The deluxe version

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The deluxe version
I am enamored with the term Deluxe because it's a word with grand implications that go typically wanting. In mixed nuts, it just means a lack of peanuts. In an album set, merely a thicker book. In a movie, a few replaced scenes the editor cut. The actual term comes from the French de luxe which means Luxury, though over the years it's simply been boiled down to mean a little something extra. It's not used much in stereo equipment anymore, but I can remember a salesman offering me the deluxe version of the $500 integrated amplifier I was lusting after. For another $100 that deluxe version included a custom cut length of zip cord to connect my speakers and a step-by-step guide to getting the most out of my system. Sometimes, the deluxe version actually merits its implication: like the software program with all its features turned on, or the computer that's not throttled back. But, as you probably guessed, this is typically an upcharge for a less-than-acceptable entry-level product. Maybe I have just become a jaded consumer wary of manufacturers that tack on terms like deluxe, extended, or my all-time favorite exclusive. Yet, jaded or not, if it's the deluxe model, my first instinct is always to start with that before working my way down.
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Paul McGowan

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