Tuesday, September 15, 2009

When Infoman Speaks, We Always Listen

If you're of a certain vintage, perhaps you remember the famous series of commercials for the now-defunct brokerage house E.F. Hutton. It was so well done and so vivid that it's often remembered today in conversations, years--hell, decades--after it stopped running. It went like this (or at least one of them did): two older guys of means were sitting at a table talking about the stock market, and one of them begins to say '...and E.F. Hutton says...' and the entire roomful of people stopped talking and craned their necks, hoping to listen in on the advice (you can see another variation of the TV ad here). It was one of those rare ads that managed to break through the incessant clutter of advertising and into the larger cultural conversation.

Anyway, we're blessed to know a few people such as that, folks so sharp and discerning that you tend to sit up and take notice when they say something. One of them is Doug Mazanec, a.k.a. Infoman. We noticed the other day that he spoke highly of a new word-obsessed website, Worknik, and we decided to give it a look. Remember, it's labeled "beta," a software term that means it's a work in progress. But please give it a look and let us know what you think. As for you, Infoman, thanks for the tip.
UPDATE: Our old friend Kate Oatis, a dear classmate from college and one of the smartest, sweetest women in America (you can look it up!), who's a fellow writer and Russian history buff, sent along this site for my inspection. I figured as long as you're already checking out Doug's Wordnik, you might also render your opinion on the Motivated Grammar blog. And don't forget to check out Kate's blog as well.


At 10:08 AM, Anonymous Mike Q said...

Wordnik looks like a terrific site The members of its team display impressive credentials.

By the way, that's the first time I've seen a dual link -- "Doug" links to his LinkedIn profile and "Mazanec" links to his Twitter page.

At 10:22 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

You're an observant fellow, Mike. I actually do that semi-frequently (or at least every now and then), but I'm guessing most readers miss it, because the eye doesn't always pick up that those are separate underlines beneath words shoved together. But you win the award today for most observant. A coupon for a free annual subscription to Working With Words is on its way to you as we speak.

At 3:23 PM, Blogger Doug Mazanec said...

Thanks for the kind words John .. since I sometimes get confounded by how to say words, as well as define them, I also make frequent use of the pronouncing dictionary - http://www.howjsay.com/

At 7:00 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Thanks, Doug.


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