Saturday, November 26, 2005

Black or Gold?

The name “Black Friday” has come to refer to the day after Thanksgiving in which stores throughout the United States open early with various items on sale and consumers rush to begin their Christmas shopping or just to take advantage of some of the good deals.

So why is it called “Black Friday” and given a sinister connotation?

It rings of the name “Black Tuesday” given to the stock market crash of October 29, 1929, often erroneously thought of as a failure of capitalism. The prefix “Black” before a day often refers to days in which government made errors in monetary policy, days in which government trampled upon the liberties of its people, or days in which a tragic event occurred. None of these describe the sales and voluntary transactions that occur on the Friday after Thanksgiving.

For a change, why don’t we refer to “Black Friday” by a less ominous term? Perhaps we can call it “Gold Friday” or “Sale Friday” or “Lots-of-people-shopping Friday.” The prefix “Black” should not be applied to a day that does not represent a tragedy in some way. Crowded stores and numerous voluntary transactions hardly constitute a tragedy.

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