7

Please, it drives me crazy.

I message a quick question to an English speaker the following question: "How did you celebrate Black Friday Festival?"

He told me it's cute/funny...kind of laughing at me.

1) What is the correct question to ask? (maybe because I forgot to add the "S" Black Friday's Festival)?

2) Is there any other implicit meaning for what I wrote? what's funny?

Thanks for the quick response, Aimee

  • 3
    I suspect it might have something to do with your using the word "celebrate" or "festival", It is just my primarily-opinion-based comment. You have to ask him. He could find everything you do cute and funny. – user140086 Dec 13 '15 at 14:43
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    Black Friday conjures up images of individualistic rampant consumerism to me. Whereas festivals are considerably more community events. – Martin Smith Dec 13 '15 at 15:29
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    @Aimee Apart from all the brilliant answers given and assuming you're a non-native speaker, he might just have been amused by your voice or accent. I know because I myself have always found 'Croatians'(who I think are non-native speakers themselves) cute when they try to speak English or Hindi. – Jony Agarwal Dec 13 '15 at 16:25
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    It's not that you're wrong. You're so right that it's satire. "Black Friday is the one holiday everyone can agree on because everyone loves a bargin". You're right. You're not supposed to be right. But you're right. – candied_orange Dec 13 '15 at 17:20
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    I wouldn't say I celebrate Black Friday so much as dread it. – Will Dec 13 '15 at 18:32
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"Black Friday" is not something you celebrate; it is something in which you participate or take advantage of. In other words, you shop 'til you drop (which is a cute saying which means you shop until you are exhausted but happy--happy that you acquired so many great sales and bargains at the mall). Black Friday is also not a holiday, in the sense that Thanksgiving and Christmas are holidays which are celebrated in certain predictable ways, culturally speaking.

A better question to ask a person, then, would be

What did you do on Black Friday?

Or,

Did you find some great deals on Black Friday?

Or,

Did you shop 'til you dropped on Black Friday?

Or,

How far from the stores did you have to park your car at the mall on Black Friday? Half-way to Kankakee?

By the way, the friend to whom you addressed the question was probably amused by the way in which you regarded (and spoke about) Black Friday. That's all. There's no need to be offended.

  • 5
    Yes, I think he might have found the message cute and lovely. – user140086 Dec 13 '15 at 15:05
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    Black Friday is a “holiday” in the sense that many people have the day off from work, but it sounds very strange to call it a “festival”. – Dan Dec 14 '15 at 0:03
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    #3 sounds excessively cliche. – bjb568 Dec 14 '15 at 5:06
  • @bjb568: Yeah, you could be right. I'll delete it and come up with something fresh, original, and memorable. Don – rhetorician Dec 14 '15 at 9:00
7

Well, when you say "Black Friday Festival" you might sound like you are making a joke on the event itself - large crowds, people all around going crazy looking for the best deals, etc. For me, it would totally work as a joke about the people going crazy.

But it is mainly what was said before :)

  • 1
    Wow! Many thanks!!! I thought there is a grammar problem in what I wrote. – Aimee Dec 13 '15 at 15:26
6

No, it's not grammar.

But, there's no "Black Friday Festival." It is not "celebrated."

The name comes from the day that retail merchants begin to make money for the year, as they were "in the red" and spending more than they were making from January til the holidays, and the beginning of the shopping season means they'll go "in the black," financially speaking.

It's to the benefit of merchants, a few people. It's caused by the purchasing of those who need to buy things to celebrate other, real holidays - like Christmas - by the many people.

Certainly not a cause for holiday.

You'd be better to ask, "how did your holiday shopping go?"

Leave the issue of "black Friday" to the merchants for whom it matters, not the shoppers.

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    I think that explanation of the term's origins are a popular misconception. It was originally a comment on the crippling traffic and unruly crowds caused by shoppers. It's only later that the "in the red/black" connotation was associated with it. (This of course is entirely untrue - if merchants were not making at least some profits year round, they would probably go out of business very quickly.) – Darrel Hoffman Dec 13 '15 at 15:42
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    @Daniel Hoffman: Completely possible.But I grew up with what I think was the inception of the term; in the form of media usage. I didn't have any idea why it gained currency at the time. But in contrast to your declaration, it is a fact: many retail enterprises (and I know from personal experience) spend much of the year treading water - robbing Peter to pay Paul, borrowing for inventory purchase payments or making installment payments, postponing upgrades (new equipment; etc) and the holiday flood is the only true "profit". That's why it doesn't surprise me as origin. Fact of life for retail. – Jack Roy Dec 13 '15 at 16:03
  • On the origin of the term, see ell.stackexchange.com/questions/74861/…. – deltab Dec 14 '15 at 6:39
  • Yeah, it's "black" in the sense of "dark and horrible," named by retail workers in big chain stores for the abuse they get on that day. Of course the guys in the head office, who are not required to pull a 16-hour day even if they're sick or else get fired, are miffed that their glorious day of profits is marred by the well-deserved "Black Friday" name. They spent some time trying to change it to "Big Friday," and when that didn't work they made up some bullshit to convince shoppers that it's a good thing and divert attention from how poorly they treat their employees. – Phasma Felis Dec 14 '15 at 9:38
4

The current answers are great as they explain the "correctness" aspects. What the don't say is why it might be funny to talk about "celebrating Black Friday" as a "festival".

Festivals that are celebrated are "fun" and often have religious or spiritual aspects. They are also seen as being personal, private, and family time. Black Friday is in some counties (USA and UK) associated with a minority of riots and fist fights of people trying to grab TVs and other special offers that are on sale. It doesn't look like fun to most people. The press and media in those countries focus on those bad and sensational aspects of poor behaviour (although clearly with millions of purchases the bad behaviour is insignificant).

So in the context of Black Friday being a commercial event designed to make money, which had the press show the public punching each other, it is simply amusing to hear it referred to as a "celebration" and "festival". A comedian in the USA and UK might make a joke about this such as: "I spent some quality time with my family celebrating Black Friday; my wife and I had to wrestle a crowd of people in Target whilst our two kids bought the last 50 inch flat screen TV."

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