Statement Analysis®

Can you purchase a bag of unsearched government coins?

The headline read, "U.S. zip codes determine who gets unsearched bags of old U.S. Gov't issued coins." This was an ad placed in the February 10, 2015 issue of the newspaper USA Today. The subtitle read,

"Bags of unsearched Gov't issued coins are actually being handed over to U.S. residents who find their zip codes listed below, but only those callers who beat the 48 hour order deadline are getting the Vault Bags loaded with rarely seen U.S. coins dating back to the 1800s."

The company wants us to believe they want everyone in the U.S. to have an opportunity to purchase these coins. Hence the zip code qualification and the 48 hour time frame. Most people would probably be skeptical of such tactics and rightly so. Their use of the word "actually" also draws our suspicion.

When people use the word "actually" they are adding emphasis that their statement is true. The use of this word also indicates the person comparing two thoughts. For example, "Did you do buy a new car?" "Actually, I bought a new truck." It is easy to see the person is comparing buying a car with buying a truck. When you do not know what the person is comparing you then have undisclosed information.

In the ad, they state that bags of unsearched coins are "actually" being handed over to U.S. residents. So, what are they comparing? They may be comparing unsearched bags of coins with bags that have been searched. You might get a bag that has been picked through. They may also be comparing coins that are "being handed over" to coins that cost $49 per bag as stated later in their ad.

One of the rules in Statement Analysis is, "The shortest sentence is the best sentence." Not using the word "actually" makes the statement sound better.

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