Tuesday January 1, 2013
The contest writers
By OH TEIK THEAM
“CAN you write a slogan for me?” Sam says to his best friend, Ben.
“What slogan?” Ben wants to know.
“A slogan for a contest offering a prize I’ve set my heart on,” Sam replies.
“What type of prize?”
“It’s a one-week holiday down under for two people.”
“I’m rather busy these days,” Ben says, “but I can lend you a book that teaches you how to write competition slogans.” He takes from his bookcase How to Write Competition Slogans by Michael Coleman and hands it to Sam.
“I get what you mean,” Sam says as he flips through the pages of the slim book.
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
“You’ve hit the nail on the head,” Ben says. “After reading this book, you’ll be able to write slogans that win big prizes. Why, you may even earn the epithet ‘He Who Wins in Every Contest’!”
“I’ll give it a try,” Sam says. “I hope I’ll win the free trip – it’ll be a wonderful present for my wife’s forthcoming birthday.” He stares impassively at the wall as he does a mental count of all the prizes he has reaped, and continues, “So far, I’ve won only consolation prizes – six T-shirts, three key rings and two fridge magnets – even though I put my heart and soul into every contest I enter. Do you have any expert advice for me?”
“Well,” Ben says, “try to submit more than one entry, and write slogans that contain rhymes.
A slogan with rhymes is so nice to listen to, and it can make all the difference in your chances of landing a major prize.”
Sam nods, and Ben adds, “Your wife is a teacher. Why don’t you ask her to help you in the writing?”
“She’s just not interested,” Sam says with a laugh that hides his disappointment. “She prefers to watch Asian dramas on the idiot box.”
Ben says with a persuasive smile, “The two of you ought to form a writing team – partners in rhyme!” Set one’s heart/mind on: To want (something) strongly; to be determined to do (something).
Down under: In or to Australia or New Zealand.
Hit the nail on the head: To say the right words or do the right thing.
So far: (i) Up to this time. (ii) To a limited extent. (Be careful of him – you can only trust him so far.)
A consolation prize: A prize given to a competitor who just missed out on the main prizes.
Put one’s heart and soul into something: To put one’s energy and devotion into an activity, task, etc.
Make all the difference: To have a valuable effect.
Idiot box: A television set.
> After retiring from handling numbers at the bank, the writer now moves to new writing ‘destinations’ using GPS (grammar, punctuation, style).