News From You 6/19/2008

Happy happy Friday! It’s another edition of News From You. If you’re new to these parts, News From You is an ongoing series best described as an eclection of news, the weird, the arcane and the downright useless of interest to F-I infovores. We’ve got a lot of material today (hope I didn’t forget anything) so let’s get started.

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Do you wear pantyhose? Supposedly, whether you do or don’t is a sign of the generational divide. Although no youngster, I forget those things exist. I’ve turned down jobs if hose was required. Insult to injury, they’re not a legitimate business expense.
This is claimed to be entirely cake and frosting. Amazing. {Via}

How will this affect buyers? With fewer sales reps visits, will they take more seriously those who do stop by? Will response to mail pieces become stronger -or will it contribute to mail marketing fatigue?

“We are dramatically changing the way we travel,” Peschel said. “We used to fly out to Atlanta, rent a car and go exploring on our way up to New York in search of potential new accounts. Now, we edit our samples to keep the luggage as light as possible, we rent the most economical car and we don’t visit stores we don’t have appointments with. Our trips are fewer and shorter, so we do everything to make them count.”

Jeff Jones, a sales rep for custom orders for American Apparel, said gas prices never used to be an issue, even as he put more than 36,000 miles per year on his odometer. “Now it is a big deal,” he said. “I’m still on the road but probably a little less. If I can accomplish something with an e-mail or a phone call, I will.”

For those sales reps who bite the bullet, the rewards can be immediate. Tom Thomas of the Tom-Tom Sales showroom in the California Market Center said lately he is hitting the road even more. “I suck up the gas cost,” he said. “Fewer and fewer people come to the Mart like they used to. Many stores have gotten rid of the fringe help that allowed owners to leave the store [for buying trips]. They are trimming the fat, so we need to go to them.” Now, Thomas is out of his showroom at least three days each week for trips that take him to places as scattered as Palm Desert, Calif.; Orange County, Calif.; and Arizona. “I’m putting 40,000 miles on my car—but I don’t walk into a store and not get an order.”

Not that it’d be any surprise to resident grammarians, I only score 60%-80% on various takings of this Grammar Quiz. Includes wonderfully lucid explanations for errors. I finally figured out the difference between who and whom.
When making a generic reference to carbonated beverages, do you say pop, soda or coke? Around here, most folks say coke. I wonder if it’s due to Latin influences; I’ve found the word “coka” to be the preferred term through out the Americas. I say soda. Coincidentally, my beverage of choice is club soda. I probably drink a six pack a day. I don’t like sugary drinks, and diet beverages taste icky to me. All I can taste are chemicals. Club soda is very refreshing. I got into the habit when I was in Argentina twenty years ago. There, they ask if you want water with gas or without. Red wine is drunk with every meal (except breakfast) but diluted half and half with gas-water.

The Great Pop vs. Soda Controversy (scroll down to vote) has an interactive map of the linguistic differences in your region of the country. Here’s a map of break down by counties.

Related: The Dictionary of American Regional English. The quizzes are fun too but I didn’t get a single one right on the one quiz I attempted.
“Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.” -Jim Rohn
Zoe says to check out Extreme Ironing. Although I wrote about it before, it appears these boys are still up to their old tricks and worth revisiting. Extreme Ironing is “the latest danger sport that combines the thrills of an extreme outdoor activity with the satisfaction of a well pressed shirt.” They iron shirts under water, at Antarctica, you name it. Silly boys. Rowenta, having a sense of humor, is their site sponsor.
Container costs have tripled since 2000 and will double again as oil hits $200 a barrel. There have been too many news stories about manufacturers returning to US production I can’t possibly link to them all. The trend had started well before now but it hadn’t been newsworthy until recently.
DNR mentions Adidas is suing Wal-Mart for infringing on their three-stripe trademark. Adidas claims Wal-Mart’s two and four stripe shoes are diluting their brand. Normally I wouldn’t care about who is suing whom but one quote from Erwan Rambourg stands out:

“Clearly [Nike’s] swoosh has been easier to defend than the three stripes,”

Something to consider in the design of your trademark logo…
In related news, DNR reports the outcome of legal proceedings deny that the term “bespoke” can be used exclusively by Savile Row tailors. Frankly, I’m surprised they bothered to bring suit. Bespoke is an adjective, in use well before the commencement of the tailor’s association in 2004. I see this as no different than designers who claim to do “couture”, yet you don’t see the Syndicate going after them. Furthermore, it’s ironic that the association sees no contradiction with their usage of the term “haute couture” to describe their quality and process standards. If the Syndicate were as prissy as the tailors are, the tailors would be too busy defending themselves in a lawsuit to be suing anyone else. What’s good for the goose, is good for the gander.

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