Do you get as tired as I do listening to politicians and to public figures go on news broadcasts and use carefully chosen vague words to explain something rather than just using plain language to factually state the obvious? Those are what are known as “weasel words.” In a previous blog, I pointed out my need to improve on my modern communication skills. This effort is still ongoing, so I thought for this blog I would concentrate on the practice of using weasel words but apply them to automotive situations rather than social problems.
FIRST EXAMPLE – BASIC VEHICLE MAINTENANCE
I will use my normal communication method to state my opinion of people who allow an engine to run out of oil and ruin it.
“If you allow an engine to have oil starvation due to lack of checking consumption or failure to change oil at specified intervals, you will pay for your ignorance with a blown up engine. Maybe that will be a lesson you learn, but I rather doubt it as you are probably an irresponsible dumbass.”
Let me rephrase this another way:
“It is important for the owner or operator of a motorized vehicle to maintain vigilance over the proper lubrication of his engine. While we all have many pressing obligations to attend to, we do need to take the time to listen to the voice of scientific authority on these vital matters. The consensus of the SAE engineering society, specifically its group on engine lubricants, is that proper lubrication is essential to promoting long engine life.
Numerous studies by both industry and government laboratories present a compelling argument that lubrication failure is the primary cause of engine failure. With that scientific perspective in mind, it behooves us to be consistent in our surveillance on the amount and condition of the oil in our engines. The government publication, ‘How to Check Engine Oil Level,’ is available by request from the , as Pub138-16784-FHN. In addition, you may want to seek qualified advice from a certified mechanic if your skill set needs support for this vital task. With these support systems in place, I think we can all look forward to a positive outcome on the prevention of engine failure. Take pride in your knowledge and community spirit!”
SECOND EXAMPLE – NEW CAR SALESMAN
“Mr. Clark, we are so glad that we can be of service to you in your new car purchase. I see that you are interested in the new Snortfire Express model. That is a great choice! I must caution you that we have a very limited stock of that model, so you would be wise to place an order now while there is still a good selection. You mentioned our special advertised sales price of $535 a month on our 72 month zero interest payment plan. We have lowered the initial payment to $2995! You better jump on that offer as it will not be in effect much longer. Note the sticker price of $32,500 does not include transportation, taxes, advertising sur charge and documentation, as well as the preparation charge. If you give me your Social Security Number, I will go right to work writing up a contract using those numbers. Care for some coffee?“
My reply? “I count at least 53 of that model on the lot, and I want to buy the car for a sticker price minus 5% out the door price. I am not going to pay $41,520 for 72 months ‘rent’ of a $32,500 car. Here is my check for $30,875 and a second check for the tax. Ready to accept?“
The result? “I thought so. I will pick the car up tomorrow after work.“
CAR REPAIR CONTRACT
The Premium Xtra Coverage car repair contract gives you (the owner) peace of mind when it comes time to have repair work done on the car. No need to run all over town to get estimates and find a reputable shop. Just take the car to the dealer, leave it with us, and we do the rest. Your small monthly payments pay huge dividends when something you did not count on happens to your vehicle. Every aspect of the car is covered with the exception of the drive train and accessories, which normally fall under the manufacturer’s extended warranty. Take advantage of our direct bank withdrawal program and get extra savings. Use the attached coupon and the code word “GREAT VALUE” for an extra bonus. This contract has the additional feature of auto renewal, so that is one less thing to worry about.
They might as well say, “Care to also buy some swamp land in Florida?“
Now that you’ve read my version of “weasel word composition,” I know that I will never be able to match the skill of a professional politician or entrenched bureaucrat. For some nice plain talk, check out this link: http://www.semasan.com/collector-car-appreciation-day?content=celebrate_collectorcar_day&g=SEMAGA
I don’t think there is much recognition given to Collector Car Appreciation Day in the Denver metro area, but it certainly could be a fun event if it gains any traction. With all the car clubs having to be dormant this year due to COVID-19, it is a challenge to gain momentum on events. Typically, car clubs have a ton of activity. Perhaps this could be tacked on to one of them like the Havana Cruise. I think our best bet is for the Collector Car Council of Colorado, which has a 60 club membership, to promote Collector Car Appreciation Day to rally a celebration.
We have our local paid lobbyist that advises on state wide political matters that effect our future regarding old cars, but we definitely need the advocacy of SEMA to keep the Washington crowd off our backs. What a fun riot we could have if they were to outlaw our collector cars! For our first action, I envision doing some donuts on the capital lawn. If the Fire Engine Collector Club were to get involved, tear gas would not be a threat.
If we stay vigilant and active, it will not come to that (these are not weasel words by the way . . .)
Got some good stuff brewing on the social media front, as well as on the Hollywood front. I will fill you in next month. Nothing ventured equals nothing gained. Can’t wait to see where it leads!