A few of my favorite puns from Bob’s Burgers

I love a good pun. Good, bad or ugly, none is master of the pun more than the animated franchise, Bob’s Burgers.

It’s a lovable show about a burger joint owner and his family, which is constantly (lovingly?) sabotaging his business.

bobsburgers

Image source–giphy.com

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The lede–a story’s heartbeat

buried lede

Make your point clear in the first sentence

Everybody knows the cardinal rule of journalism–don’t bury the lede.

Well, almost everybody.

Today I picked up a local newspaper bearing a headline stating the Richland County Sheriff’s Department will get funding for body cameras. But I couldn’t tell what the story was supposed to be about until the third paragraph.

Continue reading “The lede–a story’s heartbeat”

Getting there first, but getting it right

I find coffee helps with clarity.

I find coffee helps with clarity.

Editors make mistakes.

Even good editors, when writing, need an editor to screen for potential errors before publishing their work.

I made a mistake several weeks ago. Surprise, surprise.

One reader called my attention to it in an email.

Continue reading “Getting there first, but getting it right”

What I learned creating ads on Facebook (plus a tutorial roundup)

Image by Jen Mayfield. Copy by Jessica Cross. TDC's Facebook ad preview.

Image by Jen Mayfield. Copy by Jessica Cross. TDC’s Facebook ad preview.

I’m not naturally a leap-before-you-look kind of gal. And creating my first Facebook ad for The Design Consortium, where I write copy and analyze websites, was no exception.

I knew I could write the copy according to Facebook’s character length specifications for our particular ad objective. What unnerved me was the process of setting up the ad. Fortunately, I had TDC team depending on me to get it done–that’s the cure!

I learned that the process of creating a Facebook ad, though detailed, is easy.

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Five things to consider before crafting your next email subject line

You’ve written your best email yet. And you can’t wait to share it with readers. But before you email your audience, consider your first impression–the subject line. Consider these five things as you write your next subject line–

Length

According to one marketing guru on LinkedIn, subject lines ranging from six to 10 words in length correlate with higher email open rates. Continue reading “Five things to consider before crafting your next email subject line”

The trouble with affect and effect

Shakespeare uses "effect"My lesson on the words, affect and effect began on a Friday over coffee and Shakespeare.

I circled it in blue ink. There was effect used as a verb! Surely it had been a misprint. Or at least I had unearthed some archaic use of the term. Effect is surely never used as a verb, I thought. Continue reading “The trouble with affect and effect”

Writer, laugh at yourself, not with yourself

Instructions to a young writer full of raillery

mischievous laugh

Me, laughing at something I probably shouldn’t laugh at

You may find yourself regularly poking fun at lines regurgitated from news segments across several channels. Stumbling upon awkward pauses on special news broadcasts is fun. Catching grammatical errors in the local daily makes you giggle a sanctimonious giggle.

You delight in printed mistakes by others.

And pride comes before a fall.

Continue reading “Writer, laugh at yourself, not with yourself”

Death on the highway, and badly worded road signs

What happened to the man who ordered H2O too?

Image Source–Meme Generator

Clarity is paramount when trying to get a point across. Numerous grammatical oversights can confuse a reader and lead to chaos.

You’re probably familiar with the endless supply of online grammar humor pointing out the importance of a well-placed comma. I don’t see the need to live and die by the Oxford comma. But I admit adding a comma to this sentence could prevent a misunderstanding–

“I give all the credit to my parents, the president and Sam.”

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Your five favorite posts of 2015 revisited

As we close the books on this year, I rounded up a few of your favorite posts according to a combination of likes, comments, social networking shares and page views. See the countdown below to revisit your favorite tips and stories of 2015.

5) Four tips to build credibility in your writing

Carry these four tips into the new year to help you perfect your blog and business writing.

Congaree River flooding

The water level recedes from under the Blossom St. bridge after SCE&G releases water from the Lake Murray Dam on Sunday.

4) Diary from a 1,000-year flood—after the rain

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Three reasons journalists make the best copywriters

box of newspapers

A box of some of my published stories

I occasionally run across a marketing guru shepherding his followers away from the dangers of employing someone with a journalism background or (gasp) an English major. Copywriting is more about marketing than writing, they warn.

And I laugh a little each time I read this warning because good writing is about marketing. It’s about knowing what information to share and when. Good writing offers something good marketing should–it’s designed to get you to hear what it has to say.

If you’re looking for a copywriter or editor for your next project, here are three benefits to working with a journalist–

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