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

Issue 23 (Dec. 26, 2008): Stickler's Holiday

Upon unwrapping this installment you'll find a roundup of nonpareil nonprofits; a rare seasonal discussion of religion and branding; a reader's ruminations on Constant Comment loose and bagged; a flurry of haikus; praise for the resurrected vinyl LP; and a lump of media coal burning dimly in Not Our Clients. Thanks for reading (and writing in) this year; see ya next.

Nonprofits and Us

ImageWe can be critical.

In 2008 alone we complained about the misuse of "nonplussed"; railed against web concerns that barrage us with e-mail; decried texting while driving; whined about the prevalence of "myself"; chided narrow-minded demographers; lambasted marketing jive; pitied the fools who trust spell-check more than their eyes; mocked the malapropism-prone; rejected fear-based branding; and bemoaned preposterous applications of "literally." As some of you may recall, we even griped about jam.

And I'll admit that just now we were going to launch into a jeremiad on the recasting of "impact" as a verb — is it really so hard to say "have an impact?"

Instead, we're going to get all positive on your ass and accentuate some of our favorite doers of good.

Read the rest here.

The iPod, the Virgin Mary and Thou

ImageYes, yes, yesterday was the big day for contemplating the Virgin Birth, but we thought we'd nonetheless share a little something religious with you today. Even better, something religious and branding-related. According to an item in the Oct. 27 issue of Newsweek entitled "Forgive Me, Pepsi, For I Have Sinned," our devotion to our favorite brands — Constant Comment tea, for instance — is akin to religious devotion.

Writer Lisa Miller provides insight into a three-year, $7 million study in which "marketing guru" Martin Lindstrom demonstrates via fMRI that "your preference for Macs over PCs is embedded in your brain circuitry."

Read the rest here.

Constant Comment and Phil

ImageRuth Campbell Bigelow invented Constant Comment tea in her kitchen more than 60 years ago, and by his reckoning, Phil Stewart, an SEO copywriter and Editorializing reader in Independence, Mo., has been drinking it for more than 20. His loyalty to this product is so strong that it survived a major packaging shake-up (and price hike), which he wrote to us about in response to November's "Wish We'd Written That: Something to Chew On."

In his vivid account, Phil refers to Constant Comment (made by Bigelow Tea, presided over by Ruth's granddaughter Cindi Bigelow) alternately as "ambrosia," "nectar" and "liquid heaven," and confesses to being a year-round iced-tea addict. Still, when he discovered one day that his loose tea, packaged in an old-fashioned oval tin, had become a teabag-only commodity (each bag ensconced in the now-familiar foil packet), Phil balked.

Read the rest here.

Haikus and You

ImageBrevity is key,
we often tell our readers.
But how to show it?

Take the haiku form.
Once you master all the rules,
it's pretty simple.

Just know how many
syllables go on each line.
It breaks down like this:

Read the rest here.

Round and Shiny: Returntable

ImageI grew up with the vinyl LP. This fact might lead you to some understandable conclusions: that I'm more than 100 years old; that I have cranky opinions about much of "today's music"; that if I had a lawn I'd be yelling at some kids to get off of it. But only some of those surmises would be true. In point of fact, I love all kinds of music from all kinds of eras, and I long ago stopped complaining about the sound of CDs.

Still, when I received a jumbo care package from Capitol/EMI containing shrink-wrapped, 180-gram reissues of classic phonograph records from my late, lamented youth — as part of the company's gigantic "From the Capitol Vaults" campaign — I wept hot tears of joy.

Read the rest here.

Not Our Clients: Bullet Points Edition

Ordinarily, the Not Our Clients spotlight shines its beacon of truth on spurious spelling, gruesome grammar and sloppy syntax. Not so this time; indeed, had the caption below been paired with a different image, it might well have escaped our notice. But this month's NOC standout reminds us that errors of context can be as egregious as the most embarrassing typo.

The guy getting shot in the foreground also bespeaks some harshness, no?

Have you come across a worthy candidate for the Not Our Clients wall of shame? Send it to us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ;'; document.write( '' ); document.write( addy_text92989 ); document.write( '<\/a>' ); //--> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if we post it, we'll reward you with an iTunes Music Store gift card,
so you can mellow out the harshness in your backdrop (or foreground) with sweet melody.


Editorial Emergency puts words in your mouth. By "you" we mean marketers, creatives, lifestylers, artists and do-gooders who want to connect with and persuade consumers. We've worked for
these kinds of clients on this kind of stuff.

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