The LAWYER’s grapevine email bulletin last week on business development seemed to strike a nerve with more than a few readers. It certainly generated a ton of feedback, some of it positive.
Tulkinghorn’s particular favourite comes courtesy of our good friend Daniel Tunkel of SJ Berwin, who kindly took the trouble to put Tulkinghorn’s illiterate scribe straight on a point of grammar. For your delectation, it is here reprinted it full:
“Dear sirs, while I appreciate the sentiments of the ‘Grapevine’ piece in this week’s Lawyer News Weekly email, may I point out a semantic inaccuracy. However trivial or superficial a person may be, he or she cannot be a ‘ditz merchant’.
A ‘ditz’ (the word derives from Americanised Yiddish) is a person who is scatter-brained or adrift of reality (the adjective is ‘ditzy’). ‘Ditz’ is therefore not a substance or a composite of personal character; it refers to the whole person (in the same way as words like ‘twit’ or ‘chump’ do).
I have to assume that if ‘ditz merchant’ is to enter the English language as an expression, it will (perforce, must) be used to describe somebody who makes available, for a fee, the services (?) of one or more persons who are ditzes. So it might be relevant to use it in relation to poor-quality recruitment agents, I suppose, but not for the marketing and PR executives within a law firm.
Your faithful reader, Daniel Tunkel, partner, financial services group, SJ Berwin.”