Wordsmiths of the world unite! . . . Grammar guffaws to make you laugh

Plenty of friends and colleagues prefer not to use Facebook. But the following posting, from friend Evelyn Mackenzie, brought some needed laughter to my day! This was written by Jill Thomas Doyle and shared by Hilary Harley and then Evelyn. If you haven’t seen this listing before, then here’s some laughter for you!

• An Oxford comma walks into a bar, where it spends the evening watching the television, getting drunk and smoking cigars.
• A dangling participle walks into a bar. Enjoying a cocktail and chatting with the bartender, the evening passes pleasantly.
• A bar was walked into by the passive voice.
• An oxymoron walked into a bar, and the silence was deafening.
• Two quotation marks walk into a “bar.”
• A malapropism walks into a bar, looking for all intensive purposes like a wolf in cheap clothing, muttering epitaphs and casting dispersions on his magnificent other, who takes him for granite.
• Hyperbole totally rips into this insane bar and absolutely destroys everything.

Continue reading “Wordsmiths of the world unite! . . . Grammar guffaws to make you laugh”

On simplifying your elevator pitch . . . for success (with a nod to Michael Katz)

At a small, socially distant networking event recently, I encountered two entrepreneurs, with two different entrepreneurial approaches, to offering the perennial “elevator pitch.”

Both entrepreneurs knew the importance of word-of-mouth marketing and were doing their best to introduce themselves clearly.

One of them, a financial planner, kept his “elevator pitch” to one sentence. But it was a sentence with at least three clauses (i.e. naming the major services he provides and for whom). The other person, a professional coach, used a simpler, single clause description of how she works to increase her clients’ sales. Continue reading “On simplifying your elevator pitch . . . for success (with a nod to Michael Katz)”

Want your stories to succeed? Build them on ideas that “stick,” say Chip and Dan Health

I often blog on issues pertaining to stories and storytelling. But thus far, we haven’t discussed much about what constitutes a good (or compelling) story.

Thirteen years ago, Chip Heath (a professor of organizational behaviour at Stanford University) and his brother, Dan Heath (a senior fellow in social entrepreneurship at Duke University), combined their research interests and wrote Made to Stick: Why some ideas take hold and others come unstuck (London: Penguin/Arrow, 2007).

The book, which has fascinated entrepreneurs, authors from multiple fields, researchers and academics alike, asserts one overarching tenet: Thinking, writing and other story-based endeavours that provide “sticky ideas” (i.e. ideas that succeed by becoming popular and influential in contemporary culture) all exhibit the following six principles (“SUCCES”):  Continue reading “Want your stories to succeed? Build them on ideas that “stick,” say Chip and Dan Health”