Marks & Sparks?

Aug 4th, 2006, 07:59 AM
  #1  
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Marks & Sparks?

For years in my mind when i pass a Marks & Spencer in Europe i think of Marks & Sparks - having heard that in the UK i think. But i've never heard that reference in years - am i dreaming or is or was that a nickname for Marks & Spencer - if so why?
Thanks
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Aug 4th, 2006, 08:03 AM
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Yes, because of the rhyme, I opine.
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Aug 4th, 2006, 08:28 AM
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Gardyloo: Thanks - is this the way many folks refer to Marks & Spencer today or has it passed out of use? Thanks again.
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Aug 4th, 2006, 08:40 AM
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Some do -some don't.
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Aug 4th, 2006, 08:46 AM
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I haven't heard the term Marks & Sparks for quite a while now.

Over here in the UK it seems to be referred to M&S these days. There is a (quite irritating IMO) series of advertisements on TV...

"this is not just food, this is M&S food"
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Aug 4th, 2006, 08:52 AM
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I'd say it's really fallen (or at any rate is falling) into disuse.

"Marks" (or for some, "Marksies") has always been the most frequently used term.

Since their business strategy became close to the most commonly discussed issue in Britain after house prices, "M+S" - the term long used by anyone with a business connection with them, including journalists and other shopkeepers - seems to have become the most commonly used diminuitive.

Indeed the phrase "I just can't find clothes that fit at M+S anymore" is probably the single most used expression in Britain. Far, far more common than "Turned out nice again", "Mind the Gap" or "Been away yet?"

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Aug 4th, 2006, 08:59 AM
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PS: That TV ad.

Not only do I not find it irritating. I just can't decide whether it arouses more uncontrollable lust for the fresh English raspberries or for Dervla Kirwan, the voiceover.

She was making Mrs F jealous enough back in the Ballykissangel days. Combined with the hardest-core of food porn photography, her voice is now just pure eroticism.
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Aug 4th, 2006, 09:09 AM
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Around the time of 'the' Royal wedding of the early 80's, I remember a joke going around that the British royal family were happy that Anne married a Mark and Charles was marrying a Spencer. Apparently if either were not satisfied with their spouses, they could take them back for an exchange or full refund.
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Aug 4th, 2006, 09:13 AM
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Ah, flanner, you don't find the advert irritating because you are a man. I expect you like Nigella too!

Every woman I know switches channel or gets up to pour another glass of wine or make a cup of tea when it comes on. For most of us Santana's beautiful melody 'Samba Pa Ti' will be indelibly and sadly associated with those adverts from now on.

Those ads certainly don't make me desperate to dash to the nearest M&S store to stock up with whatever is being promoted. I like Waitrose best for food, and the Co-op's good for wine deals.
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Aug 4th, 2006, 09:18 AM
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<Indeed the phrase "I just can't find clothes that fit at M+S anymore" is probably the single most used expression in Britain. Far, far more common than "Turned out nice again", "Mind the Gap" or "Been away yet?">
How about "Sunny Spells"?
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Aug 4th, 2006, 09:23 AM
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I spent last Saturday night listening to my sister in law and my niece in raptures over the effect the ads had on their appetite (for M+S food).

And then telling me how the use of the soundtracks in store had actually got them buying.

And even Mrs F - who for professional reasons has spent most of the past two decades finding things to moan about at M+S - agrees with the admiration.

But then none of these women would ever allow themselves to use the phrase "every woman (or man) I know does..."
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Aug 4th, 2006, 09:24 AM
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"Sunny spells" is used only by meteorologists.

Whingeing about M+S is something we all do
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Aug 4th, 2006, 01:30 PM
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Never been the same since Mrs T owned up to getting her knickers there. Not an image I want in my mind when I go into a shop.
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Aug 4th, 2006, 01:35 PM
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I HATE those adverts. The clothes have got much better recently though.
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Aug 4th, 2006, 02:04 PM
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i still here marks & sparks now and again. heard it in the office within the last two weeks or so.

as for the advert...every time i say how stupid it is (it sounds like a parody...but it's not), mrs W says i don't like it because i am male and the advert is made for females.

on fodors, we so often see a visit to m&s listed up there with a visit to tower of london or the london eye. i can't imagine any foreign visitor being impressed with this place nor can i imagine why it is so often mentioned as a tourist attraction here.
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Aug 4th, 2006, 02:12 PM
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rex
 
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While I have never lived or traveled in the UK enough to be an expert, I had the feeling that the term "Marks and Sparks" had, for a while, a connotation of "plain vanilla" or "everyday"... when referring to - - underwear.

For women in particular.

The implication was that there are two kinds of underwear - - luxurious, or sexy, or expensive - - the "good" stuff...

and then there was "just plain Marks and Sparks".

Best wishes,

Rex
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Aug 4th, 2006, 02:13 PM
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KT
 
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I think the tourist attraction quality of M&S may be a holdover from the old days when the U.S.-U.K. exchange rate and relative costs of living were quite different than they are today. (Not to mention M&S's inventory). In the 70's, M&S had a reputation in the U.S. as the place to go for a wide variety of good-quality knitted goods, underthings, and other basics at astonishingly low prices. As indeed it was. And they still have good biscuits!
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Aug 4th, 2006, 02:43 PM
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Just as an aside, M&S profiteroles are dangerously good...I got some for my breakfast and kept them in the empty mini-frig at Thistle Marble Arch; what a lovely start to the day! (much nicer than most hotel breakfasts)
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Aug 6th, 2006, 01:38 AM
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Profiteroles for BREAKFAST?!!?

It's a far cry from the old days. Fifteen years ago it would have been a rare week that we didn't spend £50 on the food. And because we were there, bought clothes too.

But the clothes got trendy (and I didn't) and you couldn't get parked in the town centre; and I doubt I cross the threshold twice a year.

but I love the ads, and still call it Markies and Marks and Sparks; and am very pleased they're making a recovery
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Aug 6th, 2006, 02:36 AM
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Marks and sparks is still heard occasionally, Marksies is probably more common. My MIL buys everything there.
My favourite spend there is the currency exchange, which is always commission free and a very competitive rate.


Mrs Muck loves the ads but always comments on the use of wafer thin models.

I love the desert with the chocolate gently pouring out of the center when cut mmmmmmmmmmmm.

Muck
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