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For about four decades in the 20th century, rhyme ruled American advertising. The period between the 1940s and the 1970s was the golden age of ad jingles and rhyming slogans. Today, ads rarely incorporate verse — and when they do appear, it's often awkwardly executed, derivative, or barely recognizable as rhyme. What happened?  Continue reading...
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"We don't need another hero," sang Tina Turner in the 1985 film Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. Sorry, Tina — from the evidence, we need "hero" more than ever. The word has become a noun-of-all-trades, a succinct four-letter label for people and things we admire.  Continue reading...
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From classic rock to Turner Classic Movies, from Classic Roast coffee to MapQuest Classic, we're living in a new Classic Era. What do all those classics signify, and what are "classic" brands trying to sell us?  Continue reading...
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Next month marks the 44th anniversary of the Woodstock festival, and we're still hearing its echoes. One of Woodstock's most enduring legacies is its influence on language. Wherever there's an "X-stock" festival, from Artstock in Oregon to Zoostock in Pennsylvania, from Rootstock in Santa Rosa, California, to Bloodstock in Derbyshire, UK, Woodstock lives on.  Continue reading...
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Once upon a time, the verbs of advertising were need and want. Today you're more likely to hear a different verb. Poke around a bit, and you'll quickly discover that everyone — kids, young adults, teachers, you! — deserves "the best."  Continue reading...
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Some brands capture your attention with made-up words: Qajack and Squidoo, hungerectomy and splurjobbing. Other brands deliberately misspell familiar words: Klout, Flickr, Cheez-It. But some companies prefer a more traditional way to make an impression — one that might have pleased your third-grade teacher. They consult a dictionary.  Continue reading...
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"Plus" is a positive workhorse of a word. It can be a preposition (two plus two), an adjective (a C-plus grade), or a noun (the good weather is a plus). Until recently, though, "plus" has mostly stayed out of the verb column. That's changing, on the evidence of some recent sightings.  Continue reading...
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1 2 3 4 5 Displaying 8-14 of 77 Articles