5 6 7 8 9 Displaying 43-49 of 77 Articles

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...
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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...
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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...
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"In difficult times fashion is always outrageous," the Italian designer Elsa Schiaparelli famously said. But come hard times or good times, you can always count on fashion writing to be an excessive, outrageous genre unto itself. Where else but in fashion copy would destructed be an acceptable — indeed, comprehensible — adjective? Who but a fashion editor would bully her readers with imperatives such as must-have? And what on earth is one supposed to make of cryptic abbreviations like cardi, bodycon, and MOTG?  Continue reading...
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I've been seeing a lot of You lately. Not specifically you, dear reader, but You, the second-person advertorial. Yes, after years of talking about us, marketers have taken a shine to You. And they're eager to tell You just how important you are to their business.  Continue reading...
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Neal Whitman's recent column on the language of "choice" in education ("Make good choices!") got me thinking about how choice and choose are used in marketing. From the flight attendant's cheery "We know you have a choice when you fly — thanks for choosing us!" to IKEA's "Choose your own entertainment adventure," we're constantly encouraged to select from an array of options. But what does all that choice mean?  Continue reading...
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As far as I know, no university has a Department of Nomenclature. I've never heard of an internship in brand naming. So what's an aspiring name developer — or even an inquiring civilian — to do?  Continue reading...
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5 6 7 8 9 Displaying 43-49 of 77 Articles