May 30th 2007 05:31
Well, apparently, I jumped the gun when I wrote my last post, lamenting the fact that Hollywood is planning to make a movie of the same name as the subtitle I used for one of my articles, back in January, '07: "How to Lose Friends and Alienate People."
I'd actually dreamed up this title several years ago--and now I wish I'd paid attention to precisely which year it was, because, as it turns out, an author named Toby Young wrote a book of that same name (copyright 2001) chronicling his adventures working at Vanity Fair magazine in New York City. (I've never heard of either him or his book before today, I promise! If I had, it would have been rather foolish of me to pen my previous post.)
Funny things, titles! When we write them, we're so certain we are the only person to have ever dreamed up that wonderfully winsome way of weaving words together to create the cleverest one, which, in reality, might be nothing more than a naively natural extension of an already existing idea.
I am now willing to humbly admit that the Toby Young book did indeed predate the article I published on Associated Content back in January.
But, to be perfectly honest, I can't say I'm absolutely certain that it actually predated my own original creation of the title and my writing it down, on a sheet of lined binder paper, where I also began, at that very same time, to jot down notes outlining my ideas for the article I would later write. This sheet of paper then went into a box in the back of the closet with my other early writings, which sat for who can say how long?
Regardless of which one of us actually thought of it first, however, the fact that we both did, entirely independently of one another, makes it pretty clear that this title was a natural outgrowth of the Dale Carnegie title from which it sprang, flowing almost perfectly, in both meter and meaning, from the original, and showing that, when two creative minds approach the same idea from the same angle, the artistic spark in each very often confirms the inevitability of the discovery by the other--even if neither one is aware of it at the time.
So, dear readers, I must, at the very least, concede the possibility that Toby Young might just have conceived this great title before I, myself, did. But then again, maybe not. We may never be certain. So, that is where we will just have to leave it.
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