Fun with phrases: "You're/ I'm worth it!"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Sat Dec 21 22:55:44 UTC 2013

The kind of evil advertising that gives evil advertising a bad name.

In a  current TV commercial, a cartoon woman has rented 12 luxury hotel
rooms because "I'm worth it!"

1975 _Galveston Daily News_  (Nov. 6) 7-D: L'OREAL Herbal Shampoo "Because
You're Worth It!"

1978 Erik Barnouw _The Sponsor_  (rpt. 2009; N.Y.: Oxford U. P.) 98: A
woman applying perfume says: "It's expensive, but I think I'm worth it!"
The chorus of claims and promises involves endless repetition.

1988 Diane Barthel _Putting on Appearances_  (Phila.: Temple U.P.) 31:  As
the models in advertisements say, "This I do for me" and "I'm worth it. "

1993 Rhonda Lieberman in Brian Massumi, ed. _The Politics of Everyday Fear_
(Minneapolis: U. of Minn. P.) 252: Late this century abject shopping
syndrome ("Buy something. You're worth it" resulted from long-term exposure
by humans to commodity interpellation. Ibid. 255: "You're Worth It. Get
It." Is the shopping body a subject? Or is it a pleasure organ for the
jouissance of late capital?

(Is there any doubt??! -ed.)

Earlier exx. of "You're worth it!" are spoken by others who wish to impress
the addressee with the sincerity of the speaker's gift or gesture. In ads,
it means, roughly, "You're a self-sacrificing fool if you don't buy this
now, you dupe of prudence!"


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

The American Dialect Society -

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