The Mercantile’s Guide to Style: The Dirty Realism School

Olivetti Lettera 22 Manual Better late than never, I ran across this NY Times review of Books by the Banks author Mark Garvey’s, Stylized: A Slightly Obsessive History of Strunk & White’s The Elements of Style, and am filled with remorse at not having actually met him, since I lingered over his book.  E. B. White got a D in English!  He hated grammer?  He drank diluted beer!? Clearly, this book needs to be read, if not by you then by me.   I understand that book reviews are more conventionally written after the book has been read, but why let convention get you down.  Which brings me to my point: if these guys can spout off about style, so can any jerk with two fingers and a cardigan. With that I give you two words with the power to change the course of your career.  Dirty. Realism.  That’s right, Dirty Realism, as practiced by those bad boys, the Dirty Realists, is both dirty and real, exactly what your business writing needs to stay a cut above the  Namby Pamby competition.  Get yours today.  Here’s what you need:

This online essay, brought to your screen by the fine folks at the English Dept of Rice University, “On Writing” by the master, Raymond Carver.

-1 typewriter with ribbon and paper

-1 fifth Old Crow or other brand of cheap, exceptionally smelly bourbon

-1 1970’s poster of Telly Salavalas as “Kojak“–it’s important that this not be of the later Kojak, because later Kojak, having eaten too many lolly pops and been promoted, got soft.  Let’s begin.

Find a desk and pin the Kojak poster to the wall.  Drink some whiskey.  Next, read the essay.  Read it again.  No adverbs?  Check.  Clear, concise writing, to imbue the most mundane subject matter with some sort of literary magic?  Check.  Tension?  Check.  Drink more whiskey while staring directly into Kojak’s eyes.  Can you feel it?  As quickly and minimally as possible, pound out your business correspondence, spritz liberally with “spilled” whiskey, fold savagely into an envelope and, before the whiskey dries, mail.  This will seal in the impression that you are a hateful, hard-boiled not-to-be-trifled with dirty realist.  These steps ensure that you can put your feet up on that desk and toast Telly, confident that your business correspondence will strike terror into the hearts of your unwitting correspondents.      -Ed Scripsi

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Published in: on October 29, 2009 at 4:31 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. The financial analyst designation is a awesome way to drive up your pay check, particularly if you use the Morgan Study For The CFA


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