Sunday, May 18, 2008

Real Estate Ad Speak

While every kind of sales profession traffics in a certain degree of linguistic mendacity to embellish their wares, surely none seems to do it with such shameless abandon as estate agents. Here’s an advertisement from 1890 by a fabulist named James Hutchinson that would be pretty hard to top for its staggering hyperbole. It appeared in the “Dub. News” and is quoted by Charles Carroll Bombaugh in his delightfully titled Gleanings for the Curious from the Harvest-Fields of Literature:

To an Oppidan, a Ruricolist, or a Cosmopolitan, and may be entered upon immediately:
The House in STONE Row, lately possessed by CAPT. SIREE. To avoid Verbosity, the Proprietor with Compendiosity will give a Perfunctory description of the Premises, in the Compagination of which he has Sedulously studied the convenience of the Occupant. It is free from Opacity, Tenebrosity, Fumidity, and Injucundity, and no building can have greater Pellucidity or Translucency — in short, its Diaphaneity even in the Crepuscle makes it like a Pharos, and without laud, for its Agglutination and Amenity, it is a most Delectable Commorance; and whoever lives in it will find that the Neighbors have none of the Truculence, the Immanity, the Torvity, the Spinosity, the Putidness, the Pugnacity, nor the Fugacity observable in other parts of the town, but their Propinquity and Consanguinity occasion Jocundity and Pudicity — from which, and the Redolence of the place (even in the dog-days), they are remarkable for Longevity. For terms and particulars apply to JAMES HUTCHINSON, opposite the MARKET-HOUSE.