Ostentatious erudition

On the snowy night of March 5, 1770, British soldiers opened fire on a group of American civilians in Boston. Five men died.

This incident quickly became known as the Boston Massacre.

Eight soldiers were accused of murder and were put on trial.

But no lawyer wanted to represent them.

John Adams (future President of the United States) was a lawyer and an American patriot. He was one of the early advocates of American independence from Great Britain. But John also believed in the rule of law.

He believed the soldiers deserved a fair trial. So John agreed to be their lawyer.

I'm telling you this story because I've been re-watching the wonderful HBO miniseries 'John Adams'.

One of my favorite scenes in 'John Adams' is when John finishes writing his closing statement in defense of these soldiers.

John asks his wife, Abigail, to read the draft. The dialogue between them is a real treat:

As copywriters, our job is to sell our clients' products or services...not ourselves. That’s why we should always simplify the message and kill all the pseudo-cleverness that makes us look good instead of the product. Abigail Adams would agree.

Your pal,


Miguel Ferreira
Founder & Chief Copywriter, Teardwn + Nishi


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