"Brands are part of our lives. To say they don't belong in academia is unrealistic."
—Brand names belong in standardized tests "because they are part of the world students inhabit."
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Once upon a time, there were brands and there were people, and while there were some ungodly hybrid peoplebrands like Thomas Edison, people more or less understood that phrase "life and work" embodied an opposition. Along came a personbrand named Tom Peters who felt that the problem with people was that they didn't imagine themselves to be personbranded enough, and he made a lot of money telling everyone that being a personbrand was the only way to be. The movement was called Brand You, and it began in 1997. The movement was good for Peters' person, and it was good for his brand, but most of all it was good for his personbrand.
About the same time that the first personbrands were invented, the courts decided that companies did things that made them a little like people and so there should be a way to treat them like people—artificial people. Over time, the courts decided that these artificial people were more and more real, so real that they could even get hurt feelings or bad reputations. So companies became brandpersons. Then the court decided that there was no point in pretending that there was ever a difference between what people might want and what brandpeople might want. In particular, they decided that brandpeople could talk just like people, although their talking was special in that it existed as money. This decision was called Citizens United and it happened in 2010.
Then, as these things go, a group of personbrands who had been very successful at personbranding and a group of brandpeople who had been very successful at brandpeopling got together with themselves and fell in love and decided that it was time to finish the job, to make all people personbrands and all brands brandpeople. To make sure that this worked, they created special tests, and all you had to do for the tests was watch advertising. And for anyone who still wasn't sure about all this imaginary branding and artificial personing, they had a simple answer: "Get real."
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