Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For May 27, 2012

Percentage of salespeople (67 percent men, 33 percent women, average age 40) in more than 1,000 U.S. companies who said established forms of communication (face-to-face and telephone contact) were most helpful in generating new sales, according to the results of two surveys presented by Behavioral Sciences Research Press at the 2012 annual convention of the Southwestern Psychological Association: 70

Percentage who claimed email was most effective: 10

Source: Behavioral Sciences Research Press.

Since crooning a few lines of Al Green's "Let's Stay Together" at a New York fundraising event, spot claimed by President Obama with 29 percent in the National Association of Music Merchants' annual survey on America's favorite "unexpected musician": 1

Ranks of actress Meryl Streep (violin/24 percent), actor Robert Downey Jr. (piano, vocals/24 percent), funnyman Steve Carell (flute/10 percent) and "The Hunger Games" star Jennifer Lawrence (guitar/5 percent) on the list: 2 (tie), 4, 5

In response to a Gallup poll, of those Americans who do not play a musical instrument, percentage that wish they did: 85

Source: NAMM.

Percentage of respondents who say they sleep most nights with a significant other, according to the National Sleep Foundation poll: 63

Percentage of Americans who say they have a bedroom television, of which 11 percent say they leave it on all night: 71

Source: National Sleep Foundation.

Value of the horticulture business -- the supply of all the plants for home gardens and landscaping in the U.S. -- according to the U.S. Census Bureau: $11.6 billion

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

Percentage of millennial moms (aged 18 to 35) who use their phone in the bathroom, according to a Meredith parents network survey: 21

Percentage of moms who said shopping was the No. 1 way they use their smartphone: 81

Average number of apps they have loaded on their phones: 13

Source: Meredith's Parents Network.

Percentage of Americans who believe having a strongly sexual relationship with someone online counts as cheating, according to a survey by Euro RSCG Worldwide: 73

Percentage who know someone whose offline relationship ended because of their actions online: 32

Source: Euro RSCG.

Percentage of consumers who said they are not very satisfied with technology's ability to make their life simpler, according to a survey by Ketchum: 76

Percentage of consumers who prefer technology that simplifies their life vs. entertaining them (35 percent) or signaling who they are to the world (11 percent): 46

Source: Ketchum Global Research Network.

Percentage of Americans who wish it were more socially acceptable to discuss bathroom behaviors without relying on crass bathroom humor or euphemisms, according to a survey by Georgia-Pacific and conducted by Strategy One: 33

Percentage of people who say talking on the phone in the bathroom bothers them: 25

Percentage who are taken aback by people who eat in the bathroom: 52

Source: Strategy One.

Of mothers offering specific grades ("A" to "F"), percentage who graded their area's public schools "A" or "B," according to data compiled by Braun Research Inc.: 65

Percentage of moms who gave the same high marks to parochial or private schools: 83

Source: The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice.

Percentage of Americans who are using social media to shop -- equating to nearly 95 million social shoppers in the U.S. -- according to a study released by Leo Burnett/Arc Worldwide: 42

When asked how often social media is used to shop today versus a year ago, percentage of people who confirmed they are using it more: 73

Source: Leo Burnett/Arc Worldwide.

Idle Thought

"It has been said that a pretty face is a passport. But it's not. It's a visa, and it runs out fast." -- Julie Burchill, writer and journalist

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