Monday, March 14, 2005

A Noun Is a Person, Place or Thing

from: Tips for productive business writing.(Watch Your Language) by Venditti, Phil via: HighBeam Research COPYRIGHT 2003 Wenatchee Business Journal, Inc.

Phil Venditti, who wrote Tips for Productive Business Writing for the Everett Business Journal a couple of years ago, does what anyone who is highly--and I mean highly--organized would do when meeting a new person or hearing a funny joke for the first time – he puts the information in a file folder.
“When you meet someone for the first time or find out something new about someone you already know, make note of what you learn. My own ‘People’ file goes back to 1987. If I ever decide to call up the librarian I knew in 1992 at Genesee Community College in Upstate New York, I can remind myself that his older son, Tom, used to live in an apartment with six Japanese tatami mats on the floor.”

What’s not to love about that?

Those who make folders with labels like “People,” “Humor,” “Quotations,” and “Readings” – and claim that such detailed organization makes for good story fodder and better writing – are probably right. I admire such organization, although I long ago gave up on it fitting my particular life or work style as a mom and a writer.

It is also likely that these people who make folders with such fodder dating back to 1987 don’t have a seven-year-old, diabolic, pen-and-paper, push-pin and paper-clip stealing daughter running around their "home" "office."

I could stuff folders with enough fodder for one hundred articles. But I know the contents would end up as campfire kindling, and the file folders as tents, for Barbie’s next camping adventure in the wilderness of our toy-cluttered living room.

Nonetheless, respect, Phil.

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