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May 2005

Tangential Rant

This article was written by in Career and Work. Comments Off


One small piece of business-speak grates my ears everytime I hear it. The word is processes. For some reason, supposedly intelligent business people are often reduced to pronouncing this word as if its root was an imaginary Greek word, processis. That is, they pronounce the last syllable of the plural as “EEZ.”

Unfortunately, like aks, nucular, and irregardless, “incorrect” pronunciations are used often enough by educated individuals that they become “accepted” or “acceptable” pronunciations.

This follows the general trends of language and dialect transformation throughout history, so I guess I can’t complain too much. Language is fluid.

Related links:

* Dictionary.com entry for “process”
* Top 100 most often mispronounced words
* History of the English language

Update: I swear this is just a coincidence. George W. Bush mangled English again today when he used the word disassemble (and defined the word incorrectly) when he meant dissemble (which happened to be Monday’s word of the day at Dictionary.com). Here’s the White House press transcript.

Links and News

This article was written by in Real Estate and Home. Comments Off

Deep Throat
* Tips for blogging productively. Here are some good tips, many of which I should consider. Most regular readers of this site are fellow bloggers. Check it. [Seen on All Things Financial]
* Some like it hot, and some don’t. Home prices increased in Florida, California, and the north east, while Canton and Syracuse showed some decline.
* W. Mark Felt is Deep Throat. This is not porn-related. At least, with the mug on this guy, I hope not.
* Hai Tieu, a millionaire teacher in the making. The introductory paragraph in this story was written to me. He’s making his way with a $60,000 salary and by renting out part of his home.
* ClearChannel launches a “pirate” radio station… and asks for donations! Their website was taken down once word got out, but some text is mirrored.

Good Time to Be an MBA

This article was written by in Education. 2 comments.

A few weeks ago, we had a good conversation about the merits of an MBA degree. Today, Anne Fischer from Fortune Magazine says it’s a good time to be an MBA.

She claims there’s been a change in hiring patterns. Instead of companies hiring MBAs in advance, companies are picking up new graduates “just in time.” On top of that, graduates are not concerned with the uncertainty. The top concerns of employers looking to hire are ethics training and critical thinking skills, while the top concerns of students are lifestyle and work-life balance.

The bottom line is that while 2004′s hiring numbers were flat, there has been a 51% increase in 2005 hires.

Microsoft Millionaires

This article was written by in Uncategorized. Comments Off

Microsoft‘s [MSFT] amazing climb from its humble beginnings is well-known. Thanks to stock options and other benefits, many early Microsoft employees are millionaires. They’re showing up as successful business owners and philanthropists.

The New York Times article profiles:
* Rich Tong, cofounder of Ignition Parters, a venture capital group.
* John Sage, owner of Pura Vida Coffee.
* Stephanie DeVaan, political activist.
* Chris Peters, owner of the Professional Bowlers Association.

To Serve Man

by Luke Landes

Over the weekend, the Billboard Liberation Front celebrated 50 years of McDonalds by modifying a billboard (including animatronics) by Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. The billboard is clear in the picture but the animatronics depict Ronald force-feeding a supersized burger to a supersized kid. The billboard modification was perpetrated by people dressed as Ronald ... Continue reading this article…

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Knockoffs and Other Bits

by Luke Landes

See, I told you I couldn’t stay away for long. Here are some interesting links I came across today: * The Flickr tag: knockoff. First of all, Flickr is a photograph sharing site where items are “tagged” with a category. The “knockoff” category is a repository for photographs of generic consumer products that are designed ... Continue reading this article…

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Hello Weekend [redirected]

by Luke Landes

It’s a holiday weekend, and for me that means I’ll be spending some time catching up on things I need to get done, seeing family and a girl, and barbecuing. The weather just happens to be wonderful, which makes the fact that I’m leaving the office at 2:00 pm even better. Have a great weekend! ... Continue reading this article…

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Hedge Funds Open to Ordinary Investors

by Luke Landes

Earlier this month, I presented an introduction to hedge funds. Today, CNN is reporting that hedge fund managers want to repair their image among the investing public. In an attempt to do so, some mutual fund companies are set to bring hedge-like funds to everyday investors. One such fund is the DB Hedge Strategies Fund. ... Continue reading this article…

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May the Economic Force Be With You

by Luke Landes

Those strange CNN photographers and graphics designers have been at it again, apparently. While the yields of treasury bonds were falling, CNN.com staffers were busy morphing Alan Greenspan into Yoda. The caption for the photo: “Conundrum, hmmm? Boost interest rates, I must.”

