What’s the difference between “defective” and “does not perform to design”?

Last-Week-Tonight-with-John-OliverIn case you missed it, you really should watch John Oliver making fun of GM‘s attempts to control the language of those discussing their millions of defective (in their prescribed words, “does not perform to design”) vehicles. Last week, USA Today picked up on the Detroit Free Press piece titled GM’s banned words: What’s wrong with using plain English? The article makes clear that corporations regularly attempt to control the language used about their products. But the story at GM signals they will continue to be perceived as dishonest. They’ve earned it.

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