Groupon: Busting Virtual Doors Since 2008

This image was in my email this weekend:

grouponOn the surface, there is not anything that jumps out as being out of the ordinary.  Many businesses are trying to get an early start on their “Black Friday” business – even if it means potentially triggering the hypocrisy of people who think nobody should have to work on Thanksgiving selling things.*

*Unless, of course, the things being sold are concessions, souvenirs, or other items at one of the football games or parades being broadcast into your home while you display your indignant rage that people have to work on Thanksgiving.  That, we’re okay with.

But here is the thing about that image:  It was emailed to me by the fine folks at Groupon – a virtual marketplace that has…

(Warning: extreme caps lock abuse ahead)


Seriously, Groupon.  Do you not have any understanding on what a “doorbuster” sale is?  Let’s ignore for a moment that most “doorbuster” sales are nothing more than an overhyped way of trying to stimulate Black Friday excitement for your Arbor Day sale.  Hell, let’s also set aside that the literal definition of a “doorbuster” (a sale so insanely good – or in such limited quantity – that consumers break down the store’s doors to get at the merchandise) invokes memories of violence, vandalism, and victims being trampled on Black Fridays past.  Maybe I can overlook all of that.

But if you’re going to going to play up the “doorbuster” angle, at least have a physical door that I can metaphorically bust down.

I’m guessing that you don’t want email subscribers showing up at your Chicago HQ looking to break down the doors to get at those “best deals”.

Until then, kindly choose other words to describe your sale.

Thought of the Day – 9/12/2012

Is there another word in the English language with two more disparate meanings than “curb”?

Curb is either a noun describing the raised edge of a street.


A verb describing the act of picking up your dog’s poop from somebody’s yard.

Thought of the Day – 7/5/2012

Today’s thought is “It’s been a while since I made up a new word”  So…

Mondéjà vu

[muhn-dey-zhah voo] noun

Definition:  The feeling of having two Mondays in the same work week.  Commonly caused by going to work on Monday, being out for a day or two (due to vacation, illness, holiday, travel, etc.) and returning to work in the same week.  Mondéjà vu is typically marked with low productivity, discussions about recent personal activities, and general avoidance of work.


“I worked Monday, had Tuesday and Wednesday off, and now my Thursday feels like a second Monday.  It’s Mondéjà vu all over again!”

“With the Fourth of July on a Wednesday, I have a horrible case of Mondéjà vu today – I just can’t get going”.

How to win at “Words With Friends”

When I got my smart phone a few months ago, one of the first apps I downloaded was Words With Friends, a great game that has all of the fun of Scrabble without the watching paint dry boredom that comes from waiting for your opponent to play.  I was hooked after my first game, and now Words is a big part of my online day.  I’m playing against high school classmates, college buddies, and people on both coasts.

One of the reasons I like Words With Friends so much is because I’m good at it.  I am not a boastful person by nature, so let’s just say that I do alright in my games.  Words doesn’t have a stats feature (which the nerd in me would really love) but I would modestly guess that I win over 80% of my games.  And trust me – it is definitely NOT because I’m playing against a bunch of idiots.  While a big chunk of WWF success comes down to luck – having the right letter(s) at the right time – the majority of wins and losses comes down to the skill of the player.

Here are my 10 ways to win at Words With Friends:

Language Abuse

One of the little things that drives me up a wall is people who abuse words* – robbing them of their proper meaning.

For example, you ask?

Take the word “desperately”.  It seems like every few days I run into somebody who wants to castrate all of the meaning from desperately.  They’ll say things like:

“I desperately need to get my hair cut.”


“I need a night out, desperately.”

Look – the only things you need “desperately” are oxygen and water – and you can go a while without water.

So knock it off.

*Obligatory disclaimer – If you are guilty of abusing this (or any other word that I may choose to write about later), please take no offense.  But seriously, stop it.

Thought of the Day – 11/4/11

I read that the world’s population has recently surpassed 70 billion people.  For perspective, that’s a 7 followed by ten zeroes (0000000000).

By my rough (and probably horribly inaccurate) calculations, if you said “hi” to each one of the 70 billion people in the world for exactly one second, it would take you 2,218 years and a handful of weeks to get through everybody.

Since that is obviously impossible (I mean, how many different languages can you say “hi” in?) let’s just focus on the English speakers.  Wikipedia estimates the number of “native speakers” of the English language between 500 million and 1.8 billion people worldwide.

Splitting the difference (11.5 billion) it would still take you 36 years, 6 months of doing nothing but saying “hi” every single second to meet everyone.

Kinda makes the number of Facebook friends I have seem microscopic.

Thought of the Day – 10/20/11

Why are people always trying to do things without further ado?  Are we just being lazy, or is it because of the down economy?

Quite frankly, there are times when I would appreciate some good ado – further or otherwise.

Thought of the Day – 10/6/11

In addition to his many other accomplishments, Steve Jobs did more for a single letter of the alphabet than any other person in the history of the English language.


Think about it.  A single, lowercase “i” is synonymous with an entire company, and several industries of related hardware, software, and peripheral paraphernalia.  What other letter has that going for it? 

I’d allow “e” as a strong contender, but go back to my original point:  who is the person who coined e-mail, e-commerce, e-this, or e-that?  Their identity has been lost to the wind.

What Steve Jobs did for the letter “i” – for better and for worst – is an underappreciated part of his legacy.

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