Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Wednesday, September 06, 2021

So how long have Target patrons jokingly been referring to their favorite big-box store as “tar-zhay”?

Don’t ask me. Hailing from the Northeast, I never even heard of Target until I got to college. But the first time I did, some little Minnesota-bred pixie readily conjured up that faux-French pronounciation when she described it to me. Must have something to do with that quirky Midwestern sense of humor.

So it’s only right that, in promoting its partnership with French designer Sophie Albou to create the Go International clothing line, the corporate parent of the bullseye shop has finally embraced that term of affection. Television spots featuring Albou sign off with her uttering “Parlez-vous Target”, with the “zhay” emphasized. It’s a cute and memorable way to acknowledge the love.

Since Target is extending its funky fashion cache throughout its inventory, I’m guessing we’ll be seeing more marketing-message expressions of Parisian-via-Minneapolis chic in their advertising.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 09/06/2021 11:27pm
Category: Advert./Mktg., Fashion
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Just when you thought those 200-mile commutes to New York City were mind-boggling, here comes California: The high-paying gigs in the San Francisco area induce people to fly in from other states:

[Hospital nurse Ann] Inman spends $400 a month flying between Las Vegas and San Jose, where she keeps a car. Factoring in her $500 share of the Sunnyvale rent and the Nevada mortgage, Inman and her husband are spending nearly $2,000 a month more than they did living in California. But at least they will own a house when she retires, and a lot nicer one than a $4,000 monthly mortgage payment could get them in the Bay Area…

She shares her one-bedroom crash pad with a colleague who comes in from Phoenix for a week at a time. Other Stanford nurses fly in from Salt Lake City and from Alabama, likewise staying cheaply nearby.

Is it really worth all that travelling wear-and-tear, just for the sake of owning a house? I have a feeling a lot of these road warriors are going to be knocked for a loop when the housing market stumbles.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 09/06/2021 06:59pm
Category: Society
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So why are blue jeans made of something called “denim”? Ita Aber illuminates in a letter to the NYT Sunday Book Review:

History tells us that Mr. and Mrs. Levi Strauss spent their summers in Provence, France — specifically at Nîmes, where the heavy blue fabric was made. Because the dye was famous and was found nowhere else, the French called it “bleu de Nîmes.” Strauss anglicized the name to “blue denim.” The rest is history.

And the dictionary confirms the Nîmes connection.

If this somehow becomes common knowledge, I guess the inevitable next round of French-bashing will result in some idiot marketing “freedom jeans”…

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 09/06/2021 12:23pm
Category: Fashion, Wordsmithing
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