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

#55 (January 2012): Who Loves You, Baby?

In this issue we disentangle "who" and "whom," examine the power of brand voice in political outreach and audit a very lean Not Our Clients entry. In other news, Happy New Year! We look forward to counting down to the Mayan apocalypse with you.

Flash Card: Who Did What to Whom?

ImageWhen to use "who" and when "whom" — this is the subject of our inquiry (and the object of our search).

"Who" denotes the subject of a sentence; "whom" denotes the object. Grammar Girl is typically succinct when she notes, "The subject of the sentence is the person doing something, and the object of the sentence is having something done to them."

If you aren't clear on the subject/object underpinning of who/whom (and most of us aren't), you've got a 50/50 shot at getting it right. Unfortunately, there seems to be a tendency to err on the side of "whom" because it sounds more proper, a tad grand, downright British. Better safe than sorry, right?

Read the rest here.

Copy We Like: A Voice in the Wilderness

ImageI get a lot of political e-mails. And yes, the causes associated with them happen to be on the liberal side.

Regardless of your spot on the ideological spectrum, however, if you're on such mailing lists, the messages you receive resemble the ones swarming my in-box: urgent requests to support so-and-so's brave stand against such-and-such; desperate appeals for cash before some looming electoral deadline; high-dudgeon screeds about what some muckety-muck proclaimed on Meet the Press.

The language aspires to intimacy, but no matter the signatory, the voice sounds suspiciously the same. An alarm is sounded; calls to action (linked to the donation page) appear every few lines; fewer words are preferred because, you know, nobody reads anymore.

Read the rest here.


Not Our Clients: Leaning Toward "No" Edition

Would you let these guys repair YOUR credit? Maybe if they repair their spelling first.

I don't need a tax shelter, but I could use some kind of lean-to.

This reminds me of the year I went to a guy who promised me a tacks refund. Oy, I'm still sore! Have you flagged some communications collateral that just doesn't add up? This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it If we enter it in the laughable ledger known as Not Our Clients, we'll send you an Amazon.com gift card, good for such non-deductible items as Billy Bragg's album Talking to the Taxman About Poetry, the complete works of Milton Friedman or a Lean on Me DVD.


Editorial Emergency puts words in your mouth.
Assuming you're a marketer, creative, lifestyler, publicist, artist and/or do-gooder
who wants to connect and persuade.
We've worked for these kinds of clients on this kind of stuff.

In case of editorial emergency, break glass and call ...

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