Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Why Mary-Jo Stopped Reading at Page 19

Mary-Jo has really gotten into reading catalogs for European cruises lately--"Wonders of Burgundy and Provence," "Treasures of the Baltic," "Sicily and the Dalmatian Coast" etc. etc. Not that we've ever gone on a cruise, but you never know what the future may hold.

I love reading catalogs myself and admire the prose stylings in many of them. But check out this bizarre use of language, which Mary-Jo pointed out to me on page 19 of the current catalog for "Viking River Cruises--Exploring Europe in Comfort":

ROUNDTRIP AIR & TRANSFERS FROM $399. Upgrade to Business Class air for only $2900 per person.

"Only"?! Mary-Jo proposes what strikes me as a reasonable rule of thumb: When the upgrade costs more than seven times the base price, you simply can't get away with using the word "only" to describe it.
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