Why is the practice of quoting others so popular? “The short answer,” wrote British author and broadcaster Nigel Rees in the preface to his 1989 book, Why Do We Quote?, “is because other people have said things memorably and well in such a way that we would rather repeat their phrases than mint new ones of our … [Read more...] about Why Do We Quote?
Archives for January 2018
During my years as a newspaper editor and publisher, I often featured programs and activities that promoted good reading habits and encouraged others to become lifelong readers. After a two-part series extolling the virtues and benefits of our local public library, I received a letter from a leader of a community … [Read more...] about Down with Literacy
Years ago, I read a great comment by a man whose name, A. Lou Vickery, was new to me. I wasn't able to find out much about him, except as the author of several books, most of them published during the last quarter of the 20th century. But this quote captured my attention: "Four short words sum up what has lifted … [Read more...] about A Little Bit More
If you’re among the countless number of people who long to write a book, but just haven’t gotten it done, a ghostwriter can help make it happen. Perhaps you feel you lack the literary skills to do it yourself, or you’re so busy you simply haven’t been able to find the time. Hiring a ghostwriter is a long-established … [Read more...] about The Ghostwriter’s Role
Not long ago, while doing some online research, I stumbled upon a song from the dim and distant past, titled “Tain’t What You Do, It’s The Way That You Do It.” I still remember the tune, but don’t ask me to sing it; it would be much too painful for anyone within earshot. While it was rattling around in my mind one … [Read more...] about ‘Tain’t What You Say!
The late Leo Burnett was a legendary advertising genius, who launched his own agency in 1935, during the Great Depression. It almost went under during those early years but, by the time of Burnett’s death in 1971, it had annual revenues of $400 million, and would go on to worldwide fame and fortune with annual revenues … [Read more...] about Adjectives and Banana Peels
Over the years, I was privileged to hear the late, great Charlie “Tremendous” Jones speak dozens of times. One of the most valuable lessons I learned from him came the first time I heard him speak. "Don't take notes on what a speaker says," he advised. "Take notes on the thoughts you get from what you hear. You must … [Read more...] about Note Worthy
Among the best advice I’ve ever heard for writers and public speakers was stated in just six words by award-winning speaker Patricia Fripp. “Make every word a picture word,” she said. To illustrate, she recited the answer she got from a scientist, whom she’d asked to define his profession: “It’s like doing a jigsaw … [Read more...] about Painting Word Pictures
Each page of the annual calendar published by RAND Corporation features a quotation, contemporary and historical, representing almost every field of endeavor: politics, literature, science, religion, education, business and the arts. My favorite selection, by Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, appeared in September 1992. It … [Read more...] about Words – A Love Affair