7 8 9 10 11 Displaying 57-63 of 146 Articles

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?  Continue reading...

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."  Continue reading...

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.  Continue reading...

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?  Continue reading...

I listen to a lot of NPR. Unless the correspondent is doing a "man in the street"-type interview, the subjects generally appear intelligent, educated and literate. At least they used to. I've heard several malapropisms in recent weeks, some of which are so common that I figure it's time I spoke up.  Continue reading...

The "call to action" is one of the sacrosanct elements of ads and direct mail: Lose weight! Save money! Act now! How unorthodox, then, to discover calls to inaction — invitations to simply think — in a spate of recent ad campaigns.  Continue reading...

When my 12-year-old nephew, Caleb, asked what I was going to write about for the next installment of Red Pen Diaries, I said: "The em dash." He confessed that he didn't know what that was. "Neither do most adults," I explained.  Continue reading...

7 8 9 10 11 Displaying 57-63 of 146 Articles