Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 437



Edward William Bok (1863–1930). The Americanization of Edward Bok. 1921.

Page 437

and the word Company to “Co.” he received a hundred per cent mark, as did the boy who spelled out the words and who could not make the teacher see that “Co.” did not spell “Company.”

As I grew into young manhood, and went into business, I found on every hand that quantity counted for more than quality. The emphasis was almost always placed on how much work one could do in a day, rather than upon how well the work was done. Thoroughness was at a discount on every hand; production at a premium. It made no difference in what direction I went, the result was the same: the cry was always for quantity, quantity! And into this atmosphere of almost utter disregard for quality I brought my ideas of Dutch thoroughness and my conviction that doing well whatever I did was to count as a cardinal principle in life.

During my years of editorship, save in one or two conspicuous instances, I was never able to assign to an American writer, work which called for painstaking research. In every instance, the work came back to me either incorrect in statement, or otherwise obviously lacking in careful preparation.

One of the most successful departments I ever conducted in The Ladies’ Home Journal called for infinite reading and patient digging, with the actual results sometimes almost negligible. I made a study of my associates by turning the department over to one after another, and always with the same result: absolute lack of a capacity for patient research. As one of my editors, typically American, said to me: “It isn’t worth all



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