‘A spoonful of alliteration helps the medicine go down’
I’m a sucker for an alliterative list.
When a client asked me to write a piece on the 28 languages now available on her company’s technology, I wrote this lead:
Got a list?… Read the full article
‘Applewood-smoked bacon’ just tastes better
Turns out a Southwestern Tex-Mex salad by any other name would not taste as good.
Vivid menu descriptions — “applewood-smoked bacon,” “Maytag blue cheese” and “buttery plump pasta,” for instance — can increase restaurant sales up to 27 percent, according to research by Brian Wansink.… Read the full article
‘You’ll have your hand on your head with a knot under it’
My grandma and namesake, Annie B. Vrana, was an Oklahoma farm woman and one of the most colorful people I’ve known.… Read the full article
Win our February writing contest
The sound your’re hearing in that Oscar Wilde quote is called balance. Also known as parallelism, balance works because of the rub between similarity and difference.… Read the full article
Why have people fallen in love with this podcast?
It’s been compared to The Sopranos. Before its debut, it ranked No. 1 on iTunes. When its first season was over, fans couldn’t remember what people do who aren’t listening to it.… Read the full article
Three ways to create parallelism
To create balance, you might:
1. Repeat and reverse.
|Start with your original idea||Repeat and reverse|
|It was the best of times||It was the worst of times|
|It was the age of wisdom||It was the age of foolishness|
|It was the epoch of belief||It was the epoch of incredulity|
|It was the season of Light||It was the season of Darkness|
|It was the spring of hope||It was the winter of despair|
2.… Read the full article
Use adverbs to change, not intensify, meaning
Beware adverbs, counsels The Poynter Institute’s Roy Peter Clark.
Too often, they dilute the meaning of the verb or repeat it: “The building was completely destroyed.”… Read the full article
‘That was so Rob Fordian’
In the December issue, I asked you to transform a name into a descriptor. (One of my clients, I mentioned, had just asked me to “Wylie-ize” part of her website.)… Read the full article