Once upon a time, the word gourmet conjured up sumptuous, rich foods of the highest quality:


It was something we desired, something we sought after, something we aspired to.

Then someone’s marketing department got a hold of the word and corrupted it beyond recognition into this sad joke:

Airtran pretzels

Once upon a time, there were a few select companies that were actually industry-leading. Now the marketing departments of the world have deemed everyone industry-leading:

"industry leading" - Google Search

As Syndrome says in The Incredibles, once everyone is special, then no one is special. Everyone is industry-leading to the point where it’s a meaningless term. Every food is gourmet, every wine is vintage, every company believes its customer service is the best, every consumer good is luxury, every event is exclusive, every customer status is elite, every product is innovative.

What’s the competent marketer to do when the incompetent marketers around him or her are corrupting words faster than he or she can use them meaningfully? At a certain point, the thesaurus runs out.

How do you handle the business of being remarkable when all the words to make remarks have been used up?

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Corrupting words 1 Corrupting words 2 Corrupting words 3

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