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Is "cheap" a good idea?

 
pollinator
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 As someone who tries to avoid confusion with people in conversations, I try and use the best words for the task.
So often, misunderstood comments cause issues anywhere.

Cheap is a word I find used inappropriately, my understanding is it means poor quality, low price.
And yet its used for example, 'Cheap greenhouse wanted", Good insulation needed, must be cheap".
I use the terms deliberately, economical, good value.
Deliberately keeping away from the sense of 'poor quality".

I wonder if others wrestle with the word?
 
gardener
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I imagine they have become interchangable in many places due to the fact that they often pretty much work out that way. In my area, I don't think people who use the word improperly are trying to find top quality at a low price. I think they are emphasizing cost over other factors, and are willing to accept low quality if it gets them a low price.
 
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I agree that 'poor quality, low price' is often how it is used but I tend to think of it as lower than equivalent market value.

To me 'economic' means to do with monetary systems or fuel consumption in cars.
'good value' sounds like another buzzword phrase like cheap.

Words constantly change meaning and for example avoiding psuedo-positive words like sick or wicked isn't going to make them go away.
Tom Scott has some great youtube videos about this.
 
pollinator
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Cost-effective, cost-efficient, as better synonyms?

When the behaviors i engage in could lead me to being labelled "cheap", I tend to translate that into the less maligned "thrifty", "cost averse", or "wealth-conscious".

how about when you find a "good deal"? or a "diamond in the rough"?
 
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For low price, I use the term inexpensive.   To me, that implies a low price with no connotations regarding quality. The word value, to me, refers to price as related to quality.  I once bought a car that was an excellent value at $7000 below Blue Book. I sold it several years and 100,000 miles later for about what I paid for it.  Still, it was not cheap or inexpensive.
 
pollinator
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Agreed, "cheap" has heavy connotations of poor quality or disposability, as well as mean-spirited stinginess.

I bristle when people say I'm cheap. I am efficient with my dollars, looking for best value over time. I will spend more for quality, or source quality items gently used, because it actually costs me less in the long run. You buy cheap, you buy twice -- and make landfills overflow with crap goods.

The proper English word is "frugal," but people don't know it. I like "thrifty" which says smart and efficient all at once.
 
John C Daley
pollinator
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I love to read the improved alternatives.

I am surprised about

'economic' means to do with monetary systems

since the topic relates to the matter.
 
pollinator
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Is cheap good?

Depends, if you mean that cool thing you got for 10 cents on the dollar, absolutely.  If it means your kiddo's wearing cheap shoes that offer no support and/or fall apart, nope.

I'm a gal who loves a bargain, in fact, I find it very difficult to pay full price for anything.  I would rather get the dented or scratched appliance, call it "pre-disastered" ((the car from The World According To Garp), and get 20% off.  BUT I will also pay $20 for a pair of sox that will last forever because the company will replace them for life.

So the answer is yes and no.
 
John C Daley
pollinator
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Perhaps you mean, Good value for that 10 cents in the $ item?
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