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Monday, 9 April 2012

Does talent run in families? And is cockney slang dying? Take a butcher's at this tale from Portobello Road, featured in Creative Review.

Butcher's is cockney back-slang for look.

So butcher's is short for butcher's hook which leads to look. Savvy?

Now go and take a butcher's at http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2012/april/butchers-hook-say-hello.

Make sure you read the comments, which are a perfect example of The Biter Bit - and very funny.

Why am I so interested? Partly because Dan Jones, one of the graduates in this enterprise, is the son of my long-time art director and drinking partner Chris Jones - and his wife Kay, who both started working at our agency in the early 1980s.

So I have seen snippets of Dan and the others growing up over the years.

But also because the Butcher's Hook idea gives people a chance to express themselves. Although Britain is a mess today, we have always been very inventive. I believe there is a huge amount of talent being wasted.

I also believe that creativity is more likely to blossom among immigrants. Every time I hear some creepy politician currying favour by moaning about immigration I feel like pointing out that it is immigrants, in any society, who tend to produce the best ideas.

Good ideas come from the unexpected juxtaposition of seemingly unlinked ideas. The thought of having your drawing pop out through the letterbox is a perfect example. When we are young we all have lots of ideas. Nobody has told us what is impossible. Then the imagination is stifled. Some people are seen as creative and others aren't.

To what degree does talent run in families? The Bach family produced several generations of fine musicians, but none as able as J. S. Bach, though his son C. P. E. Bach came close.

Other than David Ogilvy Dan's father Chris is the most able person I have worked with closely. About 12 years ago I interviewed him and at that time he had won over 150 awards. He got a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Caples in New York long before me.

So did Rory Sutherland, for that matter. Two years ago when he spoke at www.eadim.com he said our old London agency had more talented people than anywhere he had ever worked. I am going to write about that again - but you don't have to read it.

Going back to the butcher's hook I was sad to read that Londoners no longer know as much as they did. http://now-here-this.timeout.com/2012/03/29/its-all-gone-pete-tong-for-cockney-rhyming-slang/


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