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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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that. But some homes will have as many as ten dictionaries. There's one in every room. Every kid has his own desk dictionary, especially when his parents have gotten it for nothing! People would walk out of that bank sometimes with as many as four or five dictionaries in their arms, because every time they would open an account with $100 they would get a dictionary. They would open an account for every blessed kid they had. It was wonderful. You saw the books going into the hands of the consumer! What an ad all this is for the dictionary! Between the T.V. and the radio and the newspapers....

At first the bookstores raised hell with us. It was the same way that they fought the Book-of-the-Month Club until they found out that the Book-of-the-Month Club publicity made almost every one of their choices a national best-seller. By the same token, the stores that had hollered at us suddenly discovered that they were selling ten times as many American College Dictionaries as they had before, with all of this tremendous free advertising. After all, a lot of people didn't bother going to the bank! They saw these great big ads and sometimes came in to gape at me-- and then went in to buy a dictionary at their favorite bookstore.

Of course I don't know how long this will keep up now that “What's My Line?" is off the air. While I was on “What's My Line?" I was a national figure on television.

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