A Tale of Two Word Videos

For his current effort (editor's note: is album the appropriate word here?), Weird Al Yankovic posted eight videos in eight days. Two of these posts covered word use, but only one seems to have resonated with viewers.

In Word Crimes, which uses Blurred Lines for its notes, Yankovic reviews several grammar mistakes. Stan Carey, among other bloggers, responded with criticisms of the grammar mistakes mentioned in the video. According to YouTube, the Word Crimes video has been seen 12.5 million times.

In Mission Statement, which probably uses a Crosby, Stills, and Nash song for its notes, Yankovic roughly sings a song comprised of nothing more than corporate jargon, clichés, and other nonsense. This song appears far more powerful in pointing out the ever-increasing amount of empty phrases included by, well, nearly everyone. This video, not surprisingly, has garnered only 712,000 views.

At least two explanations could exist for the disparity in views. One, copy editors, journalists, and writers are more likely on Twitter. These people pushed the video on other social media platforms. Nearly two weeks since Word Crimes was posted, the hashtag reached 91,075 unique Twitter accounts. This reach remains impressive. Conversely, Mission Statement lacked an associated hashtag.

Two, most people use at least one of those phrases derided and dismissed in Mission Statement. People, as a general rule, do not appreciate even gently teasing of their integration of corporate speak into general vocabulary.

It is too bad that Mission Statement failed to garner more views because it marks a more creative effort in terms of both words and image.

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Mission Statement video

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Word Crimes video

Prompt to Bring Planners

For MKTG4100 and MKTG4990 students, please bring your paper planners for class on Monday, Jan. 27. For MKTG3100 students, please bring your paper planners for class on Tuesday, Jan. 28.

 We will add all due dates, and discuss all assignments. Remember, you want to be time rich, working from a position of strength, and not time poor, working from a position of panic. Look ahead, but take it one day at a time.

Group Evaluations Due

Group evaluations for MKTG3100 and MKTG4300 are due.

The group evaluation is due on Tuesday, Dec. 10, at 6:15 p.m. The evaluation form, "Group Evaluation 1E," is available by clicking on the "New Shoes" link. Please read and follow the instructions.
The group evaluation is due on Wednesday, Dec. 11, at 5 p.m. The evaluation form, "Group Evaluation," is available by clicking on the "Project" link. Please read and follow the instructions.

Everyone Can Add

Miles Kimball and Noah Smith teach math as part of their University-level courses. Based on their experience as well as their review of research, Kimball and Smith argue for the idea that every person can perform mathematical operations. The money list:

both of us have taught math for many years—as professors, teaching assistants, and private tutors. Again and again, we have seen the following pattern repeat itself:

  1. Different kids with different levels of preparation come into a math class. Some of these kids have parents who have drilled them on math from a young age, while others never had that kind of parental input.
  2. On the first few tests, the well-prepared kids get perfect scores, while the unprepared kids get only what they could figure out by winging it—maybe 80 or 85%, a solid B.
  3. The unprepared kids, not realizing that the top scorers were well-prepared, assume that genetic ability was what determined the performance differences. Deciding that they “just aren’t math people,” they don’t try hard in future classes, and fall further behind.
  4. The well-prepared kids, not realizing that the B students were simply unprepared, assume that they are “math people,” and work hard in the future, cementing their advantage.

Thus, people’s belief that math ability can’t change becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

They conclude their argument by noting that each person controls his or her ability to perform mathematical operations. Like any skill, success only comes through repetition over time.

Their math is probably more arduous than the math taught in my Principles (MKTG3100) course. I agree, though, that the lack of success in math becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. I also have enough experience to know that students can master any skill - spreadsheets, analysis, presentations, memos - with enough opportunities for practice.

Missing from their conclusion, therefore, is the lack of opportunity for repetition. Instead of focusing on several skills with few chances to practice, courses should be organized around few skills with lots of practice.

Gantt Chart Explained

Gantt chart visually communicates when decisions will be implemented. This definition from Business Dictionary provides added discussion:

Type of bar-chart that shows both the scheduled and completed work over a period. A time-scale is given on the chart's horizontal axis and each activity is shown as a separate horizontal rectangle (bar) whose length is proportional to the time required (or taken) for the activity's completion. In project planning, these charts show start and finish dates, critical and non-critical activities, slack time, and predecessor-successor relationships. Also called chronogram, it was invented in 1917 by the US engineer and a scientific-management pioneer, Henry L. Gantt (1861-1919).

Also, this site provides examples and more discussion.

Finally, under the heading "Secondary Sources" in the right menu, if you click on the "Excel" link, then you will find a website that will provide instructions of how to create a Gantt chart using Excel. If you search "Gantt," "chart,' and "Excel," then you will find other sources.

Simulation Advance Delayed

The scheduled advance of the practice round for the New Shoes simulation has been delayed until Thursday, Mar. 7. If you want experience with how to enter data and see the results before the simulation starts, then you should participate in the practice round.

Avoid inputting your actual strategy and tactics so your competitors do not know your plans.

The practice round results will be available until Saturday, Mar. 9, at 9 p.m. when the simulation will reset ahead of the first decision deadline.

Reading, Slide Deck Available

The slide deck and packet for resource advantage theory is available by clicking on the "Readings" link in the right menu under the "MKTG2000" heading. For Section 1EV, we will review the material on Tuesday, Feb. 5. For Section 01 and Section 02, we will review the material on Thursday, Feb. 7.

Please read the packet ahead of class on Feb. 5 (Section 1EV) or Feb. 7 (Section 1, Section 2) and download the slide deck if you want.

Quiz Change

The quiz set for Thursday, July 26, will be rescheduled. The quiz covering chapters 17 and 18 from MKTG6 will be set for Monday, July 30.

For class on Thursday, July 26, we will edit and discuss the initial draft of the Stella Artois case. For the last portion of the class, we will work on designing a presentation and a report.