Am I the only one bothered by the creep of this meaningless phrase into our vocabulary? Well, not entirely meaningless; in microeconomics one can speak of a "price point" along a demand curve, corresponding to a particular number of units demanded at a given price. And in business, one may discover natural "price points" for a given product, at which demand is disproportionately high due to an irregular demand curve.
But lately I have heard people on television say "price point" simply to describe the cost of an individual item--i.e., its price. The word "point" does not convey any additional information. And yesterday, a furniture salesman offered to sell me a sofa, chair, and ottoman package at "a price point of $1200." Actually, he said "price" first, then (a bit hesitantly) "price point," before repeating the latter term with confidence, clearly pleased with himself to be using such important language.
I am convinced that this trend is a result of "The Apprentice," which has given ordinary Americans a peek into the world of junior executives and their typical activities such as piloting the Goodyear Blimp and engaging Michael J. Fox to play ice hockey at a casino. Each week on "The Apprentice," someone is guaranteed to say "price point," even correctly on occasion.
So here is my rule: if you have a Ph.D. or M.B.A., and if you are standing in front of a chart, you are permitted to say "price point." Otherwise you are just a dumbass with a new word.