Saturday, October 4, 2008

Best is Not the Same as Most Expensive

I just read a fluffy article on MSNBC about the "10 Best Hotels in the United States."

What irked me was the fact that the cheapest room rate at any of the 10 is $420. All of them have rooms in the $1,000-$2,000+ range.

Does "best" really mean "most expensive"?

Sure, if you pay a company a whole lot of money, you expect to get a whole lot back in return. But shouldn't the notion of "best" factor in the concept of price? Shouldn't items like value per dollar be taken into account when rating things that cost money?

Or is the "best" only available to the wealthiest?

Lorenz Hart's lyric for "Too Good for the Average Man" (from On Your Toes, 1936) comes to mind:
Finer things are for the finer folk,
Thus society began.
Caviar for peasants is a joke.
It's too good for the average man.

On nytheatre.com, we never say anything is "best" but we do have a Reviewers' Picks page -- and we're careful to ensure that theatre at all price ranges is included. The most extravagant and spectacular shows are on Broadway, but the most stimulating ones with the most bang for the buck are almost always somewhere else!

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