Semantics


Earlier I was talking to the maybe call center of a bank’s credit card arm. Months back, someone had called to ask if I wanted to apply for a credit card because I have an account in the bank so it wouldn’t be difficult.

As said card offers some good deals, I agreed. She asked me some questions, I answered. She gave me numbers where I could follow up and a reference number. Weeks later, I followed up, no feedback on my application yet.

Today, as I was going over stuff, I remembered the credit card application. Called and was told the application was denied. No big deal, it was a frivolous application to begin with. I then said, foolishly, I guess, “How I wish you’d delete all the info on me as anyway I won’t have your card.” I said my request hinged on security issues. THe lady said, “Don’t worry ma’am. We NORMALLY don’t give such information away.”

That raised my hackles – “normally”? So under abnormal circumstances they might give it? I begged for an answer and pointed out her use of “normally” – she apologized. I told her she should be carefully in choosing the words she says because they give her statements a different hue.

I hope she got the message. I hope call center people are trained to answer correctly. I hope they don’t sell info on the people they obtain info from.

I hope.

**********

Coincidentally, I chanced upon an article largely based on Stephen KIng’s book ON Writing. THe excerpt is about the use of adverbs, of which NORMALLY is one. Here’s what SK has to say:

I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs, and I will shout it from the rooftops. 

See????????

But of course he has another reason for saying so, a reason not akin to my experience.

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