I once thought collecting what I called "Americanisms" - unique phrases that come from deep within our culture - might be a fun undertaking. It seemed as though the business world was full of them, and it would be easy to compile some into a dictionary or encyclopedia-like book - the kind your aunt Muriel might give you for the holidays. I got a good start with phrases such as "They've been rode hard and put up wet" and others I can no longer remember. But with the advent of the Internet, ideas like this became the fodder of Web sites. The other day, I was exploring one of them, World Wide Words, in search of the origins of another favorite, "The catbird seat."

The catbird seat is one of those phrases that you might instinctively know from American vernacular. It means sitting pretty, having an advantageous position. In the middle of the 20th century, hall of fame baseball announcer Red Barber would apply it to a batter with a count of three balls and no strikes - the upper hand. But finding its origin might be problematic, and what might this have to do with CRM anyway? Well maybe a lot, read on.

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