Lazy Language Drives Me Insane

I confess! Lazy language drives me insane! Why is it that people pick up on a word or phrase they hear someone – usually a celebrity or someone else in the news – and they repeat it ad naseum? It’s been how many years since the 1990 Persian Gulf War? And still the cringe-inducing phrase, “mother of all ______” keeps popping up. Then there’s “Seriously?” I used that phrase years before Grey’s Anatomy ruined it for common usage. Continue reading


Damn the Dash

Gordon Bennet writes on Utne Reader about the overuse of the em-dash as an all too convenient punctuation mark, and condemns the neglect the simple pleasures of the semicolon. Is it neglect, or laziness, as he suggests? Or is the semicolon outdated and destined for oblivion?

And who knew there were more than one kind of dash? Not this English lit major! I’m embarrassed to admit that there are two, the em-dash and the en-dash, and I never knew. Obviously I’m not enough of a dedicated dash fan to pay close attention to the grammatical rules spelled out in The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation. En-dash, em-dash, everywhere a dash-dash… Continue reading


How Do You Know What Words to Use?

“How do you know what words to use?”

An innocent question from a non-writer learning the ropes in public relations occupied much of my mind over the weekend. I jokingly refer to myself as a professional wordsmith, but this question left me at a loss. How to explain what I do instinctively, without thinking?

How do you know what words to use?

It’s obvious that writing is a series of choices. I choose the words I use like a composer chooses the notes on a piano keyboard, but how do I know which ones go together beautifully and which ones jangle the ear? It’s like asking how you recognize beauty.

Words, like opinions on beauty, have evolved over the centuries. You have only to look at the classical masterpieces of painter of Peter Paul Rubens or the plays of Shakespeare to realize that. Women are now called “Rubensque” as a polite way of saying they have a beautiful face but are significantly overweight. Continue reading


Off With Their Heads! Twitter as a Fireable Offense

By now I’m sure Chrysler’s handling of the f-bomb tweet from their corporate Twitter account is old news. But for those who haven’t heard, their first reaction was violate every rule in the crisis management rulebook. First, they announced that the account had been compromised. (Deny).  Well, except for the annoying little fact that it was indeed you – or rather, your representative, it might have worked. Continue reading


Hello world! It’s a New PR Blog!

Welcome to APRwriter! Yes, this world just can’t survive without one more blog, and I’ve bravely jumped in to fill the void. I still learning how to use this software, so I can’t promise it will be a smooth ride, but it should be interesting! I am Accredited in Public Relations, hence the “APR” in the writer….I know, I know! I can hear the groans over the bad pun. But there’s something to be said for earning accreditation, and I should at least get to pull it out, dust it off and show it around every so often.

So come along and let’s see what kind of written adventures we can find! Thanks for reading!