Category Archives: Freelance copywriter

A better way…

Searching back through old Telegram threads in search of a half-remembered quote, I came across a note to myself from a year or two back, written after watching the film Moneyball (highly recommended if you’ve not seen it):

I’m always impressed by people who think up a better way to do it.

Brainpower; eliminating waste and achieving more with the same resources or the same with less resources.

Ray Kroc, Mr MacDonalds, reportedly the reason bulk liquids are now delivered in square containers. One of Kroc’s colleagues said “Ray used to watch the milk being delivered. It came in on pallets, in round plastic barrels. Anyone would look at that pallet and see the barrels of milk. Ray would look at it and see the space between the barrels. It used to drive him crazy.”

Monty the horse whisperer….calming horses into compliance rather than breaking them seemed – ethics aside – a more efficient way of bringing about the desired result. Why invest all that energy and effort when it was totally unnecessary? Again, questioning what everyone does and always has – going back to objectives and doing it in a fundamentally different way.

John Henry, owner of Boston Red Sox: For forty-one million, you built a playoff team. You lost Damon, Giambi, Isringhausen, Pena, and you won more games without them than you did with them. You won the exact same number of games that the Yankees won, but the Yankees spent one point four million per win and you paid two hundred and sixty thousand. I know you’ve taken it in the teeth out there, but the first guy through the wall….it always gets bloody, always. It’s the threat of not just the way of doing business, but in their minds it’s threatening the game. But really what it’s threatening is their livelihoods, it’s threatening their jobs, it’s threatening the way that they do things. And every time that happens, whether it’s the government or a way of doing business or whatever it is, the people are holding the reins, have their hands on the switch. They go bat shit crazy. I mean, anybody who’s not building a team right and rebuilding it using your model, they’re dinosaurs. They’ll be sitting on their ass on the sofa in October, watching the Boston Red Sox win the World Series.

Oh, I found the quote BTW:

Peter Brand: I wanted you to see these player evaluations that you asked me to do.
Billy Beane: I asked you to do three.
Peter Brand: Yeah.
Billy Beane: To evaluate three players.
Peter Brand: Yeah.
Billy Beane: How many d’you do?
Peter Brand: Forty-seven.
Billy Beane: Okay.
Peter Brand: Actually, fifty-one. I don’t know why I lied just then.

Along with some cracking others, including:

Scott Hatteberg: [Responding to being asked to play first base for the Oakland A’s] I’ve only ever played catcher.
Billy Beane: It’s not that hard, Scott. Tell him, Wash.
Ron Washington: It’s incredibly hard.

and…

Billy Beane: Would you rather get one shot in the head or five in the chest and bleed to death?
Peter Brand: Are those my only two options?

I believe!

Interesting review in The Guardian of a book looking into how shadowy backstagers helped turn ‘the world’s most gifted media troll’ into its most powerful man:

‘having coherent beliefs’ is excellent!

Faced with recent/current media frenzies, one could perhaps add to the normies’ workload maintaining a basic acquaintance with statistics and at least some grasp of historical precedent. To quote a recent article by Simon Jenkins: “In 1999 European Union scientists warned that BSE “could kill 500,000 people”. In total, 177 Britons died of vCJD.”

Spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam…

I hardly ever check out my spam folder, but a valid email recently got misdirected, which is how I found myself in The Dark Place. Where I found, among many other wonders…

I count six basic grammatical errors. An impressive tally, for a brief message offering writing expertise. I must visit the spam folder more often!

And one more thing

I’m always heartened to see pedantics give way to pragmatics when it comes to punctuation. This, recently, on the Oxford comma:

Good for the AP! Half-remembered grammatical rules, mostly rooted in a public school reverence for Latin, ceding ground to clear communication, inch by blustering inch.

Pennies & pounds & pedantry

Just received this from my bank:

Why is there a comma after my name? (But not after Yours sincerely. None would be better, but if one, why not t’other?)

Why is GOLD CARD rendered thus, twice. Gold Card would be less gratuitously shouty.

But worst of all, why ‘december Statement’? ‘Statement’ shouldn’t be initial cap, December absolutely should.

(I could quibble further about the constipated tone generally – ‘queries regarding this matter’ and the like – but I won’t.)

And this from the Head of Banking Services at one of Britain’s leading retail banks. Just, shoddy.