"product" as non-manufactured--related business jargon

Dennis R. Preston preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Mon Feb 14 13:00:45 UTC 2000

This temporizing is a modern reflex of an even older pulpit strategy - the
practice of uttering a phrase in "fancy" or "biblical" talk and then
repeating it in "plain talk." My favorite example came years ago when I was
listening to a sermon on WLOU (Louisville, where else?) and heard the
preacher say:

The devil deceives many (pause) and he fool a lot of folk too.

dInIs (who hopes to provide pithy commentary (pause) and say a lot of shit too)

>I've often heard ministers temporize--that is use contemporary words or
>slogans in order to relate to their parishioners.  The strategy is to get the
>listener's attention  by using a familiar slogan, after which the minister
>can make his/her point.  A slogan liske, "We grow souls," has readily
>identifiable analogues in other businesses, such as cosmetology ('We grow
>hair,), farming ('We grow food.') banking ('We grow your money.'), as well as
>A few of the numerous examples I've heard are the following:
>"In the service of the Lord, you can't 'have it your way' "[BURGER KING]
>'Only the Lord knows for sure." [LADY CLAROL ("Only your hairdresser knows
>for sure.")]
>"I've fallen (reference to sin), and I can't get up." (From tv commercial)
>"When 'God' speaks, people listen." (Reference to financial planner
>Usually when this strategy is resorted to , their is an immediate reaction
>from the congregation (a chuckle, Amen, etc.).  At this point, realizing that
>(s)he has the group's undivided attention, the minister then proceeds with
>the job of selling his/her product, "the Word."
>In other words, churches have become "big business" enterprises and, like
>other businesses, must function in that manner or risk losing its patrons to
>the competition.
>                        PAT

Dennis R. Preston
Department of Linguistics and Languages
Michigan State University
East Lansing MI 48824-1027 USA
preston at pilot.msu.edu
Office: (517)353-0740
Fax: (517)432-2736

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