10:29 AM -0400 10/27/08, Alison Murie wrote:
>When "pre-owned" caught my attention some years ago, I thought it
>sounded pretty silly, & was just a sort of trial balloon,but ADS
>people had known of it for quite a while then.  Now I see "Certified
>Pre-owned" installed in pretty permanent-looking letters on a car
>agency in our town.This strikes me as beyond silly.
Yeah, "pre-owned" cars sell for a few thousand more than used cars,
and of course draw a (financially and psychologically) different
clientele.  BMW has been pushing "certified pre-owned" in their
commercials for a while; I assume such a car is certified even though
pre-owned/used, rather than that BMW is certifying it's not new...


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