The voice on the answering machine at the big fancy "customer-centric" company said (italics are theirs, not mine),
We guarantee a member of senior management will call you back as soon as possible.
and the spokesperson for the huge corporate lobbying organization assured us that, "we have very strict guidelines for members."
and of course, the box in the supermarket said FREE with purchase.
Naturally, none of these sentences mean what they appear to mean. And I think that people have finally figured that out. Nobody really guarantees the weather will be good… what are they going to do, give you your day back?
It may very well be that the tried and true weasel technique of joining a powerful assurance with a weak, hard-to-define modifier is finally reaching the end of the road.
I can unequivocally assure you that there’s a 100% certainty that weasel words are pretty close to dead.