Barclays Bank need a corpus linguist. Has anyone else noticed and been
surprised by the current advertising slogan for Barclayloan in the UK: "The
personal loan with the personal price"?
For me, if someone pays a "personal price" for taking out a loan, it means
they lose their house, or they get their legs broken. So, of course, I
looked it up in a corpus to check my intuitions.
The Bank of English (450 million words) has 18 examples, all unremittingly
<dt> 09 May 2001 </dt> <p> The Queen will pay a heavy personal price for
assenting yesterday to Tony Blair's election
<p> It was Burleigh's sixth book in the genre, but the personal price was
almost too high. Now he has drawn a line. `I'
Now I feel sorry for him. He has paid a high personal price." <p>
Findlay, who stepped down as vice-chairman
wealthy man. After ruling out retirement, he paid a big personal price to
join PA. Under a shareholder agreement with
in the House of Commons, and for this he paid a heavy personal price. But,
as Eden said at the time of his own
on Cell Block H. But the actress also lets you see the personal price this
woman has paid. A fierce proponent of the
a tennis court and a multi-use sports surface. But at a personal price. It's
true that perhaps I didn't know where to
s movie career is on the up and up, but at a high personal price.
Garth Pearce spoke to the troubled star MONICA
YEARS AFTER THE FAIRY-TALE WEDDING, WHAT HAS BEEN THE PERSONAL PRICE OF
HER PUBLIC SUCCESS? BRENDA POLAN INVESTIGATES
of the West, with some hapless missionaries paying a personal price of
flagrant cultural in-sensitivity. It is a
Roth. <p> David Roth (Attorney # Despite the enormous personal price, I do
not for one moment regret the course of
what they decided, the decision would exact a high personal price. It
was Del who had opened the Texas plant five
in unfair price competition. It is also argued that personal price
discrimination could increase. An agent may be
native women's religious education could come at a high personal price, as
when Huron converts were martyred by the
to their families, they are now paying a very steep personal price. That
has to change. The initiatives that we are
Hayes admits the phenomenal success has come at a high personal price. The
past year was `so stressful" he has
or corrupt. Tony Fitzgerald, QC, paid an enormous personal price for
his efforts, including being criticised for
the ayes have it. <sect id=MONITOR> <hd> THE PERSONAL PRICE: THE
GOOD IT DID: THE MISSED OPPORTUNI </hd>
The pattern here seems to be that you usually pay a heavy personal price for
making a bad decision.
The British National Corpus has only two examples, but they are nice ones:
Instability, with its consequent social and personal price, haunts the
lives of the socially abnormal.
Every citizen in Britain in due course - in my judgement, it will be
sooner rather than later - will pay a real, direct and personal price for
what the Prime Minister negotiated at Maastricht.
It seems to me that unless Barclays intended to adopt an intimidatory
approach to potential customers, the marketing department has got it badly
wrong. Actually this isn't a case of corpora showing us the problem - their
intuitions about the phrase should have told them this. All the corpus work
is doing is to provide the evidence to back up the intuitions. It'd be
interesting to see how successful the campaign is.
Hopefully this will provide a nice example for showing how corpora can
provide interesting and useful evidence. (Note that you need a pretty big
corpus to get useful results for this example though.)
But perhaps instead of mailing this list I should be suing Barclays for
emotional distress caused by aggressive and menacing cash machines, or
offering corpus linguistics consultancy to Barclays' marketing division...
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