Lisa Ricard Claro – Author

Romance is good for your heart!


Posted on Dec 14, 2011 by Lisa Ricard Claro   15 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized
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This is your LAST CHANCE!
How often have you heard those words? Seriously. How often? And of all the times you’ve heard “last chance,” was it ever really a last chance?
I hear “last chance” all the time at the mall. Moms and dads say it to misbehaving kids over and over again, leading anyone listening to believe that what it really means is, “This is your hundredth chance and you have five hundred more chances before I make good on my threat to drag your sorry little behind home.” C’mon. Admit it. You’ve heard it. Maybe you’re even one of the parents who has said it. (It’s okay. You’re in good company.)
Car ads are another example. “This is your LAST CHANCE to buy the Super Deluxe Hondota Sedan at these end-of-year prices!” Only it isn’t really the last chance, is it? They’ll have another comparable sale in a month or so. They’ll call it the beginning-of-the-year sale.
My thinking on this topic began with mail order catalogs. There is one in particular that stalks me. I ordered two things eight years ago and now they won’t leave me alone. The catalog arrives twice a month like clockwork. Lately, though, the cover is emblazoned with huge letters that spell out “LAST CHANCE to receive our catalog!” 
They’ve been sending me catalogs with the LAST CHANCE warning for months now. I still haven’t ordered anything. I must be a terrible disappointment to the people at the catalog company. My picture is on a milk carton in their break room.
So under what circumstances should the “last chance” threat be taken seriously?
The IRS. They probably mean it when they say “last chance.” Police officers mean it. Teachers mean it, and—God bless them—they have to make good on any threat they make to their students or the little boogers will just walk all over them (see paragraph 2 above).  But really, who else? Aside from the federal government, teachers and grandparents, who else really, truly means “last chance” when they say it?
I think most of the time “last chance” is only a suggestion. But the phrase, “We SUGGEST you buy something from our catalog” just doesn’t have the same critical ring to it. LAST CHANCE carries the implication of immediacy and necessity. 
And don’t you just love examples of how the language is wrapped around myriad thought processes? How words are woven to convey ideas is such a marvel. When Maya Angelou does that it’s “poetry.” When a politician’s press secretary does it, it’s called “spin.” Worlds apart, but the process is the same.
What other words or phrases are used for effect rather than literal meaning? There must be ooh-gobs of them out there.  If you think of any, please leave a comment. But don’t wait! This is your LAST CHANCE!
See you next for Book Blurb Friday!

15 Responses to "LAST CHANCE!"

  1. Comment by Sandra Davies
    December 14, 2011 at 6:35 am  

    I entirely agree with this rant Lisa – I have one daily over the emotive use of language in newspaper headlines. But a suggestion for the catalogue – if a prepaid envelope is included with a catalogue I tear out whatever piece of their letter has my address on it, write 'No thank you!' or some equally negative message on it, and post the message back to them at their expense.

  2. Comment by Val Thevictorian
    December 14, 2011 at 7:39 am  

    How about a courtesy call? I am tired of being interrupted several times a week by phone calls from my bank. If I screen my calls, they leave a message to call them. Of course people will return a call to the bank. Only to find out that nothing is wrong with the account, but the bank has several services that you might want to take advantage of. No. Not a courtesy call.

  3. Comment by Sioux
    December 14, 2011 at 8:08 am  

    How about singers or groups doing "farewell tours" and yet there are several rounds. Is it like that "So Long, Farewell" song from "The Sound of Music," the song that never ends? When is goodbye truly goodbye?

  4. Comment by Linda O'Connell
    December 14, 2011 at 8:23 am  

    There is particular nationwide department store that has 30% off coupons, this weeknd only…every weekend. It makes me crazy.

  5. Comment by K9friend
    December 14, 2011 at 9:01 am  

    Ugh. You made me think of the department store that constantly has "big sale" coupons. Unfortunately, they don't apply to anything you actually want to buy.PatCritter Alley

  6. Comment by irishoma
    December 14, 2011 at 9:48 am  

    "But wait, there's more" is an advertisement saying that is catchy, but annoying.Donna

  7. Comment by Karen Lange
    December 14, 2011 at 10:31 am  

    Yes, I suspect you are right. Last chance means different things to different people! I got about a year's worth of last chance magazines from one publisher. Eventually they really meant it and ceased sending it. Have a great rest of the week,Karen 🙂

  8. Comment by Eric 'Bubba' Alder
    December 14, 2011 at 11:08 am  

    If only they weren't usually lying when they said "Last chance!" – we'd be hearing a lot less of it now.

  9. Comment by Cathy C. Hall
    December 14, 2011 at 11:10 am  

    Ha! I agree, Lisa…LAST CHANCE just doesn't have the drama it used to have."You can be whatever you want to be" always makes me smile. I think of those poor tone-deaf kids who don't have a chance to be singers. But now, there's rap. So maybe those kids were smarter than they looked? 😉

  10. Comment by Kim
    December 14, 2011 at 1:03 pm  

    I think the word miracle gets tossed around far too often. Really, how often does an actual miracle happen?And let's just consider diets – all of them claim to be the only diet you'll ever need.I say "I'm so DONE" when my son is mid-meltdown – yet, here I still am, ready to face down the next explosive rage marathon.

  11. Comment by Tammy
    December 14, 2011 at 5:48 pm  

    HA! You happened to hit on a pet peeve of mine. About twice a week I get a message on my answering machine that it's my LAST CHANCE to take advantage of some mortgage rate. I'm on the No Call list. Last week they called me so many times that I decided it was their LAST CHANCE and filed a complaint against them. Guess what? They still called the next day!

  12. Comment by Lynn
    December 14, 2011 at 7:46 pm  

    You probably should've used that picture for the BBF – HA. I can't think of anything, but like you said, I'm sure there are ooh-gobs of them. What about, ACT NOW!

  13. Comment by BECKY
    December 15, 2011 at 12:24 am  

    Lisa, "The Ronald" and I always make fun of those TV commercials that are selling some kind of strange, new, best, something-or-other….and they're almost always $19.95 each….BUT WAIT, order RIGHT NOW, and you'll get TWO FOR THE PRICE OF ONE! I bet no matter when you call or get online, you can get Two for One! They're laughable, they're so stupid!

  14. Comment by Léna Roy
    December 15, 2011 at 9:03 am  

    Thank you for this post – I get so incensed by these kinds of messages from retailers because they aren't being truthful. Everything is always on sale and for sale, right? But it creates a frenzy by appealing to our ID's, which as we all know, if we act on our ID alone, is a disaster!

  15. Comment by Debra Mayhew
    December 15, 2011 at 10:54 pm  

    Okay, I admit it, I have threatened the "last chance" with my kids, but the one thing I refuse, REFUSE to do is count. I'll never understand why kids ignore their parents until they hear "ONE! TWO! THREE!" and then they scamper to obey. Why isn't it enough when a parent says, "Come here." Why? Why? Why?!!! (Great post, by the way. 🙂

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