1 2 3 4 5 Displaying 15-21 of 37 Articles

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...
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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...
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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...
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In honor of Valentine's Day, let's revisit one of the most famous couples in the love-story canon: Romeo and Juliet. Remember how the prologue to Shakespeare's play introduces them? "From forth the fatal loins of these two foes / A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life."

Star-cross'd! Isn't it romantic?  Continue reading...
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"Lets Go!!"

That's what appeared on the recently unveiled Old Navy SuperFan Nation college-football T-shirts. Yes, the second exclamation point is wholly unnecessary, but it's the missing apostrophe that really chaps my hide. And not just mine!  Continue reading...
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After the passing of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs on Wednesday, the outpouring of sympathy on Twitter was overwhelming, with an estimated 10,000 tweets per second. Several of the top "trending topics" over the following day were Jobs-related, marked by the hashtags #ThankYouSteve, #iSad, #ThinkDifferent, and #StayHungry. Even in death, Jobs's unique and spirited way with words was palpable.  Continue reading...
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Christopher Johnson, a branding expert who runs the website The Name Inspector, has a new book out called Microstyle: The Art of Writing Little about how contemporary message-makers need to become "verbal miniaturists." In this excerpt, Johnson explains how "neologisms can be among the most powerful of micromessages."  Continue reading...
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1 2 3 4 5 Displaying 15-21 of 37 Articles