Words matter. Ask any fishmonger.


A few nights ago I had a hankering for fish and stopped by the fishmarket on the way home. I was looking for fluke, which is cheap, fresh and local in New York this time of year.

I saw grey sole, lemon sole and something called flounder. But no fluke. I asked the manager if he had any. He pointed to the filets labeled flounder and said, “That’s it. But I can’t call it fluke. Customers don’t know what fluke is. They think it means mistake. I call it flounder, I sell 30 lbs. a day. I call it fluke, I sell maybe 5.”

How often, when we make ads, do we try to “educate” people on what fluke is, rather than using terminology they understand ?

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One thought on “Words matter. Ask any fishmonger.

  1. Fenske says:

    Are you suggesting telling a lie instead of the truth should be determined by how well it will sell?

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