"New and Improved:"  A phrase often heard when a company markets a product.  Example:  "These knives are new and improved!  You'll be able to cut things much easier if you have these knives!"


If you think about it, nothing can really be new AND improved.

If something were truly new, nothing would have come before it; thus it could not have improved.

If something were improved, there must have been some inferior predecessor of its current state, and thus cannot be new.

I am left to wonder why advertising campaigns often state that something is "New and Improved," since it is highly unlikely that the product is both new and improved simultaneously.  I could probably find an exception - such as something is so incredibly changed that it is considered to be "new" - but this rarely actually applies.

I wonder how many people before me have noticed this, and if so, why do the ads still say this?


Note:  Feryl informs me that this argument was thought up by Simon Blackburn, originally.

 

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