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Category: Language

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Post-Thanksgiving Humor in the Form of a Word Visual

I suspect the recent Presidential election made for some spirited discussions around the Thanksgiving table this year. Even a slice of pie worthy of Twin Peaks — “This must be where pies go when they die” — can only go so far in bridging the political gap. Still, there’s something reaffirming in knowing that Thanksgiving …more

PR Guy Morphs into Travel Writer

I thought the newspaper was asking me questions about my favorite travel destination. It turned out that the newspaper assumed San Francisco was my favorite travel destination — hey, why else would I live 53 miles south of San Francisco? — so my answers around Aix en Provence didn’t fit. As public service for those …more

Five Lessons in Counterpunching with Words from Warren Buffett

Staying true to form during the last presidential debate, Donald Trump inferred that all smart business people find loopholes to avoid paying federal taxes, including Warren Buffett. I tried to come up with a plausible explanation for why Trump thought his comment on Buffett would go unchallenged. Then, the obvious hit me. He doesn’t care. It’s his words …more

Conversational Language as a Differentiator?

That’s the point from last week’s Wall Street Journal column, “The Way Trump Talks,” by Daniel Henninger. Henninger believes that language, specifically conversational language, could turn the election in Trump’s favor and that people have responded to Trump’s blunt language to the point of being oblivious to the content. “Many people today think food isn’t …more

The Best Obituary I Have Ever Read

As a student of business writing, I don’t turn to obituaries for inspiration (probably a good thing). The typical obit adheres to a formula that goes something like this: He or she passed away Source of fame Key achievements Surviving family There’s a reason that newspapers assign the “obit beat” to newly hired college grads. …more

8 Techniques to Increase Twitter Engagement that are NOT Based on Science

The math for Twitter appears so promising. At last count, over 300 million people use Twitter. Certainly, at least a few people will appreciate your clever jab at Lady Gaga. Unfortunately, such logic is flawed. The social media platform doesn’t make it easy to get noticed. You craft the perfect tweet — one sure to …more

Amusing Answers in College FAQs for Graduation Ceremonies

College graduation ceremonies aren’t exactly the most entertaining affairs. By design. A speaker will make a case to “follow your passion” followed by a glorified roll call that, depending on the size of the school, can literally last hours. Still, to lower the probability of something going awry, schools provide an FAQ. While these documents …more