Building with Clicks 

Rosie Right

As we all know, the language is changing so fast that it's hard to keep up. And sometimes it is also hard to understand. Besides, sometimes the changes are not exactly enchanting. Rosie came upon an interesting discussion in the newsletter Copy Editor of one of these innovations. Leading off with a discussion of the origin of the term brick-and-mortar, the editors take notice of the increasing use of clicks-and-mortar. "What does clicks-and-mortar mean?" they asked information technician John Berry. He told them, "Web and physical." The editors continue: "Many writers, in fact, use the term to describe a company that sells products on a Web site and in stores. But other writers have a more integrated business strategy in mind. … "Use of clicks and mortar really took off on July 19, when David Pottruck, co-CEO of Charles Schwab&Co. Inc., used it in a speech at the Internet Summit in Laguna Niguel, Calif. 'We don't believe the future is about the physical world vs. cyberspace,' Pottruck said. 'It's not bricks-and-mortar versus the Internet. It's about integrating both - putting together the best of what's available through physical distribution with the best of the Web world.'" If clicks-and-bricks confuses, Rosie must report that there are several variations of the phrase in Copy Editor that also seem a bit opaque. These include: bricks-and-clicks, which Berry defines "the way he defines clicks-and-mortar: a company that has a Web presence and a physical presence." As if this were not enough, there is also clicks-to-bricks, which Berry says "describes companies that start out solely on the Internet and then build stores." While Copy Editor's explanations were enlightening, Rosie is inclined to agree with the last expert quoted by the newsletter: "'We try to get away from those jargony things,' says Maria De La O, managing editor of The Industry Standard. "We try to get people just to write what they mean." Second the motion. Ballots Again:
When Rosie looked up a word in her dictionary she found this term: "Bedsheet ballot, a very long, involved paper ballot." Thank goodness we didn't have complaints about these in our presidential election. Let Rosie hear from you by telephone (358-0825), letter (1707 Summit Ave., Richmond, Va. 23230), fax (355-9089) or e-mail repps@styleweekly.com

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