What do you make of Charles Harrington Elster?

Hi, what do you make of Charles Harrington Elster’s sales pitch which you can listen to when you click on the link below.

On the one hand, he clearly masters the English language, has an excellent diction and pleasant voice, but on the other hand, he too often degrades his competitors’ products in this speech. I’m quite sure that he offers a valuable product but why is he talking so often the disadvantages of other programs that are on the market?

Maybe, this is a proven format, an effective sales pitch. Any ideas?
verbaladvantage.com/shop/pro … prod_ID=54[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: Competitive fencing[YSaerTTEW443543]

Hi Torsten

Yes, he does have a nice voice. The sales pitch is a pretty typical style. He doesn’t name any competing products, but does make a point of saying his program isn’t boring like others are. I imagine one reason he does this is that he knows most people believe that learning vocabulary is inherently boring. And, of course, he’s trying to make his product sound good.

One thing that planted a few seeds of doubt in my mind was something that is written on the same web page:
Over thousands of words spelled, defined, and used in their proper context for you to gain your “Verbal Advantage”.

The idea is OK, but if I had a student who wrote “over thousands”, I’d advise against using such an expression. :lol: What does “over thousands” mean? I assume that in reality it must mean “a little more than 2000” but I also assume it’s designed to lead the potential customer to believe that the number is much higher than that. In other words, it seems designed to purposely mislead. And that sets off alarm bells with me. :lol:

Did you notice any samples of the program on the website? I couldn’t find any.


Hi Amy,

You are right, over thousands of words doesn’t make sense unless ‘over’ is part of a phrasal verb:

to stumble over thousands of words
to skim over thousands of words
to think over thousands of works

Maybe what he really wants to say is over a thousand words?

As for learning vocabulary words through audio programs, I think you can use them as some kind of supplementary resource. You shouldn’t make them your primary tool because it doesn’t make sense to make vocabulary the goal. Vocabulary should be a means to achieve your goals.
I have been using Executive Vocabulary by Greg Ragland and the words and sample sentences contained in the program are very useful for me.[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: A beekeeper in action[YSaerTTEW443543]