Read it here first: The Death Of Bling?

Interesting article in WaPo today, titled The Death Of Bling?

We hit this subject recently, looking at "bling" Becomes Marketing Verbiage and The Long Tail of Language.

Here’s the WaPo version:

The word "bling" has been overused by every two-bit jeweler selling cubic
zirconium. It has been worn out by virtually all fashion publicists — who for
the past five months have been chirping, "Bling in the New Year!" — and by
every morning TV host trying to make the umpteenth holiday shopping segment
sound fun and nifty. Use of the word has become like a nervous tic, as
persistent as a dry cough and as annoying as old people who say "phat" and "You
go, girl!"

If the word "bling" is never again uttered by an aging cultural observer —
some well-meaning baby boomer or a mainstream news organization proud to have
incorporated "edgy" lingo into its coverage — then 2006 will be a fine year.

The Death Of Bling?
As Hip-Hoppers & Designers Eschew Excess, Jewelry May Just Be Jewelry Again
Robin Givhan
Washington Post, Friday, December 23, 2005; Page C01

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  1. nate commented on Dec 23

    Very interesting postings on bling. It is postings such as this that make me think that BW is not the best “fit” for your time and effort. My guess is BW would not pick up on the turn in “bling” until well after the fact. Just a guess. i could easily be wrong.

  2. ken commented on Dec 23

    ‘Bling’ is to fashion pundits what ‘space’ is to stock pundits, a fresh way to refer to worn out terms like ‘costume jewelry’ and ‘market segment’. They are both annoying and show a lack of gravitas by the user. This is harmless to the credibility of a fashion pundit, who after all should sound fresh and innovative, but deadly to the credibility of a stock analyst.

    Whenever I hear the term ‘space’ used by someone commenting on a certain market sector I know they are not to be taken seriously.

  3. nate commented on Dec 23


    Fascinating input on use of word “space”. I had never thought of this before. Space never really never joined my lexicon.

    Space may be a little bit different than a segment. I’ve heard space used almost as a synonym for industry. An industry, in turn, may have many different market segments.

    This said, the paragraph above may not be right and also points to the problem of the word “space”. What do people mean when they say space? Do they mean industry, a market segment, or both? Given Ken’s input, I am confused. I did not here the word “space” in business school much if at all.

    McDonalds is using “bling” in advertisements for “premium” chicken sandwiches. Maybe marketers thought the “premium” aspect makes it comparable to fancy jewelry or okay to use bling – dunno.

  4. ken commented on Dec 23

    nate, I think you are right about the various uses of the word ‘space’ by stock pundits. It is a confusing term used by people whose credibility is largely determined by being specific about factual matters.

    This is why when they use the term I figure they are trying to bs me instead of trying to inform me.

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