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Opinion, by Michael Royster

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Yesterday was Black Friday, in the U.S. and in Brazil. Unlike the common use of “black” to indicate something negative — a black eye, a black day — the origin of the phrase in commerce is positive, not pejorative.

Stores that are in the red have losses, stores that are in the black are profitable. And the day after Thanksgiving is (supposedly) the day when stores sell so much that they go from red to black for the year.

But this year, it somehow seems that things are looking black (in the pejorative . . .

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