A word Winston-Salem won’t soon forget: bucolic

“The word ‘bucolic‘ has a powerful connotation in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. When RJ Reynolds Tobacco, a company that began and grew in Winston-Salem, bought Nabisco in the ’80s, its new head, F. Ross Johnson, moved the company headquarters to Atlanta, because it was ‘nouveau riche’ and Winston-Salem was too ‘bucolic.’

“ ‘Proud to be bucolic’  became a bumper sticker in Winston-Salem, which isn’t actually that bucolic, but the whole nasty business, chronicled in the book Barbarians at the Gate, became emblematic of the ’80s corporate frenzy to merge, fire people, extract capital and move to cities where CEOs could show off their multi-million-dollar salaries to each other.”

— From a letter to the A.Word.A.Day newsletter by Stephanie Lovett of Winston-Salem (Nov. 27)
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