Monday, September 2, 2013

What is a word worth?

I am a New Zealander because I chose to be.
Proud of it in spite of quite a few obvious flaws and weaknesses.
It is a pretty little place with nice people, although it gets a bit carried away with outrageous claims from time to time. For instance lots of the foreigners who hear the “100% pure” can’t help cringing. 

There was an article in the NZ Herald a couple of days ago headed:
“The Land Of Bad Milk and Fake Honey
Britain's Food Standards Agency has issued a nationwide warning about misleading and illegal claims made on the labels of manuka honey jars, in a worrying blow to the fast-growing Kiwi industry. ”
Showing great timing, the same paper fired back at the British, with a picture of a fishmonger’s display claiming ‘fresh NZ snapper’.

Joking aside; these stories all raise the same questions:
Our world is highly manipulated by the media. Are there some words that have a higher value or weight than others?  Should companies that use them lightly be held accountable?
Words like natural, fresh, pure, honest…
When one or some of these words are used to describe a product, do we as consumers have the right to expect a certain something in the product? Or do natural, fresh, pure or honest depend on small print, or interpretation?

What about the word: integrity?
If Integrity is claimed, does the world read “100% honesty”?
Or is 40% honesty adequate at times?