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MORE ON THE USE OF ADJECTIVES IN COIN CATALOG DESCRIPTIONS
Dick Johnson submitted the following comments in response to our discussion on what some describe as the excessive use of adjectives in coin catalogue descriptions. He says "It's not the hype - it's the hyperbole!" -EditorI don't mind the adjectives in coin descriptions for auctions and print ads (as mentioned in the last two issues of The E-Sylum). It is the adverbs -- the third and fourth words prior to the noun, those modifiers that pile on the adjectives. The adjectives are hype which can be excused somewhat in describing coins to enhance their desirability to elicit bids or a purchase. This can be considered trade puffing -- every successful salesman is a master of this form of communication. After all, a catalog description is an attempt to sell the item. Conversely, adverbs are hyperbole which are annoying to some. The verbiage has gone too far, piled too high, wrangling some ears (mine included). I want just the facts, Ma'am. Here are some jarring examples I found in past:
These are from a series of ads in Coin World in 1995. The seller had undoubtedly studied descriptions of expensive coins. What I learned is there is a direct ratio between the offering price of the coin and the amount of hype and hyperbole in its describing. Greater cost, greater hype. Be on lookout for any word within quotation marks:
Out and out hyperbole:
These are all exact wording from the ads of The Mint of Kansas City. Here is my candidate for the worst coin description in one of their ads -- for a gem 1879 Three Cent Piece (from Coin World, July 10, 1995, page 11):
Wayne Homren, Editor
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