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Thursday, September 13, 2007
No, I havenít yet mingled with the throngs of shopperazzi celebrating the arrival of Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus at the newly upscaled Natick Collection, formerly Natick Mall. (Thatís why we have the Stylephile crew). But Iíve been monitoring the excitement in my own sedentary, text-centric, nitpicking way.
The first language oddity came in a mailing from Nordstrom, inviting me to enjoy the rewards of using a Nordstrom credit card. The (modest) perks escalate, of course, as the outlay does: To hit the top level, you need ďa minimum annual net spend of $20,000 at Nordstrom on your Nordstrom card.Ē
No doubt the lawyers are responsible for all the preemptive redundancy. But whatís with the ďnet spendĒ? Thatís not English -- at least, not everyday consumer-friendly American English. The Nexis news database found the phrase only 13 times (over 30 years) in US papers, and five of those were in the trade-oriented Variety.
Itís not that spend canít be a noun, of course. But net spend is budget jargon; in an invitation aspiring to stylishness, it clashes like a cheap handbag.
But wait, thereís more: Next came a newspaper insert from Neiman Marcus, offering free treats at its opening. In honor of the storeís 100th birthday, visitors were invited to sample ďone of those infamous chocolate chip cookies youíve heard about.Ē I didnít bite; I donít know how a cookie achieves infamy, but I canít say Iím eager to find out.