Every weekday, PR Daily associate editor Alan Pearcy highlights the day’s most compelling stories and amusing marginalia on the Web in this, #TheDailySpin.
At the age of seven, I learned from a language expert that I had a slight speech impediment. Apparently, my Rs sounded like Ws. This expert recommended therapy and—as someone with a brother named Ryan—my parents agreed it would be in my best interest to rectify this vocal hindrance.
And rectify it we did, although now it seems I must look out for a language expert of a different kind, Henry Hitchings, who, in a piece for The New York Times
, expressed his irritation over the abusive nominalization of the English language. For those unfamiliar, nominalization is when a verb or an adjective is converted into a noun. Hitchings likens such terms to “corporate jive,” suggesting it’s slovenly and ugly.
However, he says there are times when nominalizations work in prose, and it boils down to aesthetics. Hitchings contends:
“Aesthetics will always play a part in the decisions we make about how to express ourselves—and in our assessment of other people’s expression—but sometimes we need to do things that are aesthetically unpleasant in order to achieve other effects, be they polemical or diplomatic.”
Read his full piece on nominalization here
RELATED: Writers, the ‘zombie noun’ apocalypse is upon us
De-nominalizing your prose might be a good start to becoming a better writer, but what does it take to be truly great? Copybot
’s Damien Farnsworth offers his opinion, insisting that “great writers will write no matter what.”
Certainly, most fans of classic literature would consider Charles Dickens a great writer. However, scribes aren’t the only ones who can pick up a lesson or two from the novelist. On the Digital Influence Group blog
, copywriting intern Zara Fishkin shares five things digital marketers can also learn from the man behind such prominent works as “Great Expectations” and “Oliver Twist.”
While Charles Dickens didn’t make the cut this time around, Flavorwire
’s list of 10 famous people with literary-inspired tattoos does provide a nod to authors such as Shel Silverstein, William Shakespeare, Tennessee Williams, and Edgar Allen Poe.
RELATED: ‘Personal branding’: Tattoos in the workplace
One of the famous people on that list is none other than “Girls” creator and star Lena Dunham, who The New York Observer
reports is moving her show’s writing room from Los Angeles to New York—where the HBO series is shot—and losing three writers along the way. They simply don’t want to make the move, according to the Observer
Making a bold move of its own this week, the Associated Press announced it would drop the term “illegal immigrant,” a shift that according to The Huffington Post
is causing a minor frenzy among some conservative members of the media, including the always entertaining panel on “Fox & Friends.”
Meanwhile, outdoor media is causing a bit of frenzy in Halifax, Nova Scotia. A billboard erected in the Canadian city as part of a campaign by Mount Saint Vincent University celebrating “remarkable women” features no women, oddly. (via Gawker
A woman will be featured in an upcoming short film by Magnum ice cream. New York
magazine reports that the marketing venture, which debuts at the Tribeca Film Festival later this month, tapped fashion designer Zac Posen to create a 24-karat gold dress valued at $1.5 million inspired by the brand’s latest ice cream bar, Magnum Gold?! (trademarked punctuation included).
RELATED: A punctuation mark for when you’re mildly enthused
After proudly sporting the Lakers signature gold and purple on the basketball court, Shaquille O’Neal received top honors from the L.A. franchise, which retired the athlete’s jersey. Unfortunately, as The Score
points out, Shaq’s commemorative banner was hung and printed backwards.
I don’t know if you’d call it an oops or not. Happy Place
shares a “recruitment note” from Mississippi State’s football program sent to high school standout Michael Ferns. Judging from an image of the letter, it looks like something you might receive from a preschooler instead of a major university.
Keeping with college sports for a moment, Pizza Hut announced it will give away free pizzas to all students at Wichita State if the school captures the NCAA men’s basketball championship. CBS News
reports that two brothers who attended the university in the ‘50s founded the franchise in Wichita.
Hoping to entice more sports fans to attend games next season, the NFL is luring ticket holders with access to pregame and halftime coverage from inside the locker room. According to Advertising Age
, the league is forcing all teams to install TV cameras in their locker rooms. The footage that airs will be of the home team only.
Still, the most expensive tickets in sports are for the Masters, with prices topping out at $4,486 to attend all four days of the golf tournament. (via Yahoo! Sports
Maybe if you pin tickets to your Pinterest board, you might have a shot at getting them. That’s essentially the idea behind a contest promoting the new Red Ruby Groovy “morning” scent for Burt’s Bees güd line. The company is asking participants to submit their ideas for the perfect morning, Creativity
reports. A lucky few will be chosen to make their Pinterest boards a reality, with the help of $25,000: