3 4 5 6 7 Displaying 29-35 of 148 Articles

It's one of the enduring cross-cultural culinary conundrums: Why are packaged potato snacks called chips in the US and crisps in the UK? The answer is equal parts history, legend, and marketing savvy. And the spudscape is getting more complicated as cultural boundaries dissolve and the snack-food industry grows more creative and prolific.  Continue reading...

Imagine you're naming a new brand — an alcoholic beverage, say. You know the standard marketing dogma: a brand name should promise romance, adventure, well-being, financial success, sex appeal. What are the odds that you'd ignore that advice and instead choose a name that says … death?  Continue reading...

The bikini made its first public appearance on July 5, 1946, at a swimming pool in Paris. In the 66 years since then, the diminutive swimming costume has had an outsize impact on fashion trends and cultural norms. It’s also enriched our vocabulary in creative and unexpected ways.  Continue reading...

Last week, in the first part of this series on buzzwords and catchphrases of the current political season, I looked at six words that caught the national attention, from brokered convention to grandiosity. Here, in alphabetical order, are another half dozen more that have crossed my political radar.  Continue reading...

The U.S. presidential election is six months away, but the Republican debates and primary contests have already gone on for more than a year. The long campaign has meant plenty of exposure to that special genre of language known as political speech.  Continue reading...

I consider myself a reasonably fluent speaker of Fashionspeak, a dialect distinguished by peculiar adjectives ("statement" necklace, "boyfriend" jacket), enigmatic abbreviations (boho, bodycon, cami), and a bullying use of the imperative mood ("must-have," "dos and don'ts"). Nevertheless, I sometimes find myself staring in puzzlement at a fashion headline, trying to decode an unlikely usage of a word I thought I knew. This season, that word is "tribal."  Continue reading...

You've read the advice to writers: Strive for clarity! Make your meaning transparent! Your sentences should be lucid and understandable, your paragraphs logically constructed, your meaning readily accessible to your readers. Who could quarrel with that?  Continue reading...

3 4 5 6 7 Displaying 29-35 of 148 Articles