Small book, big wisdom

I’ve spent many years in the advertising industry, and from time to time, people ask me if there are any books about the craft of creating advertising I’ve found particularly valuable. I’ve read many, but the single most influential upon my work is a tattered 1972 paperback that still occupies a prominent place on my […]

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Is appropriate inappropriate here?

Frequently, copy contains words that don’t really need to be there. A great example is “appropriate,” as in sentences such as “once we review the information, we’ll take appropriate action.” That’s because saying “once we review the information, we’ll take action” is every bit as meaningful and effective. Since it says the exact same thing […]

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“Never mind” is two words

Singer/guitarist Kurt Cobain had a profound and positive impact on rock music, but I blame his band’s second album for perpetuating a spelling error that is becoming increasingly common. That album was 1991’s “Nevermind,” a title Cobain chose in part because he knew it was incorrect. How so? “Nevermind” isn’t a word. The expression is […]

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Are you very unique?

Are you unique? That’s good. Are you very unique? Probably not. No, I’m not suggesting that individuality is a bad thing. In fact, it’s a very good thing. And the word “unique” should be a very good word. Unfortunately, it’s misused so often that it is losing its uniqueness. In simple terms, “unique” means “singular” […]

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