Certified pre-owned

My clogged uptake valve has been well covered in this forum, but as Bill says, “there’s always room for Jell-o.”

I was driving home yesterday when I saw an advertisement for “Certified Pre-owned Vehicles.” It’s one of many “re-phrasings” of the post “Contract with America” era that I have taken for granted. Partly because I have never been in the market for a “pre-owned” vehicle, I have never given the whole “Certified Pre-owned Vehicle” phenomenon much consideration. But yesterday I had an epiphany. When “they” say “Certified Pre-owned Vehicle” they mean to place a comma between “certified” and “pre-owned.” In other words, they intend to convey that “Certified” and “Pre-owned” are two distinct characteristics of the vehicles they are selling: “Certified” being short hand for “we’ve kicked the tires and this heap isn’t a total piece of crap,” and “Pre-owned” being fancy long hand for “used.”

Sure, this is all obvious to you; but in the back of my mind I was saying it to myself without the comma, thinking that they were “Certified Pre-owned.” It always struck me as slightly odd, as if I wouldn’t just take their word for it that the car was used,

“Oh no sir, we promise you, it’s used alright, we’ve certified it pre-owned.”

This entry is dedicated to Cheryl. I pick on her far too often, but she’s always a good sport. May we continue laugh with each other rather than at each other.