記載著世界之最的工具書-金氏世界紀錄

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Guinness: From Beer to Records

While out hunting on the coast of Ireland in 1951, Sir Hugh Beaver, managing director of Guinness Brewery, got in a debate about which game bird was the fastest in Europe. Sir Hugh claimed that it was the plover (probably because he couldn’t hit one), but his friends insisted it was the grouse. That evening, he searched for the answer in his host’s extensive library, but came up empty-handed.

Back in England, Sir Hugh consulted all the encyclopedias he could find, but still had no luck. This led to his eureka moment: there should be a definitive reference book to settle the similar debates that must be going on in pubs all over Britain and Ireland. In addition, it would be a great marketing tool—drinkers who could say “I told you so!” would be more likely to drink beer brewed by the publishers of the book that proved them right.

Next, Sir Hugh found the perfect partners, Norris and Ross McWhirter, twins with photographic memories who ran an agency supplying sports trivia to British newspapers. The twins went to work compiling the world’s largest, smallest, fastest and tallest, completing the first edition of the Guinness Book of Records in just 16 weeks. The almanac rolled off the presses in August 1955, and was at the top of the British bestseller list by Christmas.

The Guinness Book of Records was launched in the U.S. the following year, selling 70,000 copies. Because of the book’s growing success, the publishers decided to put out a new edition each year. Now known as Guinness World Records, the almanac is available in 26 languages in 100 countries around the world.

 

記載著世界之最的工具書-金氏世界紀錄

 一九五一年,健力士酒廠的總經理休比佛爵士在愛爾蘭海岸打獵時,與友人爭論歐洲哪一種打獵時常見的鳥類飛得最快。休爵士堅稱是千鳥(大概是他沒打中過),但友人堅持是松雞。那天晚上,他在東道主藏書豐富的圖書室裡查詢解答,可是卻徒勞無功。

回到英格蘭,休爵士翻遍所有他找得到的百科全書,仍毫無所獲,這導致他靈機一動:應該要有一本最可靠的參考書來解決這些想必在全英國和愛爾蘭酒吧會不斷上演的類似爭論。此外,這也會是一個很棒的行銷工具:能夠說出「我就跟你說嘛!」這句話的酒客,會更願意喝這本證明他們無誤的書籍出版商所釀造的酒。

接著,休爵士找到一對絕佳夥伴,諾里斯和羅斯麥克沃特,這對孿生兄弟有過目不忘的能力,經營ㄧ間專為英國報社提供運動冷知識的代理商。於是,這對雙胞胎著手編寫世界上的最大、最小、最快、最高記錄,僅花十六週就完成《金氏世界紀錄大全》第一版。一九五五年八月,這本年鑑發行,在耶誕節之前就登上全英國最暢銷排行榜首。

隔年,這本《金氏世界紀錄大全》在美國發行,賣出七萬本。因為銷售成長的關係,出版商決定每年推出新版。現今,這部書改名為《金氏世界紀錄》,有二十六種語言的版本,遍布全球一百個國家。

 

【實用字彙】

extensive (a.) 廣泛的,廣大的

encyclopedia (n.) 百科全書

agency (n.) 代理商

compile (v.) 匯整,編輯

 

本文取材自《改變人類生活的創意發明Eureka!:EZ TALK總編嚴選特刊

圖片來源:Pixabay

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