A plague of platitudes

By now, many people have noticed the pestilence of advertising capitalizing on the pandemic. Apparently, marketers have a very limited number of platitudes available. If the constant repetition weren’t annoying enough, one in particular has been really pestering me.

“…these unprecedented times…” Get a dictionary, folks! Unprecedented means “never happened before.” Get a history book! This is not the first pandemic. In recent history, the “Spanish flu” started in Europe in 1918, was originally reported by Spanish journalists, and followed U.S. soldiers home. There was “Asian flu” in the late ’50s, H3N2 in the late ’60s, and remember HIV/AIDS? Using the word “unprecedented” makes me angry because it minimizes the reality of previous pandemics.

I would like to say that our advertisers’ use of Covid19 to promote themselves is unprecedented. Unfortunately, it also happened with the Spanish flu, with ads touting everything from soap to massage to cure the illness.

Let’s look on the bright side. We may run out of toilet paper, but in these uncertain times, it’s comforting to know that our access to annoying platitudes, although not unprecedented, is unlimited.


How many plague-related words did you notice in the first paragraph?

What is your “pest peeve” or favorite Covid19 platitude? Please comment below.

One comment

  1. “Due to the Covid pandemic” … the standard apology for everything and anything … that is unavailable or running behind schedule …. very much overused as the get out excuse …

    Liked by 1 person

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