John’s interesting post below leads me to ask a definitional question, what is puffing? Some people believe it to be a broad term describing all dissembling in negotiation and other see it more narrowly, simply as exaggerating the positive qualities of an item. It sounds like John’s definition is the former, while David Hoffman, author of the article The Best Puffery Article Ever, is more along the lines of the latter. My old Blacks Law Dictionary from law school goes with Hoffman, which is how I discuss the topic, but this may be a case where popular use is the trump card. Years ago when discussing the definition of mediation Len Riskin said that how a term is used determines its meaning. Maybe the horse is out of the barn with regard to puffing. What’s your take?
Interestingly, the online version of Blacks does not include puffing in the words it defines.