Coming across a great use of words is such a treat. Most recently, it happened at a cottage in the Bruce Peninsula when we pulled this bad boy out to try.
First of all, any game that requires a tie to play is our kind of game (we’re classy like that). Then “Game of Words” sold us because, well, y’know….
Turns out, Probe is AWESOME. It’s like hangman meets cribbage meets scrabble.
You think of a word, spell it out in cards and place them face down in front of you. If you go first, you might say “any Rs?” Anyone else who has an R has to reveal it. Players with more than one R in their words can choose which of their Rs to reveal based on their point values. Each card has a point value, which all go to you.
Your turn ends when you guess a letter that no one has. Then the next person goes.
What’s cool about the game is that it’s not a race to guess the word. Instead it’s a race for points. So even if your word is fully revealed, you still get to guess letters and collect points.
There are cool features like blank cards to bluff your opponents and activity cards that let you do things like triple your point value and get opponents to do things like keep score. As you can imagine, we created a few of our own activity cards. We had one dude play a round in a Scottish accent. It was very poor. And very funny.
Probe’s retail price in 1972 was six bucks. Good deal for our hosts.
We don’t have titles at Re:word. We have job descriptions. And they’re really easy. Dan’s a copywriter. So is Alex. Gina’s a copyeditor. Marie-Claude and Martine are translators.
“But wait…how are clients supposed to know who the good ones are?”
If they work for us, they’re good — no title required.
The Quest for Words
One of our graphic design partners once said, “Any job title with more than three words is bullshit.” And it’s so true when you meet people with full sentences under their names on their email signatures. Ask them what they do and they can’t give you a straight answer. “Well…I kinda do this, with a bit of that, but I’m actually supposed to be doing the other.”
And it’s not their fault. It’s the system we all work in that equates quantity with quality when it comes to job titles. If you’re a high-quality professional, you don’t need superlatives. CEO. Centre Fielder. Proofreader. Plumber. Easy.
Judge the logo. Not the title.
What do you call the guy who graduated last in his class from Harvard? A Harvard grad. If he was smart enough to get in and smart enough to get his degree, you know he’s worth a look. When you’re evaluating talent, pay less attention to what they do and more attention to who they do it for. A Google technical analyst is not the same as a Yahoo technical analyst. A BMW car designer is not the same as a Lada car designer. And a Re:word copywriter — well, you get the idea.
Apple’s dashboard comes with a great dictionary/thesaurus. It’s intuitive. It’s easy to access. And for an offline tool, it’s impressively comprehensive.
We use it all the time and, until this week, had nothing negative to say about it.
Then we stumbled upon this while researching a white paper we were writing.
Yes, they’re using the word correctly, but could they not have used another example? You know, one that doesn’t put off their key demographic (the creative class) or flat-out lie about them?
Here’s the deal, Apple: Copywriters aren’t a cog in the big advertising machine. We’re the fuel that makes it work. We’re the ones who take advertising from art to persuasion. And you should know that better than anyone because great copywriters made you what you are. The famous “1984” Superbowl commercial? That was the work of copywriter Steve Hayden. I’m a Mac and I’m a PC? Barton Corley and Jason Sperling.
These are the people who turned your product into a brand and your brand into a juggernaut — and you repay them by insinuating they’re mere cogs?
But because we still love you, Apple, rather than make a big deal out of this, we’re going to help you with three alts for this dictionary entry:
Coffee cup makers have been seen as just a cog in the Starbucks machine.
Position-based coaches (O-Line, D-Line, etc.) have been seen as an important cog in the success of a football team.
Bulldozer operators are just another cog on the job site. But without them, nothing can begin.*
*PS: This example was inspired by a new client. Stay tuned for the announcement.