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April 2006

Time for a Smile

Dodgy Translations

These are from the New York magazine competition in which they asked competitors to change one letter in a familiar non-English phrase and redefine it.

Harlez-vous francais?
Can you drive a French motorcycle?

Ex post fucto
Lost in the mail

Idios amigos
We're wild and crazy guys!

Veni, VIPi, Vici
I came; I'm a very important person; I conquered.

Veni, vidi, vice
I came, I saw, I partied.

Veni, Vidi, Visa
I came; I saw, I charged.

J'y suis, J'y pestes
I can stay for the weekend.

Cogito Eggo sum
I think; therefore, I am a waffle.

Rigor Morris
The cat is dead.

Respondez s'il vous plaid
Honk if you're Scots.

Que sera, serf
Life is feudal.

Le roi est mort. Jive le roi
The King is dead. No kidding.

Posh mortem
Death styles of the rich and famous

Pro Bozo publico
Support your local clown.

Monage a trois
I am three years old.

Felix navidad
Our cat has a boat.

Haste cuisine
Fast French food

Quip pro quo
A fast retort.

Ich liebe rich
I'm really crazy about having dough.

Fui generis
What's mine is mine

VISA la France
Don't leave chateau without it.

Merci rien
Thanks for nothin'.

Travel Trends

Luxury travelers buy online: A study released by Yahoo! Search Marketing found that 87% of consumers who go on high-end vacations use the Internet to some capacity in making their travel arrangements. Yahoo! surveyed 401 people who had stayed at a luxury hotel at least twice in the past two years, had an average income of $70,000, and were between the ages of 40 and 64. The study found that 61% of respondents used the Internet to purchase their most recent vacation; 57% used general search engines, 54% consulted online travel agencies, 44% went to online travel suppliers, and 10% used chatboards and blogs. Almost half (49%) of respondents ended up purchasing their tickets from an online travel agency.

In a smiliar study, households with a minimum net worth of $1 million (includes home equity), with a median net worth of $1.7 million and median annual income of $306,000 were also surveyed. Sixty-five percent of respondents were men and 35% were women, and their average age was 56. The average wealthy American uses the Internet seven days a week for an average of 3.2 hours per day; those under 50 and worth more than $5 million are heavier users. Almost all (98%) of the wealthy use the web at home, and more than two-thirds also use the web at work. Over 40% use the Internet to plan travel and make reservations and buy products and services online. Younger consumers (under 50) and those with higher incomes and net worth show a stronger tendency to buy online. This same cohort of younger and wealthier consumers also show a greater propensity for other web activities such as using instant messaging, reading a blog (20%), and buying music online. Frequent blog readership is highest among the youngest wealthy consumers, and among men of higher levels of income and wealth.

Women make the decisions in online travel: A new survey conducted by the European company ArgusCarHire shows that stateside and in Europe, women are now taking charge of travel decisions and purchases. The survey reveals that women convert at a higher rate than men from the first step of researching a specific online travel product to making a final online purchase; this is especially true for car rentals and airline tickets. About 65% of women versus 59% of men who researched airline flights/fares online have made a final online ticket purchase. A similar proportion of men (55%) and women (56.9%) who research hotel accommodations also booked a room online. 

Travel looking good economically: David Wyss, chief economist for Standard & Poors, says that the outlook is good for travel. “Americans currently spend less on food and other nondurable goods than they did in 1960, when half their income went to the purchase of such goods. Today they spend about a third on goods. The average household now spends 5.5% of its income on energy; it was 8% in 1981.

"What Americans are spending more on is services -- and that’s where travel comes in. Although travel is up since its post-9/11 drop, spending in the category has changed.” “Basically, people are taking shorter trips, they drive more than they fly, they take three-day weekends instead of a week’s vacation,” Wyss said.

Online search a part of life:
Online Americans conducted 5.7 billion searches in the first month of the year, a 39% surge from the same month a year ago, according to Nielsen/NetRatings.

"Web users are conducting more searches not because they can’t find what they’re looking for, but because search as a utility has become deeply ingrained into people’s everyday lives," Nielsen/NetRatings analyst Ken Cassar said in a statement.

Travelers compare several websites: “According to a recent survey commissioned by MSN and conducted by Harris Interactive, approximately three-quarters of U.S. adult respondents who have ever taken a vacation say they visit three or more websites when researching and/or booking their vacation plans.

“The most useful resources as cited by vacationers in the MSN survey were research/guides with information on what to do and see (71%), airline and hotel fare comparisons (68%), and travel/news articles (45%).”

Procrastinators rejoice:
A study released by looked at how far in advance men and women typically buy gifts or make plans for a special occasion, such as an anniversary, birthday or the often-dreaded Valentine’s Day. 78% of men admitted that at least once they have waited until the day of or day before to make plans or buy a gift. Only one in four feel truly confident that they can break this bad habit. But nearly half of women said that they typically make plans a week or less ahead of the occasion. And, only one in three women felt they could definitely break their last minute habits. Fifty-six percent of men say they catch heat from their significant other for their last-minute planning habits (26% of women make the same claim).

Gen Z more than tech savvy: “Young consumers are using more technology at a younger age to connect with more people than ever before, according to a survey of more than 5,000 U.S. and Canadian online youth between the ages of 12 and 21 by Forrester Research Inc. For example, 87% of 15-year-olds use instant messaging, while nearly half of 12- to 14-year-olds have a mobile phone.” Among the highlights:

  • Young people are communication junkies. Eighty-three percent use IM versus just 32% of online adults. More than three out of four young consumers have a mobile phone.
  • MP3 players top the device wish list. Twenty-five percent of young consumers said they plan to purchase an MP3 player in the next 12 months.
  • Entertainment grabs their online time. Young consumers spend almost 11 hours per week online, while nearly one in five of the youngest of this group spend 20 hours or more per week online.
  • Young consumers represent the social marketing vanguard. Fifty-two percent say they rely on recommendations from friends or family when making a purchase, compared with just 34% of adults.

Spam on the phone: "Mobile users are increasingly using cell phones for purposes beyond making voice calls, including accessing the Web, sending text messages, and even recording video clips. But along with the extra functions has come at least one feature users aren’t pleased about--spam.
About one in six cell phone owners (18%) said they have received unsolicited ads on their mobile devices, according to a new study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, the Associated Press and AOL. The report comes at a time when mobile appears poised to grow as an ad medium."

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