The Winning Name Of The 'Straight Talk' Award?

We have to put it to a vote!

I had planned to announce the winner of the Straight Talk Award naming contest today. But I cannot. Im buried under an avalanche of e-mail, faxes, regular mail, memos, and phone messages. I feel like Jack Benny when I saw him at the Palace Theater in Cleveland years ago. Benny was an unknown at the time. He dragged a huge pig on stage behind him. In his inimitable style, he explained that the pig wasnt going to sing or tell jokes. Said Jack, "Hes here to eat the debris you throw at me!" Im not sure whether Im Jack Benny or the pig. I have been reading, listing, counting, and evaluating the entries. I found some interesting patterns. One of the most obvious was your desire to name the award after celebrities with reputations for boldness and candor. Your favorite was the U.S. President who coined the phrase "the buck stops here." Variations on the Harry S. Truman theme were the Truman, the True Man, the Harry, the HTS, the Harry T., and the Buck Stopper. As the sole judge, I found these names too obvious and much too logical. In other words, they lacked pizazz. Another popular choice was Abraham Lincoln: the Abe, the Abe Lincoln, the Lincoln, the Honest Abe, and the Abie. Sorry, too dull. As for you fanciers of names incorporating "Frank," my problem is that Im having difficulty deciding whether your suggestions refer to Ben Franklin, Frankenstein, or frankfurters. Samples: the Frank, the Frankie, and the Cranky Franky. Frankly, folks, these names have too little meat and too much mustard. Other award names inspired by distinguished folks included the Ike, the Churchill, the Eastwood, the Cicero, the Mae West, the General Patton, the Madden, the Moses, the Cosell, the Teresa, the Diana, and, from those of you currying favor, the Sallie, the Sally, the Salvo, the Salute, and the SalMar (for guess who?). Surprisingly, there was only one vote for the father of our country, known for his honesty. On the other hand, there was also a solitary vote for the Hillary. It was mailed from Washington, D.C., without a return address. I like these: the Bull Buster, Murphys Jaw, The Wizard of Ooze, the Amen, the Yogi, the Toot-Uncommon, the Billary Blah, the Gifted Gab, the IWon, the Dapper Diana, the Crow Magnon, the Bullitzer Prize, the Walkie-Talkie, Baloney-Lite, and the Telly (for William Tell). There were also suggestions named for icons like the Ditka, Mr. Chips, the Mammy Yokum, the Olive Oyle, the Spencer (Dis brother), the Earp (Wyatt), the Duke (John Wayne), the Pied Piper (of Hamelin), the Hood (for Robin), the Oakley (for Annie), and the Rooney (for Andy). I have selected 10 finalists. The most-suggested was the No-Bull Prize. It came in a variety of forms: the Nobull, the Knowbull, the Noble, the nobull, the NoBul, and the No-bull Speech Prize. Next most popular was the NoBS. Its variations include the Nobs, the No-bs, the No/BS, and even the Knowbeeyess. And third was the Arrow. Variations included the Arro, the Straight Arrow, the IW Arrow, the Arrow Head, and the AIRO. My problem is simply this: There are so many entries using the No-Bull, the No-bs, and the Arrow that I cannot select one over the others. While I have the dates on which the entries were submitted, it would be unfair to use that as the tie-breaker because copies of IW are not received by all readers on the same day. In an effort to be fair, Im going to ask you to vote for one of 10 names. Three are from the "mostmentioned" groups: (1) the NoBull Prize, (2) The No-bs, and (3) the Arrow. Numbers 4 through 10 were selected from the unique list for one simple reason: I like them. My arbitrary selections are listed alphabetically and numbered: (4) the Amen, (5) the Bullitzer Prize, (6) the Gifted Gab, (7) the IWon, (8) the Salvo, (9) the Toot-Uncommon and (10) the Wizard of Ooze. Vote for the name or number. To vote, contact me by e-mail, [email protected]; fax, 216/931-9675; or mail, Sal Marino, IndustryWeek, 1100 Superior Ave., Cleveland, OH 44114. After the winner has been determined, Ill deposit all your correspondence in a basket. The first that I draw from the basket will be named Honorary Columnist. That individual will be invited to write a "Straight Talk" column (subject to normal editorial approval). It will appear on IWs Web site, www.industryweek.com. Sal F. Marino is a chairman emeritus of Penton Publishing Inc. and an IW contributing editor. His e-mail address is [email protected]

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