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Friday, February 13, 2009

The widow's mite

Last night I had a drink with somebody who runs a small charity with magazine attached. He was explaining how a lot of their income comes from people who make a bequest of a small percentage of their modest estates. If that estate turns out to include a house in the south-east of England the small percentage can amount to a significant sum. That certainly applied before house price inflation went into reverse. Because many of his subscribers were elderly he was accustomed to the call from a widow informing them that their husband had died and the subscription should stop. These calls came about a year after the death. This chimed with the experience of one former colleague of mine who was editor-in-chief of a well-known magazine with a reader profile on the far side of 65. He reckoned that at any given time about 10% of his subscribers were dead. Their subscriptions hadn't been cancelled because their widows couldn't yet face cutting that particular chord.

7 comments:

  1. DH: the title of this post is confusing and I know your are scrupulous on matters of subbing. Do you mean "Mite" as in "Mighty" or as "tick" "louse" or "bug"?

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  2. While we've got the attention of the language police: "cutting that particular chord"?

    Should it not be "cord"?

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  3. I was referring to the New Testament parable of The Widow's Mite. At the time of the King James version of the Bible the mite was a small coin. Of course then you can lay all kind of punnery (mite-might-strength-possibly will) over the top of that if you wish.

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  4. Cord. You're quite right. That's what happens when you post before you're fully awake. I'm thinking of taking on a sub for Twitter alone.

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  5. The reason I overlooked "chord" is that I have a mental warning sign over that word because people use the words "vocal chords" when they mean "vocal cords". I was so busy watching out for that error I blundered into this one.

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  6. Excellent that's my "learning outcome" for the day sorted all those years sat in chapel and sunday school and that parable never sunk up.
    Dangerous commie that Jesus.
    Thanks

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  7. In the interest of a correct interpretation:)

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1875228456886977564&q=source%3A015673021355560677208&hl=en

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3288331606558152628&hl=en

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=386548514447207237&q=source%3A010363681422263831149&hl=en

    ReplyDelete