Samuel Johnson on James Altucher (urban legend dept.)

The quote is usually attributed to Samuel Johnson, though it appears to be an urban legend:

“Your manuscript is both good and original. But the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good.”

Which is to say…

Have you ever read the internet email joke, “So, you want a day off?

It appears Mr. Altucher has. Because today, his humour column in the Financial Times does a startlingly similar breakdown of a friend’s US$1 million bonus as “a vice-president at a top-tier bank.”

Again, just like last week, it’s within the realm of possibility that Mr. Altucher doesn’t intend his writing to be humorous, and that he’s being in deadly earnest over the whole matter. But if the “Mike” character in the column isn’t a creation for exaggeration, but a real friend — real enough that Mr. Altucher was one of, “a select few friends” and family invited to Mike’s wedding back when he was of means closer to the median… well, if so, then it seems that for a man who only a week ago was complaining about things getting needlessly personal, then he himself is revealing a large number of very personal financial details of Mike.

For the sake of giving a column a hook. A derivative hook at that.

Some friend.