What's "cherpumple"? Let naming expert and word-watcher Nancy Friedman define it for you...
: A dessert comprising cherry, pumpkin, and apple pies, each baked inside a layer of cake. The word is a portmanteau of cherry
, and apple
There it was again — a random capital. The offender was the "M" at the beginning of "Mother," as in "Her Mother was the first to notice she could really sing."
If it had been "Mother told me she thought I could really sing," it would have been fine and dandy because "Mother" would have been serving as a proper noun there, referring to a particular maternal figure. But when it's not standing in for a name, "mother" should not be capitalized.
Remember when marketers exhorted us to trade up, spend freely, and buy more? When grand, luxe,
were sprinkled like shaved truffles over ad copy? That was before the recession took a bite out of our wallets and our aspirations. Nowadays, it's fashionable (not to mention necessary) to live within one's means — or to just live without.
Though I accepted long ago that there's no grammar in rock and roll, it's always bothered me that the Doors' otherwise splendid "Touch Me" contains the lyric "Till the stars fall from the sky for you and I" (at the crescendo of the song, no less). Of course it should be "you and me." But I rationalized, as I like to think the hyper-literate Jim Morrison must have, that "me" does not rhyme with "sky." So what's Lady Gaga's excuse?
I hate the word "webinar."
I don't mind "podcast" or "blogosphere" or "Wikipedia," and I happen to love
"netiquette." But there's something about "webinar" that produces a frisson
of ickiness every time I see or hear it, an inward "ew."
English is my native tongue, language is my beat, and corporate America is where I earn my daily crust. Nevertheless, every so often I encounter an English word — in a corporate memo, speech, or email — that mystifies me. I've seen the word before; I've just never seen it used that way.
I've always assumed the word meant one thing; here it obviously means something very different.
In theory, advertising copy doesn't need to be elegant or even eloquent: its job is to make us pay attention and take action. But should it adhere to generally accepted rules of spelling, punctuation, grammar, and syntax?