Benton First UMC Blog

Grace Note for December 31, 2015

I am a fan of Science Fiction and I have my favorite authors: Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein, David Drake, and one of my earliest exposures to Science Fiction was the writing of Isaac Asimov in books like: “I, Robot” and “The Bicentennial Man”.

Asimov tells a story on himself about how one of his Science Fiction short stories was rejected by an editor. The editor claimed the story was “meretricious.” Asimov says he had to look the work up in a dictionary where he found it is from the Latin work, mertrix meaning prostitute. What the editor was saying was that Asimov was prostituting his talent by writing a bad story and trying to get it published based on his name alone.

Asimov says he swallowed his annoyance, and asked the editor, “What was that word you used?”

Obviously proud at knowing a word the editor felt Asimov didn't know, he enunciated carefully, “Meretricious!”

Whereupon Asimov quickly said to the editor, “And a Happy New Year to you, sir.”


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