John Malmo



7:30 am
Wed December 28, 2011

One Common Language

Should English be the official language of the United States?

A booklet came recently entitled Comcast XFinity Customer Privacy Notice. It is forty-eight pages. That’s a lot of overkill about privacy, I thought. So I opened it. Twenty-two pages about privacy in English. Then twenty-six more pages of the same message in Spanish.

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7:15 am
Wed December 21, 2011

The Threat of More Information

Pity the Poor Bank?
David Gilder

Who ever thought he’d live to say, “Pity the poor bank.”

But, goodness, everybody’s after banks today. The president. Congress. Wall Street. Even the Wall Street Journal. Banks are today’s whipping boy.

Well I know a lot of bankers who are good guys, but, lordy, it’s hard to like a bank. It’s stuff like this. One day recently comes this letter from Chase Bank. I guess because one of my credit cards is a Chase Bank card. Right off the bat, the letter asks me to respond to update my preference for receiving offers by mail from Chase.

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8:00 am
Wed December 14, 2011

Where is this Place Called 'Missing?'

Marketing Consultant John Malmo
John Malmo ArcherMalmo

When did we let the media hijack our language?

It must have been television newscasters - second only to sports radio in mangling the language - that one day decided that people no longer disappear.  They “go missing.”  Go missing?  How can that be?  To disappear is to cease to appear.  To vanish.  Isn’t that the case when somebody, uh . . . disappears?

Missing does indeed, mean absent, lost, not present.  So, to say that Charlie is missing is fine.  But to say Charlie has GONE missing or went missing?  How does that make sense?  

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8:00 am
Wed December 7, 2011

It's Hard to Learn the Hard Stuff

Mr. Lightman

Most American school kids can read, at least to some degree.  But they’re lousy at math.

That’s no puzzle.  Math is a lot harder.  There’s no “about” or “roughly” in math.  There’s only one answer to every problem.

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9:58 am
Mon November 28, 2011

The Myth of the "Ah-Hah!" Moment

Galileo Galilei
Nicolas Larento

The world has been celebrating the life of Steve Jobs.  At the same time, a story popped up in Harvard Business Review that’s worth thinking about in the context of Mr. Jobs.  It’s about the myth of innovation.  

The point of the article is that we celebrate great innovators such as Jobs and Galileo and Sir Isaac Newton; all great discoverers, inventors and innovators.  And, generally, we believe in that ah-hah moment of the innovator.  

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