positive but helpfully vague words

English translation: sounds positive but doesn't mean anything specific

14:10 Oct 13, 2004
English to English translations [PRO]
Social Sciences - Advertising / Public Relations
English term or phrase: positive but helpfully vague words
In the murky world of expensively packaged promises, "firming" is one of those positive but helpfully vague words adored by the beauty industry.
Is it a kind of irony?
ema333
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:58
English translation:sounds positive but doesn't mean anything specific
Explanation:
Yes, it's ironic - it refers to words which sound positive but don't mean anything specific
Selected response from:

IanW (X)
Local time: 05:58
Grading comment
Graded automatically based on peer agreement.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
4 +6sounds positive but doesn't mean anything specific
IanW (X)
5 +3it has positive connotations but....
nlingua
5means something good but not very easy to define
Orsolya Mance


  

Answers


3 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +6
sounds positive but doesn't mean anything specific


Explanation:
Yes, it's ironic - it refers to words which sound positive but don't mean anything specific

IanW (X)
Local time: 05:58
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 16
Grading comment
Graded automatically based on peer agreement.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Derek Gill Franßen: Yes, a "rubber" phrase... :-)
2 mins

agree  Romina Riestra
27 mins

agree  NancyLynn: LOL last year they ran a commercial here on hairspray, touting its 'bendy-holdy' technology - talk about a rubber phrase :-D
30 mins

agree  Julie Roy
45 mins

agree  Alexandra Tussing
1 hr

agree  nlingua
1 hr
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5 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +3
it has positive connotations but....


Explanation:
the promises implied by the word are neither precisely defined or quantified... that is to say : what exactly is "firming" and how firm is "firm".

i.e. "helpful" for the marketer aking the promise .. not necessarily for the customer



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Note added at 6 mins (2004-10-13 14:17:00 GMT)
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uh typo: \"helpful\" for the marketer making the promise .. not necessarily for the customer

nlingua
Local time: 09:28
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in UrduUrdu, Native in HindiHindi
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Alexandra Tussing
1 hr
  -> thanks

agree  Refugio
4 hrs
  -> thanks

agree  conejo
6 days
  -> thanks
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7 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
means something good but not very easy to define


Explanation:
In the cosmetics industry they use the word "firming" very often, and everyone knows it is something good but it is hard to define exactly what it means - and this fact actually comes in handy for the industry.
>> So the sentence you quoted is quite sarcastic.

Orsolya Mance
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:58
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in HungarianHungarian
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