Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For December 11, 2011

Percentage of working adults who admitted that they were thankful to be distracted by work email during the holidays, according to a survey conducted by Harris Interactive: 15

Percentage of those who said they check work email during a holiday who admitted that they did so while at holiday parties or meals: 10

Source: Harris Interactive.

When asked how they would spend a holiday bonus this year, percentage of respondents earning over $100,000 who say they are likely to invest it, according to a Deloitte survey: 22

Percentage of those earning less than $100,000 who say they will invest it: 11

Percentage of those in the lower income brackets who say they will likely use it to pay for everyday necessities: 31

Source: Deloitte Public Relations.

Year that push-button, or touch-tone, phones made their debut, according to the U.S. Census Bureau: 1963

At that time, percentage of U.S. homes that had telephones: 81

Today, estimated number of cellphone subscribers (fast replacing landline phones) in the U.S.: 300 million

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

Percentage of Americans who suspect they've been the recipients of a re-gift, according to a study for national off-price home fashions retailer HomeGoods: 65

Percentage of respondents who have re-gifted a present at least once: 54

Percentage who are repeat offenders: 36

Source: HomeGoods.

Percentage who say the biggest mistake at work during the holiday season is not attending the holiday party, according to a Randstad survey: 11

Percentage of workers who feel that holiday parties help to build morale: 78

Percentage who would rather receive a bonus than have a holiday party: 93

Source: Randstad-USA.

Ranks of crowded shops, early Christmas hype, "None of them -- I love Christmas," and commercialization on the list of responses from people who were asked to name their top Christmas hates, according to research by money-saving website DiscountVouchers.co.uk: 1, 2, 3, 4

Source: DiscountVouchers.co.uk.

Percentage of people who said they intend to use the gift cards received this Xmas on day-to-day expenses (groceries, gas, etc.), according to a TD Bank poll: 31

Percentage who intend to use them on household items (kitchenware, furniture, etc.) or living expenses (bills, rent, etc.): 11

Percentage of holiday shoppers who say they haven't saved at all for the holidays: 68

Source: TD Bank.

Percentage of parents who like to be prepared for the holiday shopping season, according to a survey of parents who buy gifts for their children at Christmastime, conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs on behalf of Duracell: 82

Percentage of moms who like to plan ahead for holiday shopping -- compared to 76 percent of dads: 88

Percentage of moms who have done Christmas shopping at the last minute -- compared to 56 percent of dads: 46

Source: Ipsos Public Affairs.

Rank of the Ford Focus on the list of Car Connection's "Best Cars to Buy 2012," according to High Gear Media: 1

Rank of the Porsche 911 on the list of "Best Performance/Luxury Cars to Buy 2012": 1

Rank of the Toyota Prius on the list of "Best Green Cars to Buy 2012": 1

Source: High Gear Media.

In the last six months, percentage of Americans who have researched potential purchases on their smartphones or other mobile devices at least once, according to a study by the National Cyber Security Alliance and McAfee: 50

Percentage who have shopped: 27

Percentage who have made online payments: 18

Percentage who have purchased goods from auction sites: 12

Source: National Cyber Security Alliance.

Idle Thought

"When small men begin to cast big shadows, it means that the sun is about to set." -- Lin Yutang, writer and translator (1895-1976)

(Readers can contact John MacIntyre at johnmacintyre(at)bwr.eastlink.ca.)