A Monthly Meditation on Branding and Language
From Your Favorite Copy Shop, Editorial Emergency

Issue 22 (Nov. 28, 2008): Bubble-Gum Pride

Black Friday is here, but are you really in the mood to shop? Go ahead, build yourself a leftover-turkey sandwich and curl up with our latest issue, featuring some bright-pink thoughts about bubblegum branding, a pointed rant about exclamation points, the results of our "How Often Do You Want It?" reader survey, a musical gift idea and more. It's guilt-free stuffing ... for your mind.

Wish We'd Written That: Something to Chew On

ImageI was going to write about how a tanking economy represents a golden branding opportunity. How short-sighted marketers tighten their budgets during a downturn, leaving the field a little looser, a little less competitive, a little more hospitable to your brand. And it is true; the conventional wisdom that says now is exactly the time to spend more on marketing, promotion and publicity is sound. But I've already seen a half dozen "how to support your brand during a recession" stories and quite frankly, I'd rather talk about gum.

Read the rest here.

Red Pen Diaries: Exclamation Nation

ImageEverybody knows there are rules regarding punctuation. This article isn't about them.

I'm on a lot of e-mail lists; a great many people feel I should be kept abreast of developments at their companies, career milestones of the artists they represent, legislative or electoral triumphs and outrages, and too much more. And though I find some of the news they herald noteworthy, more often than not they compensate for mundane content with an inappropriate, nay, giddy level of enthusiasm. The primary means of expressing this overwrought intensity? The exclamation point.

Say what you will about this textual yelp in the reader's ear, this megaphone for interjections, this visual volume knob beloved of barkers, impresarios and publicists; sometimes it is entirely the right touch. And let's face it, different people have differing levels of tolerance for the grandiloquent little devil. But most temperate readers agree that the exclamation point is a bit like hot sauce — a little goes a long way; too much burns out all the flavor.

Read the rest here.

The Readers Speak: 46% Want It Weekly

ImageIn our October issue, we asked, "How often do you want it?" The "it" being communications from the websites you subscribe to. Turns out you want it weekly, which seems perfectly reasonable (particularly if you and the website enjoy a mature relationship).

Indeed, fully 46% of you would like to hear from the Web entities you've opted to receive regular information from on a weekly basis (in other news, 100% of our mothers would like to hear from us weekly). "Monthly" came in a distant second, with 29% of the vote. "Bi-weekly" garnered 19%. "2-3 times per week" earned a scant 6%. Like "daily," the quarterly option posted a big ol' goose egg.

Read the rest here.

Round and Shiny: The 88 Gives It Away

ImageAfter confecting ridiculously catchy songs for seven years or so — and insinuating them into a raft of TV shows and commercials — L.A. pop-rock troupe The 88 seems poised, at long last, to break into the mainstream. Their third and latest album, Not Only ... But Also, is their first for a major label, and much of it was produced by none other than Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds.

Though pairing the king of slick, processed R&B with these tunefully offbeat rockers seems an odd notion, the collaboration was clearly an inspired one; The 88 have taken their flair for buoyant, propulsive melodies to even loftier heights.

Read the rest here.

Not Our Clients: Less Thankful Edition

Let's be thankful that we don't have to take writing advice from these folks.

Our genuine thanks go to reader Julie Lancaster for this timely submission; Julie, your iTunes gift
certificate is on its way.

To see more mistakes you'll be thankful you didn't make, visit the Not Our Clients hall of infamy.
And if you hunt down a grammatical, typographical or syntactical turkey, serve it up to us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ;'; document.write( '' ); document.write( addy_text43278 ); document.write( '<\/a>' ); //--> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if we run it, we'll send you an iTunes gift card, too.

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