Personal Finance

David's Pet Peeves, 2017 Edition: Giving Yourself a Gift

On this week's Rule Breaker Investing podcast, Motley Fool co-founder David Gardner takes a break from his usual topics and generally upbeat outlook to dig into some things that just irk him. He thinks we'd all be better off retiring some phrases from our vocabularies, because they're linked to ideas we'd do well to dump as well.

First on his list is a popular marketing theme during the holiday season: "Give yourself a gift," to which he says, "Bah, humbug!"

A full transcript follows the video.

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This video was recorded on Nov. 15, 2017.

David Gardner: Pet Peeve No. 1 this year. It's not just this year. It's just I happen to be presenting it this year. This has been true of many years. And it happens around this time of year, doesn't it? It's this phrase seen in so much holiday marketing in some form like this. "Give yourself a gift."

Give yourself a gift? I mean, I know we're each needy and we're deserving, but isn't this the one time of the year that we enter a season of gratitude and we think about gifts for others? Now, I'm the first to say that when I'm shopping, which I try to do very little of, often I find myself buying something for myself when I get something for my brother. I understand that.

But to actively market toward that -- to say "give yourself a gift" -- if you see that anytime this holiday season, I'm going to ask you to call that out in an Ebenezer Scrooge-like way. I want you to call that out. Because this is the one month or two months of the year where we're all about thinking -- right? -- about others.

So, how about give someone else a gift? In fact, using Google as the search engine, to give us insights not just about what Web page to find but really our own hearts, looking at Google I decided to google the phrase "give yourself a gift" in quotes. You can try this, too. I got 557,000 results for "give yourself a gift." Then I typed in "give someone a gift" and that gets 433,000 results. In other words, it gets about 100,000 fewer results -- "give someone a gift" than "give yourself a gift."

You might think, "Well, Dave, is that the right phrase? I mean, that's kind of awkward. Give someone a gift." I tried "give someone else a gift." That gets only 25,000 search results. Maybe if you agree with me on this point we can start turning the tide of the Google search engine together and work toward this better world. How about give someone -- someone else -- a gift this season?

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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