The Value of Value

You know what word I hate?


I mean I know I’m not supposed to despise words for what they are, but…really? Could it BE any more vague. I mean I’m walking in the store, and my wife pulls a can of chili off the shelf and says, “These are a great value.”

And I say, “Well then maybe we should get the other ones.” And when she asks me what I’m talking about I say, “Well maybe they’re a lower value. We don’t want to have to pay a greater value than we have to.” And then she hits me up side of the head with her purse because she’s sick of being shoehorned into my jokes with clunky unrealistic dialog just so I can make a point.

But seriously, it’s everywhere. You’ll be in the store and you’ll see a sign that says “Books at a Value.” And if you’re me you think, “OF COURSE THEY’RE AT A VALUE! EVERYTHING IN THE STORE IS AT A VALUE. IF IT WASN’T AT A VALUE HOW WOULD PEOPLE KNOW HOW MUCH TO PAY?”

I am perfectly aware, that what they really mean is, “These Books are on Sale,” but I’m going to go on being annoyed by it. I know it’s inconsistent. I know I’ve sung the praises of the drescriptivist linguistic school on more than one occasion, and I know that I should be willing to accept a word for how it’s used, and not how I think it should be used. I know all that. But it STILL bugs me.

And don’t even get me started on people who have values.


Okay really, I was hoping you’d get me started. “Don’t even get me started” that’s just a figure of speech. It doesn’t have to mean…

Oh, yes I see your point. In fact I think the hypocrite alert is going off down the hall. Better go turn that off.


By the by, yesterday I sat down and chatted with Evelyn Lafont about writing and self-publishing my book A Prairie Home Apocalypse or: What the Dog Saw. If that sounds like maybe the kind of thing you would like to read, you should totally check it out.

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2 responses to “The Value of Value

  1. That politician has values. And so does that rapper. Yeah, it’s quite an inappropriate word, as it’s so vague.

  2. Define value… It’s different for everybody.

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