Wag the Dog 尾巴搖狗
（譯注：英語中有這樣一種說法，即“It's a case of the tail wagging the dog”，直譯為“這可是一件尾巴搖狗的事。”，比喻“某個不重要的事物占據主導地位”。）
For the past two years in Silicon Valley, the centre of America's technology industry, conference-goers have entertained themselves playing a guessing game: how many times will a speaker mention the phrase “long tail”? It is usually a high number, thanks to the influence of the long-tail theory, which was first developed by Chris Anderson, the editor of Wired magazine, in an article in 2004. （1）Though technologists and bloggers chuckle at how every business presentation now has to have its long-tail section, most are envious of Mr Anderson, whose brainwave quickly became the most fashionable business idea around.
Whether a b_ __ __ _① film, a bestselling novel, or a chart-topping rap song, popular culture idolises the hit. Companies devote themselves to creating them because the cost of distribution and the limits of shelf space in physical shops mean that profitability depends on a high volume of sales. But around the beginning of this century a group of internet companies realised that with endless shelves and a national or even international audience online they could offer a huge range of products—and make money at the same time.
The niche, the obscure and the specialist, Mr Anderson argues, will gain ground at the e_ __ __② of the hit. As evidence, he points to a drop in the number of companies that traditionally calculate their revenue/sales ratio according to the 80/20 rule—where the top fifth of products contribute four-fifths of revenues. Ecast, a San Francisco digital jukebox company, found that 98% of its 10,000 albums sold at least one track every three months. Expressed in the language of statistics, the experiences of Ecast and other companies such as Amazon, an online bookseller, suggest that products down in the long tail of a statistical distribution, added together, can be highly profitable. （2）The internet helps people find their way to relatively obscure material with recommendations and reviews by other people (and for those willing to have their artistic tastes predicted by a piece of software) computer programs which analyse past selections.