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This story about badly behaved monkeys on the BBC News web site seems a little too good to be true. Very slightly embellished I think, but entertaining anyway. I don’t doubt that monkeys can tell the difference between men and women, even recognise individuals, and that they would fear men more than women. But mocking women, as described? I do not believe it. Not even if they are runaway trunkmonkeys.

An American company has picked up where British tea manufacturer PG Tips left off in using monkeys in advertising, with the Trunkmonkey. What father of a teenage daughter wouldn’t hire one as a chaperone? Other trunkmonkey ads are worth a look.

In the Netherlands “letting the cat out of the bag” is “letting the monkey come out of the sleeve”, though it’s a long time since any Dutchman had a monkey up his sleeve on or stage. It would probably enrage the animal rights people if a monkey were to be put up a sleeve today, or dressed up and used for advertising tea. Which is why a stuffed monkey is used in Britain today for advertising tea and digital TV.

But where did the term monkey business come from in the first place? This looks like a good exposition of monkey business on Wall Street, I’ll have to check if they have it in the library. Access to a library with books like this is a perk of business school education which I might as well enjoy. According to one retiring business school professor a business school education

  • gives students a vocabulary that enables them to speak with authority on things they do not understand
  • gives them a set of operating principles that enable them to withstand any amount of disconfirming evidence
  • gives them a ticket to a job where they can learn something about management

And they call him a subversive? The MBA in one page and in one day are subversive.

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