Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Brand new

OK, brand new is a phrase and not a word and this may be more of a rant than an explanation*, but this has been bothering me for a while ... Why do people (particularly those in marketing) say something is brand new? The only definition I've been able to find is 'completely new'. But new is like pregnant, dead or unique - either you are or you're not. You can't be slightly pregnant or fairly unique and an object can't be just a little bit new.

While I'm ranting, semi-naked is just as bad. There's no such thing. A person may not be wearing many clothes, but saying someone who's removed their shirt is semi-naked is like referring to someone as mildly dead. (Unlike the people who built the spynx who are really, totally and absolutely completely dead)

Are there any redundant or illogical expressions which annoy you?

*See the comments for that.

22 comments:

  1. Hi Patsy - nothing can be brand new can it - because by the time we tell you about it .. it's not! I heard yesterday that the noble Egyptians had to build their own graves through their lives and then decorate them in the way they wanted to live in heaven. I'm glad I'm not doing that ...!!

    Loads of 'funny' expressions ... except of course can't think now! Cheers Hilary

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    1. I guess I could have used ... I need more coffee to wake me up - but I must be awake as I'm writing this ....?!

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    2. I don't fancy the grave decorating thing either, Hilary. Maybe it was a comfort to them but it seems morbid to me.

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  2. Very unique - that one gets me too. Brand new has its origins in old language and would have meant fresh from the fire - I only know this because we were talking about it last week xx

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    1. Ah! Thanks for that, Teresa. I'm very glad to have an explanation of the origins of this phrase.

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  3. The bare minimum is one that gets to me. It's either the least or it isn't.

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  4. Early in the morning I missed your comma and thought you were ranting whilst semi-naked. Shows the importance of good grammar and coffee.

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    1. Well, now you mention it ... I'm not wearing any socks.

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  5. OED gives it as late 16th century, meaning 'straight from the fire'.
    'Almost unique' gets me every time. It is or it isn't. Unique is an absolute, and can't be qualified.
    Lorraine
    (Hope this doesn't post twice.)

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    1. It's OK, Lorraine - your comment is unique. What's more, it's the only one like it.

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  6. ha ha ...such valid points

    (as my dad used to say...'Those points will be on your head in a minute.'

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    1. Not heard that one, Mac. Surely you weren't a problem child?

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  7. Nought percent interest (ie interest free), and worst of all, free gift. A gift isn't a gift if it isn't free. You're a woman after my own heart, Patsy.

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    1. So if I promised you a totally free gift if you bought my book at zero per cent interest, I wouldn't gain a customer, Frances?

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  8. Our writing guru picks up on these phrases all the time, like: 'I myself personally' or 'two twins'. 'Tautology' she screams at us!

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  9. "Reverse the car back" - can you reverse forwards? My car doesn't. I did try.

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    1. Reversing back is what you do if you don't want to proceed forwards, I suppose, Lindsay.

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  10. Pre-order, you are either ordering the book or you're not... :)

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    1. Yep. A post order is only any good if you're building a fence or planting a tree, Carol.

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  11. "last and final call ... " - beloved of airport announcers and assorted others who shouldn't be let loose with a Tannoy! :)

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Thanks so much for commenting!