One of the most popular and overused words in advertising and political rhetoric is the verb deserve.
deserve (transitive verb): to acquire or earn a rightful claim, by virtue of actions or qualities; to become entitled to or worthy of (reward or punishment, esteem or disesteem, position, designation, or any specified treatment).
A worker who fulfills his responsibilities deserves to be paid.
A soldier who performs a heroic act deserves a medal.
A student who refuses to study deserves to fail.
A serial killer deserves to be removed from society.
Because deserve implies that the subject of the verb has earned something by effort, one can only wonder why the word is used in the following examples:
We strive to provide you with top-notch service and make the return process hassle free so we can give you the perfect-fitting pair of pants you deserve.
There is a way to acquire the power, energy and body that you deserve.
Every child deserves a college education.
Every child deserves a dog.
You Deserve a Car
Spoil yourself with this recliner –you deserve the best.
In a world of flat-screen TVs and other gadgets, you deserve an energy-saving light bulb.
We believe a quality razor deserves a luxurious cream that protects your skin and helps your blades glide smoothly. We blend natural ingredients to deliver the comfort and performance that you deserve.
Deserve is one of those feel-good words that people like to hear applied to themselves, so advertisers and politicians use it as often as possible.
Careful writers will think twice before using deserve; it’s not a synonym for “want.”