One Thing & Another


Notes From My Journal: A take on cryptocurrencies that always seemed like the future to me

I’ve read many predictions about bitcoin’s potential for dominating the world’s financial markets. I always thought it was more likely that individual governments would start creating their own sovereign cryptos. And now, we have the first one…

Today’s Word: apodictic (adjective)

Apodictic (ap-uh-DIK-tik) means clearly established or beyond dispute. As used by journalist Ilana Mercer in a article: “The proposition that economist Ludwig von Mises was a feminist is an apodictic impossibility.”


From My “Work-in-Progress” Basket

Dissecting “the Sherpa” 

This is the first in an occasional series of essays related to direct marketing, direct sales, and copywriting. Although I don’t write about these subjects all that much anymore, I’ll be doing it because I know some of my readers are in the biz.

I’m going to try to limit my remarks to observations that would be useful and/or enjoyable to a pro, with the hope that others may find them interesting.

The marketer of the following piece (part of a gauntlet for a health product) has identified him/herself as “the Sherpa.” An odd choice on several levels. I presume it’s been explained earlier on. The benefit of such an epithet is that it’s memorable and almost personal. Yet it’s also anonymous.

What I particularly like about this otherwise unremarkable piece is the pace. It’s remarkably fast – which is attributable to the copywriter’s impressive ability to say a lot in a few words.

Take a look…

Hey There, it’s the Sherpa

You may have heard about Ketogenic Diet but didn’t fully understand how it works.

Let me explain it in a nutshell because I’ve been following the Ketogenic diet for years and I absolutely love it.

Under normal circumstances, your body burns carbs for fuel. Any excess carbs are stored as fat.

On the Ketogenic diet, you limit your carb and protein intake and eat more healthy fat.

At this moment, you can actually force your body into a state of “ketosis.” In this state, your body tells itself…

“Hey, we need to pull that fat storage from your belly, butt, hips and thighs and convert it to fuel.”

And that fat is converted to Ketones to be used for fuel. Hence the name Ketogenic Diet.

This is not a comprehensive explanation. In fact, I’d argue it’s not entirely correct. But it has the virtue of being simple. The reader feels grateful for getting a clear and direct explanation of a term he’s been hearing for some time.

The Sherpa continues…

I’ll be honest about one thing…when I started testing Ketosis in 2013, it was hard to know what to eat, but not anymore.

It’s never a good idea to say “I’ll be honest.” That said, this is a good and clever sentence. It gets a lot of work done in a few words. It does 4 important things: (1) makes a promise to deliver more information [why the diet is easy to follow], (2) presents the Sherpa as a skeptic [always a good thing], (3) overcomes an objection that the potential reader might well have, and (4) [by the tone of voice if nothing else] conveys the sense that the Sherpa is very happy with his experience.

The Ketogenic diet is becoming wildly popular and the new recipe options are absolutely delicious.

Here is one of the best Ketogenic Cookbooks I’ve found and the publishers are friends of mine so they are offering it absolutely FREE as my Christmas gift to you. All you do is pay the little S&H.

With nary a breath, he moves on to offering a free gift. It’s rare to have it proffered at this point in a piece like this, but it works.

This cookbook included 148 delicious recipes that burn fat like

crazy. They are holding 500 copies for us until December 25, so grab your copy today.

In this short paragraph, we get…

* Specificity (148 recipes)

* Urgency (the December 25 deadline)

* Scarcity (500 copies)


keep an open mind to new ideas, but ALWAYS do your own homework… and combine that with common sense to figure out what’s best for YOU.

A disclaimer whose ulterior purpose is to give back to the reader the power that has been subtly taken from him (if the sales effort is working). This is the mark of a master copywriter.

Naturally yours,

The Sherpa

P.S. One thing I forgot to mention. Extreme fat loss is a big ketogenic benefit, but the ultimate benefit in my opinion is how sharp your brain feels when you are eating a ketogenic diet… and the reason is your body prefers to burn ketones for fuel instead of sugar (from carbs). The ketones act like jet fuel for your brain.

This P.S. is what I call the glicken: a surprise dessert after a sumptuous meal. We are talking about a meal of promises, of course. In this case, the promise is extreme weight loss.


7  Commonly Misattributed Quotes


  1. “The ends justify the means.” Not Machiavelli but Ovid
  2. “Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing.” Not Vince Lombardi but Red Sanders
  3. “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Not Albert Einstein but novelist Rita Mae Brown
  4. “Be nice to nerds. Chances are, you’ll end up working for one.” Not Bill Gates but author Charles J. Sykes
  5. “I [She] did everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in heels.” Not Ginger Rogers but comic Bob Thaves
  6. “Let them eat cake.” Not Marie Antoinette but Jean-Jacques Rousseau
  7. “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” Not Teddy Roosevelt but an African proverb