Writer’s Headache: Coupon Descriptions

I signed up for a couple of coupon sites and managed to buy quite a few interesting deals from them. However, a far more interesting thing with these sites is the description of the offers that they have. I rarely read them, as I’m mostly concerned with looking at the conditions and terms of the deal. One day I chanced upon a description that had me taking a second look. I thought maybe it was just that one piece, but nearly all descriptions are, shall we say, flowery. Half of them makes me go “Huh?” It’s easy enough to see what the writer wanted to say, but the choice of words, descriptions and metaphors stump me.

Here are some examples.

“Unlike arms and legs, eyelashes benefit proportionately from their length – from being able to pick up items with prehensile limbs to snagging crushes at parties. Extend appropriate body parts with today’s (deal)…”

I have a feeling something was left off here. While I know what the writer meant when s/he compared arms and legs to eyelashes, it’s confusing on the first read. One may not immediately get that the description was referring to arm and leg hair. given the mention of eyelashes after it. I mean, if my arms and legs where short, I know I’d have a hard time doing the stuff I do.

Extend appropriate body parts… now that’s a loaded statement.

“Like babies, cars are cursed with the inability to tell their owners when they are soiled, often resulting in peeling paint, rusty rims, and embarrassing rashes.”

Excuse me. Babies may not be able to articulately say what they are are feeling, but they can let their parents know if they’re soiled. However, I don’t think babies have the problem of peeling paint and rusty rims. Again, I get what the writer wanted to say, but s/he needed to reword this.

This is from the same deal. My comments are in parenthesis.

“(Company) indulges autos with the tender care most people reserve for friends, pets, and mean mother-in-laws. (I don’t know if the writer was being sarcastic when s/he wrote this). Passionate car caressers bathe and buff your horseless chariot (referring to cars as chariots. Awesome) with a delicate touch during the exterior auto detailing. Soiled exterior components are prepped and cleaned before being coated with a machine polish to remove superficial imperfections and any shards of glass leftover from the hasty exit from the dealership (so after you got your car you ran through the glass display windows?). A high-quality wax is applied by hand, resulting in a shimmery surface so youthful that your ex-automobile will fume with jealous rage and leak out precious oils from its headlight eyes (maybe the writer had just seen Cars 2?). After a thorough scouring, sparkle specialists (siguro kasama sila ni Rainbow Brite) treat vinyl and rubber with a water-based protectant. Glass surfaces are then cleaned and polished, removing debris, kamikaze insects, and atmospheric liquid moss.”

Here’s one that’s short, sweet and ano daw? “Taking a guided tour is the best way to get to know a city, while going out for ice cream and a movie is the best way to get to know the city’s sister.” Two timer ka?

“Aside from being the best picker upper, coffee is the most commonly used prop in morning movie scenes alongside a newspaper, a bathrobe and a coiffured antagonist. Further explore the usefulness of caffeinated gulpables with today’s (deal)…”

Poor coffee. No talk about its other benefits, one that Nescafe keeps touting in their ads? Reduced to being an inanimate object. Oh, and “gulpables”.

“When the going gets tough, the tough escapes reality by going down the rabbit hole, taking the blue pill or ingesting tiger blood. Get some true R&R with today’s (deal)…”

It gives the impression that people escape stress by hurting ones self, taking drugs and other illegal substances. Yes, I get the metaphor but it’s misused.

And from the same deal:

“Luggage-towing tourists upgrade their statuses to globe trotters as they walk on two wheels to interact with locals and pay tribute to the charming towns and temples.” Walking on two wheels sounds difficult. If you’ve tried this, please let me know how you did it.

Note that this just came from one website, and just for their deals on one day. I’m not the best writer around, but at least I know when I’m going overboard with my words.

End note: It has come to my attention that certain coupon sites have committed the crime of plagiarism (I don’t have the details so I’ll refrain from writing more until I get them cleared up). As a writer I know how you use other sources as reference, but to blatantly copy text and pass it off as your own is a big no-no.

3 comments

  1. Nakakaloka yung mga descriptions nila. They go overboard with metaphors na sablay & descriptive words na over sa OA. Natawa ako dun sa comparisons nila: eyelashes to arms & legs; babies to cars…I was like WTF?!

    Seriously, no one gives a crap if they site the entire thesaurus kung wala namang konek ang mga pinagsusulat nila.

    1. Sinabi mo pa. Yan ang sakit ng madaming writers dito sa atin. I’m guilty of it sometimes, especially pag kailangan ko ng certain number count and wala na ako masulat. Pero I know I limit it and write as straightforward as possible (sakit ng mga Journ yan eh. Bawal mabulaklak na text hehe). Eto naman, halos lahat ng description ganyan tapos talagang walang sense!

      And they copy text off other sites & writers too! 🙁

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