Date: Tue, 24 Mar 1998 03:18:13 EST
Subject: Wall Street Journal terms (continued)

Business affects everybody. One day, say, you're editing a dictionary of
American slang, and then the next day you wake up to "GERMANS BUY RANDOM
HOUSE," and you're asked to edit the entire Deutsches Worterbuch by tomorrow.
About a week ago, I think Ron Butters posted someone's query about
business language. An interesting book is BUSINESS BUZZWORDS: EVERYTHING YOU
NEED TO KNOW TO SPEAK THE LINGO OF THE 90s (1995) by Charles B. Wendel &
Elaine Svensson and published by the American Management Association. It's a
pretty good introduction, and even includes some Japanese words such as
"kanban" and "keiretsu."
I finished another segment of my Wall Street Journal reading, so here

CREDIT CARD--The OED first entry is, surprisingly enough, from the 1888 Edward
Bellamy novel LOOKING BACKWARD. Its next citation is 20 October 1958.
In the WSJ, 12 August 1958, pg. 5, "American Express invites your
application for _the_ comprehensive credit card." The ad mentions that the
new American Express Credit Card is "a natural supplement to the world-famous
American Express Travelers Cheque." In the WSJ, 30 September 1958, pg. 13,
"Tomorrow, October 1, a new era in credit convenience opens for the American
public. For tomorrow the new American Express Credit Card goes into effect
for its hundreds of thousands of members--becoming, on its very first day, the
most useful credit privilege ever made available." It turns 40!...Diners'
Club was formed in 1950.

PRICE-EARNINGS RATIO--The OED has this from 1961, citing the Dallas Morning
News! In the WSJ, 27 May 1959, pg. 16, col. 6, a review of the book A PRIMER
FOR PROFIT IN THE STOCK MARKET by Harry Kahn, Jr. mentions "computing stock
yields and price-earnings ratios and scouting industry potentialities."

TALENT--This was discussed on ADS-L some months ago. The WSJ, 11 July 1958,
pg. 14, col. 2, states that television shows are "known in the trade as
'talent.'" The headline on pg. 1, col. 1 is "Dickering on the Price Tags of

PRIME TIME--The same 11 July 1958, pg. 1, col. 1 article has "so-called prime
(highest-price) evening time, which usually means from 7:30 to 10:30, Eastern
time, give or take a half-hour." The OED has 1964 for "prime time."

BANTAM SUPERMARKET--The WSJ, 16 April 1959, pg. 1, col. 4 headline is "The
Small Food Store Revives in New Form: Bantam Supermarket/ Chains Spread in
Florida and Other States; They Offer Long Hours, Fast Service." The article
notes that "Although the bantams are the result of an idea about 30 years old,
they've suddenly boomed in the past two or three years. And their growth
promises to accelerate. (...) For a look at a typical store, visit one here in
Jacksonville operated by Seven Eleven Stores, Inc., a big Dallas chain. As
the name implies, the market opens at 7 a.m. and closes at 11 p.m. (Each
green-and-white store is decorated with a yellow rooster holding the red
figure 7 and a sprightly owl holding a green sign spelling out eleven.)"
"Bantam supermarket" did not survive as a business term. 7-11 is now
open 24 hours.

CONVENIENCE FOOD--OED has 2 December 1961. The WSJ, 27 October 1958, pg. 1,
col. 4, has "The new Wilson line is the latest development in the frozen food
industry's move toward 'convenience' foods."

CANDYGRAM--The WSJ, 30 January 1959, pg. 7 ad for Western Union announced that
"beginning today--you can send a CandyGram anywhere in the U.S.A."
Except for the unabomber, perhaps.

There's more, but I'm titanic-ly tired.