More Is Less

Listening to Gotham’s news-radio station this morning as I performed my ablutions, I heard the following announcement in the business segment:

“Consumers are cutting back this holiday season, but not as much as in recent years.”

In other words, consumers are spending more this year than last year. How is that “cutting back”? Who writes this stuff?

This sort of thing drives me crazy. I’m starting to think I should stop listening to the news. Or at least cut back.

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  1. Kevin Kim says

    I’m guessing that, in their sloppiness, something was left unsaid, namely: expected levels of consumption. With that added in, the locution makes a bit more sense: For years, expected consumption has been at level X; over the past five years, though, people having been consuming at roughly .85X. This year, however, it’s closer to .95X. We’re still not at X, but we’re consuming more robustly than in recent years.

    In their attempt to use verbal shorthand, the radioheads dropped crucial information and ended up uttering nonsense.

    My conjecture, for what it’s worth.

    Posted October 29, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Permalink
  2. Obviously, “cutting back” is meaningless unless a reference datum is specified, relative to which the “cutting back” occurs.

    The management of our apartment complex once issued a memo, which requested all occupants to adjust their blinds at 90 degrees for an outdoor advertising photo shoot. So I defined the orthogonal lines of reference that minimized my adjustment effort.

    As Big Al said, “It’s all relative”.

    Posted October 29, 2010 at 1:37 pm | Permalink
  3. Ron D says

    Irregardless, I will be checking out in the 10 items or less line when I buy alot of gifts this year. But for all intensive purposes, I could care less.

    Did I miss any others?

    Ron D

    Posted October 29, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Permalink
  4. Malcolm says

    No doubt correct, Kevin. It’s the nonsense version making it all the way to the airwaves that sets my teeth on edge.

    Henry, I’d have done the same.

    Posted October 29, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Permalink
  5. Malcolm says

    Looks like you’ve been browsing the archives, Ron…

    Posted October 29, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Permalink
  6. Ron D says

    Actually, I wasn’t looking at the archives. I had a recent discussion about the bastardization of the English language due to texting and chatting. My kids aren’t old enough to have cell phones, but when they are, I am sure their language skills will suffer greatly. Have you had any discussions here on this topic?

    Now going back to the archives, I see that the point is mute. Next time, I will ax before we conversate. Anyways, that’s my two sense.

    Posted October 29, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Permalink