Thursday, September 17, 2009

Targetisms

Scratch that. The Christmas lights won't set next week, because they set YESTERDAY. And today we dragged out lots of glitter and tinsel, bows and bells, the whole nine yards. Apparently a natural consequence of keeping the planogram schedule of the store a week ahead means we're a week early with the early Christmas set. When does this begin to get ridiculous? It isn't even October yet, and Halloween is still out in full force. I remember when the Bearenstein Bears were complaining about Christmas starting the day after Thanksgiving. Now apparently the week after Labor Day is acceptable.

On a slightly related topic, it was while neck deep in these Christmas lights that we discovered the worst example of cookie-cutter English I have ever seen. It was printed on a large carton originally intended to be stored and displayed on the riser shelf, far above anyone's reach, but with a picture on the side to look decorative before it was broken down and added to the shelves from which one could actually shop. In an attempt to convey this concept, the Chinese manufacturers had printed:
"THIS CARTON IS RISERABLE AND NOT SALEABLE"
What a nifty way to try turning nouns into verbs. Shakespeare could get away with making up words, but I don't think these two will make the cut.

While we're discussing the misuse of the English language, no one at Target seems to know what the word "compliance" really means. It's been bothering me for the last twelve months.

COMPLIANCE - noun (1) the action or fact of complying with a wish or command: they must secure each other's cooperation or compliance. - (COMPLIANCE WITH) the state or face of according with or meeting rules or standards: all imports of timber are IN COMPLIANCE WITH regulations.

When Target talks about "compliance" they mean compliance with the regulations regarding lawful breaks and lunches. However, when someone misses his lunch or is late in taking it, he is accused of being "in compliance" and subject to disciplinary action, etc., which grammatically makes no sense. People talk about not wanting "to be in compliance" as though that would be a bad thing, and everyone is encouraged to "stay out of compliance" by taking their breaks on time. I know vocabulary isn't a large part of the public education curriculum, but this use of the word is simply incorrect, and I pray it isn't used this way on a corporate level.

Also, this past week I noticed that some of the promotional signage in the women's apparel read: "MORE COLORS, LESS DOLLARS." I believe "fewer" would have been more correct in that case.
Is it just me, or is this getting a little embarrassing?

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