Usage and Grammar

Q. I’m editing an advertising brochure that says, “With more cruise departures from more convenient ports, you’ll find an itinerary that’s just right for you.” A colleague asks, “More than what or whom? You should not use a comparative word like more without providing the comparison. More than other cruise lines offer? With more cruise departures from more convenient ports than other cruise lines offer?” Is this true or have we evolved a little in terms of ad copy?

A. It’s the peculiar privilege of advertisers to weasel out of specifics. “We give you more!” is a time-honored pitch. Your colleague sounds like a stand-up kind of person whose sensibilities might not be tough enough for this game. Caveat emptor.