When I was a little boy, my mother quoted me as saying, "My love goes on forever. So does my hate."
Lately it has occurred to me that we spend a lot of time hoping that our best ideas will carry on after we are gone. We ought to worry that our bad ideas will, too.
Just the tiniest case in point: Every Friday since 2008 Vital Speeches publishers have put out a little email newsletter called The Executive Communication Report. It's great—just a breezy little roundup of what little news builds up, in the course of a week, in the speechwriting world. Jobs available, relevant opinion pieces, speechwriter obits, and gossip. (It's free. You should subscribe.)
The very first issues that I put out were under the auspices of an executive who was shall we say a half-educated about modern publishing parlance. So he and his team referred to this little series of bullet points as an "ezine."
Almost a decade later—after having put out something close to 500 of these "ezines," I still file them in a folder called "Ezine," and put all the fodder in a file called "Ezine Notes" and refer in emails with my mystified colleagues to the Executive Communication Report and also the Vital Speech of the Week (to which you should also subscribe because it is also free), as "the ezines." Oh, wait, I forgot about Prose for Pros—also free, so you should subscribe. We produce them all on Wednesday, which (you didn't know this, did you?) is "ezine day."
All because some boss thought an e-newsletter was an "ezine" a decade ago, and I didn't have the energy to tell him it wasn't.
My dad started an ad agency once. On the first day he gave his staff some advice: If you don't do bad work, bad work won't get done.
He might have added that if you do bad work—it tends to hang around, making you look dumb forever.