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The Long Tail

by Luke Landes

I used the term “Long Tail” when referring to the shape of the curve when I wrote about the most prolific commentators on Consumerism Commentary. However, there are more interesting applications of the Long Tail idea. In fact, there is a Long Tail Blog (there’s a blog for everything these days). The Long Tail is ... Continue reading this article…

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Workers In Newark Work for Free

by Luke Landes

I wasn’t surprised when I saw the city where I work at the top of this list. This goes hand-in-hand with the stress management discussion. According to a survey, Newark, New Jersey tops the list of locations where workers receive (and take as a percentage) the least amount of vacation time. It is important to ... Continue reading this article…

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Gasoline Price Database

by Luke Landes

Earlier, I mentioned a great tool for mapping gasoline prices. Now, AAA members will have access to a new service that will identify gasoline prices at individual service stations. When the service begins, it was interesting to see if the data set is more comprehensive than the Gas Buddy database.

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More Homes Valued $1M

by Luke Landes

One out of every hundred homes is valued at more than $1,000,000. This figure is twice as high as was in 2000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In terms of percentages, California leads with 4 percent of homes and is followed by Connecticut, Washington, D.C., Massachusetts, and New York. At the other end of the ... Continue reading this article…

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Class Action Lawsuit?

by Luke Landes

Today, I received an American Express Card statement in the mail. That wouldn’t be too strange if not for the fact I haven’t used the card in over a year. So I took a look and apparently I’ve been awarded a settlement in a class action lawsuit, and I now have a credit in my ... Continue reading this article…

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Stress Management

by Luke Landes

Workers in the United States put in more hours on the job per year than those in other countries, according to the International Labour Organization, an agency of the UN. The survey finds that there is a higher level of worker stress in the U.S. With baby-boomers getting set to retire, a large portion of ... Continue reading this article…

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Today’s News Items

by Luke Landes

Here is a round-up of some of the stories in the news today. I’ll add more as I find them. * Interest-only loans caused a wave of foreclosures in the Great Depression, and today’s are even riskier. * There are more millionaires now than there have ever been. It’s not such the exclusive club it ... Continue reading this article…

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Price Waves

by Luke Landes

Jim Jubak has published an important article about inflation. Jim, with support from The Great Wave by David Hackett Fischer, explains how the Federal Reserve Bank is ignoring long-term inflation while being concerned with shorter, cyclical events. There is historical precedence for the price inflation the world is currently going through. Jim picks out some ... Continue reading this article…

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Gift Spending

by Luke Landes

Popular people find themselves invited to a number of their friend’s events, such as weddings, anniversaries, bridal showers, baby showers, bachelor parties, bachelorette parties, etc. These are the typical events that generally take place between getting out of college and middle ages. How can a popular person afford to attend all these social events?

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Archives and Categories

by Luke Landes

In addition to offering a new archives index for Consumerism Commentary, I’ve created a category cloud. The category cloud lists all categories in a text size relative to the number of associated posts. I’ve also begun recategorizing some of the older posts to fit nicely in the scheme I’ve been using lately. That project will ... Continue reading this article…

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Most and Least Affordable Cities

by Luke Landes

A new survey from Salary.com determines which cities provide its residents with the most and least value for your salary. To spoil the fun, here are the results. The five most affordable cities are New London, Connecticut; Huntsville, Alabama; Baltimore, Maryland; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; and Tulsa, Oklahoma. It is an interesting collection. Out of these five, ... Continue reading this article…

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