Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Oxford Comma Defenders Rejoice

Want to defend your use of the Oxford comma?

How ‘bout the fact it could save you millions of dollars?

Scott Frothingham on the Oxford Comma

In 2018, an absent Oxford comma cost a Maine dairy company $5,000,000.

Oakhurst Dairy drivers sued the company, focusing on the lack of a comma after the word "shipment" in the following sentence from Maine's overtime law:

The canning, processing, preserving, freezing, drying, marketing, storing, packing for shipment or distribution of:
(1) Agricultural produce;
(2) Meat and fish products; and
(3) Perishable foods.

The judge reasoned that the law's punctuation made it unclear if "packing for shipping or distribution" is one activity or if "packing for shipping" is separate from "distribution."

The drivers sued for $10-million; the dairy and the drivers settled for $5-million.

The Oxford (or serial) comma is the final comma in a list of 3 or more things. 

For example:

I love my parents, Spiderman, and Wonder Woman.

If you had not included the Oxford comma, the sentence could be interpreted as stating that you love your parents, and your parents are Spiderman and Wonder Woman:

I love my parents, Spiderman and Wonder Woman.

If you are an Oxford comma believer and are writing for a client who is not, consider rewriting the sentence:

I love Spiderman, Wonder Woman and my parents.


Friday, August 20, 2021

I'm Not Old. I'm Vintage.

This product hits me where I live.

It's a leather iPad case that looks like a vintage book.

Even the zipper tabs look like an old-fashioned bookmark.

I like the juxtaposition of old and new.

It sorta reminds me of me.

My exterior is well worn. Vintage, if you will. 

But, I didn't stop learning and growing when I hit the ripe, old age of 40 when many in marketing and advertising are put out to pasture.

So my interior is loaded with all the modern technology. And it's been polished to a rich finish by years of experience. 

This case is called the BookBook and you can get it from TwelveSouth for $69.99.

I'm not affiliated with the company or the product. I just liked it, appreciated it, and wanted to share.

Friday, August 13, 2021

It Wasn't Pretty

"It wasn't pretty, but we pulled it off."

Too many years ago, in a hotel lobby bar, one of my early mentors Tom Dombroski said that to me loudly as he drained his 4th shot of Stolichnaya.

It was the end of our third day with almost no sleep. Earlier, we had delivered a sales record breaking promotion for a new client who ended the day saying, "Nice job, boys. Come in tomorrow and we'll talk about you handling all our business."

And Tom was right. It wasn't pretty. But we somehow pulled it off. And the client only saw the pretty stuff.



Wednesday, August 4, 2021

That took a sack full of guts ...

Perhaps the most dramatic, and anticipated moment of the Olympic Opening Ceremony is the arrival of the Olympic torch and the lighting of the Olympic flame. 

And perhaps the most emotional and inspiring arrival/lighting occurred in 1996 in Atlanta.

For the Atlanta Olympics, the torch arrived in the United States 84 days before the start of the games (together with the 16 days of competition to add up to a symbolic 100 days) and traveled more than 16,000 miles. An estimated 3.5 billion people around the world, along with the assembled athletes watched the journey of the flame, curious who the final torch bearer would be.
The final runner, four-time discus gold-medal winner Al Oerter, arrives outside the stadium to ignite the torch held by three-time heavyweight world champion boxer Evander Holyfield who enters the stadium joined by Greek runner Voula Patoulidou.
The two of them carry the torch around the stadium track and pass the torch to US four-time gold medal winner swimmer Janet Evans.
As Beethoven`s "Ode to Joy" is played, Evans takes her lap around the track towards the long ramp leading up to the top of the stadium.
The cheers from the capacity crowd crescendo.
All eyes are on Evans as she climbs the ramp.
Then, as she reaches the top of the stadium they are treated to a surprise.

Waiting for her is Muhammad Ali. The Greatest
The crowd gasps and then joins together in a tumultuous roar.

The heavyweight boxing gold medalist at the 1960 Olympics in Rome and regarded by many to be the greatest professional heavyweight boxing champion of all time, Ali is one of the most recognizable sports figures worldwide.
Evans touches her torch to Ali`s, igniting it.
Ali holds the Olympic torch unsteadily in his right hand while his left shakes uncontrollably with the symptoms of Parkinson's disease. He raises the flame and is met with supportive cheers.

Watching Muhammad Ali proudly hold the Olympic torch, despite his crippling ailment, stands as a great moment in sport, Olympics and beyond. The world was inspired by a man recognized as a great fighter during his boxing days as he continued to fight, this time his crippling ailment.
US President Bill Clinton, who was there to open the Olympic Games said, “That took a sack full of guts ... and it's taken a lot of courage to continue to go out, to be seen...he wasn't self-conscious. He's something special.”
The dignity of the man was consummate – never relinquishing ideals for money or fame, Ali was the people’s champion – the underdog in sport and life.
“They didn’t tell me who would light the flame, but when I saw it was you, I cried,” said Clinton.
He wasn’t the only one.

The Parking Spot Next to the Front Door

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