A Life of Luxury: When Products Are Naughty But Nice
Article by: Hugh Aldersey-Williams
Pages 175 - 177

Table of Contents


The article proceeds to explain the density of the term luxury, using two distinct definitions in particular. In one sense, it is defined as a word meaning "superior" or "premium." With this use of the word, it will eventually run amuck and lose its authority as a word of higher class. The second means of describing the words runs as follows: it is a means of providing more comfort than would normally be expected. This, however, leads to yet another problem in regards to the decline of the word's authority: it is now a term used to make a situation not pristine in comfort, but less uncomfortable.*


This essay by Hugh Aldersey-Williams isn't an extensive argument; it's just a brief, amusing observation about the way the word "luxury" gets thrown around by marketers as they work to sell products. This loss of meaning, caused by overuse, is by no means a new linguistic phenomenon. Still, marketing's rampant use of the word may soon bring us an interesting problem: what do we call truly luxury products now that everything that was once run-of-the-mill is now "luxury?"

"No hotel is good enough unless it's a luxury hotel. To sell a vacation home, call it a luxury vacation home."


*Aldersey-Williams, 2000, Pg. 176