live, adj. = "(of entertainment) thrilling"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Wed Dec 29 00:48:55 UTC 2010

This could be the "handcrafted" of tomorrow. At the moment it's chiefly an
ex. of an ad technique that comes close to ye olde "bait & switch." It
probably already has a name, though I don't know offhand what it is.

DirecTV offers cable TV channels in flight (on, e.g., Frontier Airlines) at
six bucks a look.  If you don't slide your credit card, the little screen
eighteen inches from your eyes just keeps playing the ad (and a few others)
repeatedly, making it difficult to concentrate on anything but the screen or
sleeping with your eyes shut.

But the point here is that the ad says, "Enjoy Live TV During Your
Flight....It's Live TV That You Control....Imagine Live TV at 30,000 Feet.
We did." But in fact the only reasonably "live" TV you can watch is the news
on Fox and CNN, and certain live sporting events that may coincide with your
flight schedule.  Nevertheless the ad also claims that you can "Access 24
Channels of Live DirecTV and our GPS Live Mapchannel."  Yet few of those 24
channels are "live TV," and only the two news channels are "live" most of
the time.  (I didn't notice any little "TM" suggesting that the phrase "Live
DirecTV" might be a service mark, and thus presumably beyond criticism.)

Some of the TV you can watch really is "live" in the customary sense, but
most is not.  DirecTV seems to be spotlighting the exceptional and
trumpeting it as the typical. (See paragraph one.) But "live," in at least
one of the quotes, must mean something like "really terrific" in addition to
its "legitimate" TV sense.

HDAS includes this hitherto uncommon meaning ("thrilling, exciting,
wonderful") from 1978-80. It is nonetheless startling to see it used in an
advertisement, in cold blood.  Unless it's far more current than I thought.

At any rate, I find it remarkable, but maybe that's just me.

"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list