The pseudonymous Stanley Bing is the businessman ("executive vice-president of corporate communications") and wit who writes the consistently entertaining and smart "While You Were Out" column on the last page of Fortune magazine.
"We're Forever Blowing Bubbles" in the June 11 issue is an excellent example of Bing's style. (After writing that sentence I think I will put on a Crosby song before continuing. OK. "Did You Ever See a Dream Walking?" Bub-bub-bub-boo.) The column is arresting and quotable and I wanted to quote the whole of the second paragraph, not only because of the individual points made, but because of the vast distance between the short paragraph traverses .
But rather than give you the whole paragraph, let me turn it into a prompt: I will quote the first and last sentences of the graf and ask you, dear readers, to fill in the middle. The middle consists of five sentences, four of them short. How does Bing get from
<< Men all used to wear fedoras. >>
<< But I can't believe that in the future everybody is going to continue to want to share things. >>
There then follows a very fine passage about what's wrong with "sharing."
OK, for the multiple-choice part of the endeavor, who ridiculed the verb "to share" by writing, "'Let me share this knife with your throat,' suggested Mack."
1) Matthew Arnold
2) Arnold Stang
3) William Matthews
4) William Meredith
5) Meredith Wilson