I have a bone to pick.
It's a words-based bone. The three words in question are 'unique', 'authentic' and 'experience'.
The reason I am picking said bone is that I can't move without reading or hearing these words and I want it to stop. I want it to stop because there's a danger that I might become angry and the last time anger temporarily replaced my famous joviality I was mean to a puppy.
Mean to a puppy. Words mean, not sticks and stones mean, but the puppy looked hurt.
A puppy, hurt by mean words
Rather than register this bone without evidence of just cause I conducted a brief inbox experiment.
Earlier this month, in a rare moment of common-sense fuelled creativity, I created a sub-folder entitled luxury news in which I file luxury news.
There are, at present, 842 emails in this folder and thanks to the wonders of search I quickly ascertained that 101 contain the word authentic, 276 contain unique and 473 experience. 48 contain all three in one sentence.
Incidentally the word 'irrigation' appears in three, 'pineapple' in six and 'nestle' in 37. And, extraordinarily, 'the' is present 833 times meaning nine entire press releases managed to get the desired message across without using 'the' at all.
Sadly I cannot search my phone and face to face conversations for numbers of mentions with such ease but if you are willing to take my anecdotal word for it then read the next sentence, if not then skip it. All three are mentioned a lot.
The last thing I want to do here is sound like a word snob, I'm really not.
Exhibit A: A recent visit to a Swiss fondue restaurant. One person (let's call him Jeremy), said to another person (let's call her Dorothy): "how are you?" Dorothy replied: "good, thank you Jeremy," and Jeremy re-replied with a patronising lecture on the meaning of the words 'good' and 'well'.
Were it not for me introducing my molten cheese to Jeremy's arm the lecture may well still be going.
I burned Jeremy to halt his pedanticness so you see I cannot possibly be a word snob. Plus I don't spell good or understand apostrophe's'.
I am, however, displeased by word murder.
My fear is that these three wonderful words may go the way of 'fantastic', 'nice' and 'Nick Knowles' into pointless purgatory when they should be living in the lovely literary Elysian Fields of such greats as 'pomp' and 'calamity'.
The fantastic and nice Nick Knowles
'A hand-picked collection of unique hotels' is as useful a sentence as 'a hand-picked collection of unique fingerprints'.
'Fulfilling travellers' desire for authentic and enriching luxury' is as useful a sentence as 'fulfilling dogs' desire for authentic and enriching pig's ears'.
And 'a truly natural opportunity to enhance one's sense of wellbeing with a unique, authentic experience' is as useful a sentence as 'Blah blah blah nonsense vomit'.
Below I have copied and pasted the three words and their Oxford English Dictionary definitions. I'm going to print it, jazz it up with stickers and glitter and affix it to my cork board to remind myself not to ruin them.
My hope is that agents, hoteliers, marketers, pr specialists, operators and anyone else who uses words to tell other people about holidays will follow my attempted lead, use words sparingly and try to make each sentence useful. If I was buying a holiday I'd buy it off the simple wordsmith not the hyperbole bludgeoner.
In a previous blog post I lauded the simplicity of a room with a view. Not an enriching abode with an authentic sense of place offering the unrivalled experience of regarding unique vistas.
Let's not stick knives in all the good words until they are dead.
Unique: being the only one of its kind; unlike anything else.
Authentic: of undisputed origin and not a copy; genuine.
Experience: practical contact with and observation of facts or events.