Had its day?

中国日报网 2018-06-12 13:49



Had its day?Reader question:

Please explain “had its day” in this sentence: The ‘buy one, get one free’ offer has had its day.

My comments:

“Had its day”, as in “every dog has its day”, meaning everyone, even the most unfortunate among us will get lucky some time and perhaps be rich and successful and have, to a degree and some extent, fame, power and influence, etc., and enjoy the envy of everyone around us.

In our example, the “buy one, get one free” offer having had its day means something similar. It means as a marketing gimmick, it has been successful.

That is, it had its successes – in the past.

“Buy one, get one free” is the same as buying something at half price or at a 50% discount or, in plain language, at half price.

Perhaps at one time or other in the past, some clever marketing people thought people love the idea of getting something for free more than they enjoy seeing something listed as 50% off or at half price. Let’s face it, 50% off smacks of something shoddy and inferior. But “get one for free” sounds really exciting. It sounds, like, awesome.

So they began using this slogan at supermarkets a lot. Gradually, however, people have become used to it and realized that “buy one, get one for free” and 50% discount or half price are the same thing. Therefore, “buy one, get one for free” lost its novelty and, therefore, appeal.

In other words, marketing people no longer want to employ this slogan as much today – as they did in the past.

Perhaps next time, they’ll use “buy one, get two” to catch the customer’s eye – or ear if it’s broadcast via the loudspeaker.

At any rate, the meaning of anything or anyone having had its day is two-fold. One, they’ve had their share of success one time or another. Second, at the present moment, they are, definitely, not as successful.

In other words, they’re past their prime. They’re like the mountaineer who has scaled the mountaintop and is now going downhill.

In other words, they’re not as glamorous, prosperous, useful or fashionable as before. To use another expression, they were not the rage they once were.

Here are a few media examples of people and things having had their day:

1. Horrible Histories author Terry Deary has broken ranks with the many authors who have spoken out in support of the public library service, claiming “libraries have had their day” and that much of what is said about them is “sentimentality”.

The Sunderland-born author spoke out as Sunderland City Council considered closing local libraries. Deary told the Sunderland Echo: “Libraries have had their day. They are a Victorian idea and we are in an electronic age. They either have to change and adapt or they have to go. I know some people like them but fewer and fewer people are using them and these are straitened times. A lot of the gush about libraries is sentimentality.” He added: “The book is old technology and we have to move on, so good luck to the council.”

Deary has enjoyed giving voice to unconventional views in the past, once telling the Guardian: “Kids should leave school at 11 and go to work.”

- Deary: “libraries have had their day”, TheBookseller.com, February 12, 2013.

2. If you thought wife murderer Drew Peterson was done with the legal system, think again.

Peterson is now accused of trying to murder -- from behind bars -- the prosecutor who put him there. This summer, he’s scheduled to be back in a courtroom, this time on two counts of murder solicitation.

Peterson has pleaded not guilty to the charges that he hired someone to kill James Glasgow, a renowned Illinois prosecutor who won the conviction in 2012 that sent Peterson away for 38 years. The former Chicago-area police sergeant was found guilty of murdering his ex-wife, Kathleen Savio.

To this day, questions still loom about Peterson’s fourth wife, Stacy Cales Peterson, who disappeared in October 2007.

A CNN special report, “Married to a Murderer: The Drew Peterson Story,” takes a fresh look at how Peterson went from a police officer to a convicted killer.


On October 28, 2007, Stacy Peterson vanished. Her disappearance made authorities suspicious about the death of Savio, and weeks after Stacy Peterson vanished, they reopened the case on Savio’s death. Her body was exhumed for a new autopsy.

In February 2008, Savio’s death was reclassified as a homicide, and just over a year later, Peterson was arrested and charged with murder.

Peterson’s defense team thought it was an open and shut case.

“There was no physical evidence. You know, there was no sign of forced entry. There was no fingerprints. No DNA,” defense attorney Joel Brodsky said.

While Glasgow claimed Peterson killed Savio, the defense contended that she fell, hit her head and drowned.

The trial went on for more than a month. On September 6, 2012, a jury found Peterson guilty. He was sentenced to 38 years in prison.

Savio’s brother, Nick, called the verdict “bittersweet.”

“Although we cannot have Kathleen back, we hope she can now rest in peace and that she knows she has had her day,” he said, reading out a statement from family. “She will be missed and remembered in our hearts always.

“Stacy, you are now next for justice.”

Stacy Peterson is still missing.

- Drew Peterson: Four wives, a death and a disappearance, CNN.com, July 1, 2015.

3. Dispensing with diplomatic niceties, British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday night charged Vladimir Putin’s Russia with attempting to “undermine free societies” and “sow discord” in Britain and the West by “weaponizing information” and “deploying its state-run media organizations to plant fake stories.”

“So I have a very simple message for Russia. We know what you are doing. And you will not succeed,” May said. “The U.K. will do what is necessary to protect ourselves, and work with our allies to do likewise.”

May’s condemnation, in a speech before business executives in a London banquet hall, was quite different from remarks over the weekend by President Trump, who appeared to take sides with the Russian president.

“He said he didn’t meddle,” Trump said Saturday, answering questions in the press cabin on Air Force One, about growing evidence of Russia’s involvement in the 2016 presidential campaign. “I asked him again. You can only ask so many times. . . . He said he absolutely did not meddle in our election. He did not do what they are saying he did.”

Trump said he believed Putin was “sincere” in his denials, and even felt insulted by the accusation, according to a Washington Post report.

May is confronting Russia now because of growing concern in London of widespread attempts by Russia to manipulate social media across Europe, “included meddling in elections and hacking the Danish Ministry of Defense and the [German] Bundestag, among many others,” the prime minister said.

Yin Yin Lu of the Oxford Internet Institute told the Times of London that 54 accounts on a list of 2,752 linked by Twitter to the Internet Research Agency tweeted about “Brexit,” Britain’s planned exit from the European Union. The Internet Research Agency is a Russian “troll farm” in St. Petersburg.


The BBC quoted Alexei Pushkov, a Russian senator who dismissed May’s charges in a series of tweets.

The world order that suits May, with the seizure of Iraq, war in Libya, the rise of IS and terrorism in Europe, has had its day. You can’t save it by attacking Russia,” Pushkov wrote, in a BBC translation.

- Britain’s May slams Russia for election meddling and fake news (unlike President Trump), WashingtonPost.com, November 14, 2017.


About the author:

Zhang Xin is Trainer at chinadaily.com.cn. He has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at: zhangxin@chinadaily.com.cn, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.

(作者:张欣 编辑:丹妮)



















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