Wednesday, April 26, 2017


How not to write
A How not to write
Article on the WWW

Just followed a link from Advisen FPN, an excellent source for Enterprise Risk Management practitioners, and continued to a link from the first article to another titled 11 Silly Words in Your Twitter Profile That Make You Look Like a Complete Tool

I don’t tweet, nor do I have a Facebook account or any other “social media” interest. (I am a LinkedIn dropout.)

IN ANY EVENT, the author of the article, Gene Marks, president of The Marks Group, opened his 11-word list thusly:

    1. “Sherpa.”

    I had to look this word up to find out what it means and I’m pretty sure it means “a guide on mushrooms.” Sorry, you are not a “guide.” You are not a visionary. You’re just a dude on mushrooms. And you’re as blind as the rest of us. Sherpa is a word that Bono would probably use in a conversation. So here’s some very valuable advice: in order to avoid looking like a complete and utter tool, don’t ever use a word in your Twitter profile that Bono would use in a conversation.

I don’t know if the “Bono” he referenced refers to Paul David Hewson, a/k/a Bono of U2 fame, or the late Salvatore Phillip "Sonny" Bono of Sonny & Cher fame.

Being a former newspaper reporter and editor, and having read a few articles on Mount Everest, which the Sherpas climb, I suspected that Mark’s crack that a Sherpa is “a guide on mushrooms” was less than accurate. Where, I wondered, did he “look up” the definition of Sherpa? (Read on to learn where this scrivener found the real definitions for Sherpa.)

Do mushrooms – psychedelic or otherwise — even grow on Mount Everest?

Having an Edward Bear curiosity, I did a web search for “Sherpa.” The search immediately provided a fair sampling of Sherpa definitions:;;;; and even one for Sherpa garments

But none for Sherpas as guides on, or even for, mushrooms. Perhaps Marks was thinking of psychedelic mushrooms; something that, it seems to be, would be counter-productive for mountain climbing

Mark’s flippancy in his first list entry ended my reading; I killed the page at this point.

He MAY have had some good points about looking the fool on Twitter, but his attempt at being humorous on a blog fell flat. Perhaps had I been consuming “shrooms” I might have viewed his words differently.

The bottom lines are

    First: know your audience; that’s impossible writing for the web.

    Second: Unless you are a famous comedian, don’t try to be funny on a not funny subject. I consider making a fool of myself very UNfunny.

PLAGIARISM is the act of appropriating the literary composition of another, or parts or passages of his writings, or the ideas or language of the same, and passing them off as the product of one’s own mind.

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