A fun part of ghostwriting or drafting speeches is trying to capture the distinct style and “voice” of someone else’s language. Over the past few weeks I’ve been playing around with the idea of how certain famous writers would have fared in the corporate setting. Here’s my take on how some of these familiar authors would have written about the announcement of a new VP.
Thomas Jefferson – Declaration of Independence:
When, according to necessity and ambition, a company of men must assume the perilous task of growing in number, it is right and fitting that they shall seek the addition most clearly destined to benefit them in their pursuits. It is therefore a matter worthy of relation when a new vice-president is brought into that company. On this occasion, with all appropriate dignity and humility, our worthy leaders announced that a man of excellent report has been persuaded to contribute his resources and striving to our joint endeavors.
Ernest Hemingway – A Farewell to Arms:
A man talked to us. He was happy because change is good and change causes motion and growth. And talent can never stand still. There is a new role and it is a role that only a great man could fill. We are lucky that we found the right person for the job. We are lucky that he accepted the role. Now we have work to do and we will do it together.
Henry James – Portrait of a Lady:
There was little doubt, indeed, very little reason even to suggest that a doubt were possible, that change was all to the good. The company needed new talent to bring forth the bursting ideas that could hardly be contained by one mind or even all of them together. It was for that reason, beyond any other, that the man felt fully justified and more content than formerly when he was at last able to announce a new hire.
Jack Kerouac – On the Road:
And then there were lots of us, suddenly more than there’d ever been, and we were all saying “Yeah, man” and “It’s all good!” And what we meant was that this new person who stood in front of us and was introduced was exactly the person we’d been searching for and hoping for and asking about in a never-ending quest for just this kind of fulfillment. He stood there, calm and sure of his welcome, and we knew – finally knew – that the new vice-president had come.
Mark Twain – Huckleberry Finn
Nobody else could do what he done as well as he done it, without it was his mentor, whoever that was. Leastwise that’s how I figure it. And seeing as how my boss and Tom’s boss is always talking about the importance of team work and how in a team we all count on each other, it sure seems like good news that this smart fellow decided to come work with us. The bosses set us down in a big group and kept talking and talking about this and that and told us we should be glad, but I reckon we already are.
Charlotte Bronte – Jane Eyre:
I designed by careful methods to be near the center of the room. It was cold, both in and out of doors, and through the window could be seen the dismal weather that banished all life to indoor pursuits. I was glad for the cheerful company of fellow beings as we waited for our superior to speak. At length, a familiar figure stood and gathered our attention to himself, saying “He was glad to inform us that after a long search, a new vice-president had been identified and hired; that this new man, who by all accounts had many accomplishments to his name, would earnestly guide the team toward the future that had been envisioned.”
Shakespeare – Richard III:
Scene 1. Office.
Enter LEADER, solus
Great joy it is to share with all good folk
The right and glad good news of perfect hire;
And all the woes that clung to our long search
Are vanquish’d by his purpose and skill.
No single soul could well meet all our hope
So joins us now in team and trials and luck
A man most worthy of our trust.
Give you, all, warm welcome to him.