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Searching for Readability Through the Fog

Anyone who writes for a living has to be conscious of readability. Or at least anyone who writes for marketing and/or advertising purposes. Since becoming a professional writer, I’ve taken pride in keeping things readable. Reining in long sentences and paragraphs. Avoiding complex words. Adopting a friendly, conversational tone. After so many years of writing, […]

Ads That Obsess Us: Amish Electric Fireplaces

As I recently skimmed Parade magazine (learning about “the world’s top 10 worst dictators”), the headline immediately caught my eye: “Amish mantle and miracle invention help home heat bills hit rock bottom.” Of the several dozen items I find fascinating, the Amish and miracle inventions are near the top of the list. Now, here was […]

My Bet for 2009 Word of the Year

Most word nuts know Merriam-Webster named “bailout” its 2008 Word of the Year (for obvious reasons). I’ve got a leading contender for this year’s honor: transparency.   When I was growing up, I associated transparency with ghosts — usually the friendly kind. After I gave up cartoons, I learned a more negative connotation for the word. […]

An Old Friend, On His Way Out

Being a newspaper subscriber is kind of like owning a 15-year-old dog. You don’t know exactly when the experience is going to end, but you might want to hold off on buying another bag of kibble. I am by no means a Luddite. I’m an avid Internet enthusiast and, in fact, earn much of my […]