Junk in the Trunk

Junk in the Trunk

One of my favorite I-remember-when one-liners — Katie Couric to Judge Judy: “I got into news when ‘harass’ was two words.”

Say it out loud, people.

And below is a bonus pic, because I couldn’t resist: a sexist ad from 1969, when housewives apparently deserved a talking-to. This kind of stuff makes my jaw drop. She looks a bit drugged out, or maybe she’s thinking about a safe place to burn her bra. Thank goodness this blatant crap went the way of the capital “T” in the tagline. Oh, advertising. Continue reading

Snark Is Not Just an Imaginary Animal

Parking Notice 3 blue

Some friends and family think I’m a copywriter. It does sound similar to “copy editor” and looks a lot like its smashed-together cousin “copyeditor.” No worries. Despite my smartassness, I’m not a hater. I get it. But if I had a job writing sarcastic gold like this, I might switch professions.

Tony Simmons gives us a little insight: Continue reading

Ouch…and Yeah!

Nerd Doll

From Slate’s Dear Prudence column:

I am five years younger than the newest hire [at this newspaper], and I am infinitely more efficient, clear with my writing, and communicative with my sources than the new reporter. [She] constantly works overtime, is defensive to managers, and is overall awkward and completely aloof to her bizarre treatment of sources, other reporters, and bosses. I wonder why nobody ever suggested to this girl that she pursue copyediting instead of reporting….

(You can read Prudie’s snippy response here.)

As a colleague of mine said in her email, I’m laughing too hard to be offended.

Helvetica on Wheels

Helvetica CatAssociation can be deeply ingrained. Think corporate, think business, and if you’re design-oriented, you’ll see all kinds of words floating above your head, twirling on their axes in a simple, smooth font devoid of pizzazz or personality. What I tend to see are the actual words.

It’s clear that language is a living thing powerful enough to reshape how we speak, read, and write. I appreciate that and allow for some wiggle room. Although I refuse to use disrespect as a verb (we all have our standards), the words nauseated and nauseating are used interchangeably without any twitch of the eye, and that’s fine by me. Such judgment calls depend on how conservative you choose to be. Although irregardless is actually a word, if your aim is to be taken seriously, you cannot use it; people will question your integrity, your level of education, your hygiene, and the ability to maintain relationships.

But what slaps me in the ear canal is the repurposed terminology and cliches so common in business language, or tradespeak, specifically—the use of which forces my computer to underline it in red as if to say, “Really? C’mon.” Sometimes you just have to add-to-dictionary as you shake your head.

I wanted to do some 360-degree thinking, get all my ducks in a row, then loop back and touch base with you later so that we could take a cradle-to-grave approach to this question. In leveraging a few thoughts and cascading them through the group, I’m sure we can achieve a paradigm shift in our way of responding, especially since we are all team players in a global market of knowledge-based deliverables.

The “cradle-to-grave approach” just kills me! I had the same reaction one fine day when I gasped out loud in a meeting after someone used office as a verb, as in He offices in Singapore. The culprit smiled when he heard me, assuming I too wanted to office in Singapore. I preferred to meet him at high noon with a loaded pistol. Continue reading