Secrets Revealed! - don't fall for it
How many times have you seen or heard "Secrets Revealed!" in some sort of advertising campaign for a guide, book or program that's for sale?
Many times I'll bet.
For me, it became a meaningless cliche about the second or third time I ran into it.
It's overused and run into the ground as far as I'm concerned, so I don't pay any attention to it, and I suggest you do the same.
I've been accused of being "too literal." Well, what's wrong with taking people at their word?
I'm also a student of what people write and say. Language is a powerful tool, and how we use it is important. It tells a lot about what is really going on behind the scenes.
So, I pay attention to what's being said, especially when someone is trying to sell me something.
Well, what is the alternative? Should we ignore the communication and just let someone lie to us for the sake of making a sale? Not me, and I hope you lean in the same direction.
So, let's look at "Secrets Revealed!" and see why they are saying it, what they're trying to convey, and then let's see if it makes any sense.
We all love a secret. We've all heard, "can you keep a secret?" or "I know a secret." And, of course, "this was all done in secret" or the ever popular "these guys are part of a secret society with a secret handshake." And, I suppose there's a "secret decoder ring" in the cereal box.
It's all very exciting to many of us, so the whole concept of a secret gets our attention. Remember, "inquiring minds like yours" want to know! So, we tend to sit on the edge of our seats until we find out at least some of the secrets.
That's why the word is used - it's an attention getter.
What is the Meaning?
As a student of language, I often refer to the dictionary to understand the meaning behind words. I know the meaning of words shifts over time, but I'm more of a traditionalist - I like to use a word because of what it means now, not because of what others would like it to mean when they use it.
My trusty Merriam-Webster's Unabridged Dictionary confirms what I suspected all along. The word secret means:
- something kept hidden
- something kept from the knowledge of others
- the practices or knowledge making up the shared discipline or culture of an esoteric society
And, of course the idea that it's revealed means that it has been kept hidden up to this point. Yeah right!
If it's ancient practices of the Incas, then it would qualify as "secrets," but we're talking about something different. It's usually secrets revealed in the areas of:
- skilled trades
...and you name it!
Aren't they really talking about tips, hints, shortcuts and techniques? These aren't secrets, especially because they're willing to share them with us - for a price.
The Nonsense of Secrets Revealed
If what they're writing and talking about were secrets, we wouldn't know about them, and they certainly wouldn't be offered to us at any price. And, once they sold a book or a manual containing those "secrets," they wouldn't be secrets anymore.
The whole idea of a secret is that it's something that only a limited number of people know, and they keep it that way.
So the whole idea of "secrets revealed" isn't truthful right from the start. It's just a gimmick to get our attention and get us to send in some money. After all, how else will you find out these "secrets?" No one is going to tell you - because this stuff is secret.
Does that make any sense? We can't tell you this stuff because these are secrets, yet we'll gladly sell you the book of our secrets. That means they're not secret enough to prevent us from telling you, but plenty secret enough to stop us from telling you - unless you give us money.
"Secrets Revealed!" What a tired and worn out sales technique - that apparently works very well because we have multiple book titles with the phrase "secrets revealed" in the title or subtitle.
It's okay to buy a book that promises to reveal secrets to you, but just don't buy it because you really think what's inside are secrets. They're not.
My approach to frugal living has me steering away from "secrets revealed," limited time offers and other "don't miss this sales event" type promotions that are way more hype than help.
Done with Secrets Revealed, take me back to Money Making Scams