When I first saw the prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday, I immediately thought of the days of my life I spent switching “s” out for “z” (and vice versa) editing the European version of e-doc. 

What a huge PITA (not the tasty platform for hummus). 

Today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday (on a Sunday) post is brought to you by “practice/practise” via Linda G. Hill

I thought it was stupid then and stupid now that I had to waste my time doing this. The “thinking” was that the European version of the magazine had to be localized. 

Paul van der Braak (nice guy) was the European editor who came to AIIM after the purchase of . . . .some event company I’m blanking on. I do remember that one of the women who joined AIIM had some sort of grayhoundish hunting breed. Talking about our dogs one day, she mentioned that while out on a hike with her husband in Colorado, they came to the edge of a huge open field and there were a small group of antelopes on the other side, maybe a quarter of a mile away. Their dog was off leash, but they were thinking “nah, no worries, they’re way far away.” That thought bubble was over her head when the dog took off and took down one of the antelopes. They were like “holy shit” and took off since they were a protected species.

Courtesy of The Wayback Machine, a few magazine covers. My favorite is the one on the bottom right. Richard Rivera made my years-long quest to get a hula girl onto a cover a reality. The best part: it worked!

Anyway, back to the asinine s and z wars. 

In each issue, most of the content in the US and European editions was identical. We kept a few article pages in reserve to cover issues specific to either side of the pond, and we always tried to have case studies be local as well.

So for ten issues over the course of nearly three years, I had to comb through each issue of the magazine replacing z’s with s’s and vice versa for each version of the magazine. 

I was always of the opinion that the readers did not give a shit. I mean, you don’t complain that everyone speaks with an English accent when you watch Monty Python. Magazines published in Europe and distributed in the US didn’t bother doing this. I can’t remember who the hell in AIIM leadership at the time made this dumbass decision, but, man — hated it. 

“Someone” probably mentioned it once, in passing, to someone on the senior team and they reacted as usual — knee jerk and we must pander.

Luckily, it was usually words like organize and organization, that were easy to search and replace for. It was just such a fiddly issue and when the European version got knocked on the head because of costs and we just went to a single version (with US spelling), I don’t recall any complaints. 

Literally lost a few days of my life to this editing task. 

I thought I’d get into a discussion of the oddities of the English language and differences between US and UK versions, but I keep thinking of practice makes perfect.

Practice Makes Perfect

I wrote a post for the Cheeky Guide about mistakes and how I don’t like to make them and that everyone in marketing does. 

Sayings like practice makes perfect, I’m starting to think, can do more harm than good.

Practicing IS a good thing for whatever you do. I think of practice in the context of football, because I loved playing in high school (even though I wasn’t very good and I wish I had tried out for running back rather than o-line; I think I would’ve been a good full back) and because I love watching the NFL. 

Even as much as players in the NFL practice, the games are hardly ever perfect. Player’s will run the wrong route or a QB will make the wrong read in the heat of a game. 

Raven’s kicker Justin Tucker practices his accuracy nearly in-line with the goal post. Even Justin Tucker isn’t perfect. After a literal lifetime of perfection kicking extra points in high school, college, and the pros; he missed one against the Saints in 2018 (I was at the game and am still amazed he missed).

OTOH, there are times when a play is executed to perfection — just like the coach drew it up and the team practiced it and those plays are magical to watch. Especially when it’s Brees lighting up the Falcons. 

Anyway, my point is that we should strive for perfection, just like we should strive and reach for higher goals. We shouldn’t expect to always be perfect or reach those sky-high goals. 

I used to think that “good enough” was to be avoided. Over the past few years, “good enough” is often great. Every now and then we can create the things we have in our heads to perfection. What I think now is that creating anything, even imperfectly, is, uh, perfect. 

The work version of this is “always be shipping;” though I like “Just Fucking Ship” from the folks at Stacking the Bricks better 🙂 

Keep practicing and getting better. Who knows, one day it might even be perfect. 

And that’s my time. That got a little more philosophical than expected. Some of that is a little rough around the edges, but them’s the SoCS breaks.


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