Saturday, August 26, 2017

Don’t hang your article from a bogus quotation (and also watch your social network etiquette)

Back on July 4, 2017 Mr. David Fazio posted a thousand-word article (about his organization Helix Opportunity) on LinkedIn Pulse titled What Makes Us Different. It began:

“Henry Ford once, famously, quipped:

‘If I’d asked what people wanted, they’d have said, ‘ ’faster horses.’ ‘
Look around, and there’s an infitecimal number of ideas being funded every day that are aimed at essentially building faster horses.” 

He didn’t bothered to check that back on July 28, 2011 at Quote Investigator Garson O’Toole had written about My Customers Would Have Asked For a Faster Horse, and found Ford hadn’t really ever said that.

I read Mr. Fazio’s article after he dumped a post and link to it at LinkedIn on The Official Toastmasters International Group (which has almost 30,000 members). That article said nothing about Toastmasters and clearly didn’t belong there, since the About This Group section there says very clearly (my italics):

“Before posting please note that we have the right to remove any user contributed post, for any reason, in our sole discretion. Any posts that are deemed to be unrelated to Toastmasters will be deleted as will members who consistently post unrelated or promotional content.”

The first comment came from a Distinguished Toastmaster who was protective of the group. He rightly asked what does this have to do with Toastmasters?, and ended by proclaiming SPAM! David went off at him in a rant.

I followed by commenting something facetious like that I supposed anything could be viewed as relevant, since it might be considered a speech topic.

David went off at me for a long paragraph, beginning by saying that if I’m not the group owner, and I’m not, then I have no right to judge what belongs on this group, etc., etc. etc.

He also mentioned other recent posts on that group that he claimed were off-topic (but were not), including one put up the the group owner, Social Media Strategist at Toastmasters International. Eventually the group owner deleted the entire thread. Before that happened I had put up a comment on the LinkedIn Pulse article:

“What makes you different is that you didn’t bother either to finish proofreading your text, or to take off the caption at the bottom of your graphic. Infitecimal isn’t a real word, and infinitesimal means an indefinitely small quantity. The right word is enormous.”

David replied that he’d written infitecimal for style and effect - which makes no sense whatsoever.

Curiously, the June 2017 issue of Toastmaster magazine contained an article by Scott Steinberg on pages 14 and 15 titled Social Network Etiquette. David’s combative online behavior violated everything Scott had said in his section on Tone of Voice and Attitude.  

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