The Man Who Carried a Dictionary.
I worked with an account director once who kept a dictionary in his briefcase. It was the pocket kind, what they called “The Little Oxford Dictionary.” For all the time we worked together, Ken — that was his name — carried this little dictionary around with him to meetings. In fact, I don’t remember a meeting where Ken didn’t have his dictionary.
He used it on a wide variety of clients. I say “wide” because it worked on young and old clients alike. Some had seen him use that dictionary before. Others only saw it the once. Most decided they didn’t want to see it again.
Everyone knew Ken had the dictionary in his briefcase. Even the head of Gillette, our biggest client, had seen Ken’s dictionary, and he was one of the few who actually liked it.
It wasn’t that Ken was a stickler about spelling or a word’s meaning. What he did care about was who used the words. To him, some people were meant to form words into sentences. In some respects, he saw it as a calling.
If you remember Bill Bernbach saying “I worship at the temple of creativity,” well, Ken didn’t worship so much as appreciate what writing could do. He wasn’t a pushover. He didn’t like everyt