Prisoners of the Metaphor

Metaphors matter. In a study of women who were about to give birth, the mothers-to-be were told to expect a local anesthesia before receiving an epidural. Nurses told one group they were going to get “a local anesthetic that will numb the area so you will be comfortable during the procedure.” Another group was told, […]

Read this post...

Word Inflation:
 Amazing, epic, disruptive innovation

If every product change or new idea is amazing, epic, and disruptive, what happens when something really significant takes place? Yes, iTunes truly disrupted the music business… but how often do these kinds of revolutions really come along?

Read this post...

Verbal Hide & Seek: Come Out, Come Out, Whoever You Are!

I feel the same way about the F words “facilitate” and “foster.” Could there be any two words that are more convoluted and vague? Why are these words so commonly used today when just 10 years ago, they were hardly used at all?

Read this post...

Occupy: From Housewives to Wall Street

If you’ve ever thought about how fast our language – and therefore our culture – is changing, you only need a handful of random examples to prove the point. Writers, especially, must be keenly sensitive to these changes to remain relevant, or risk being dismissed outright. A clear example is “housewife.” Commonly used not long […]

Read this post...

Get ’Em On Your Side: Framing Part Deux

The marketers of processed food and beverages, as well as alcohol and tobacco, have understood the framing challenge very well. Minimizing the health threats of their products, they reframed the issue as a defense of the public’s “right” to smoke and drink…and to feed junk food to their kids. “Don’t tell me what I can’t do,” is the common refrain. It’s a matter of choice, freedom and responsibility.

Read this post...

10 Reasons to Avoid Writing Top 10 Lists

Basically, enough already. We’re saturated with top 10 (or top 5) reasons to do something. I don’t know about you, but I’m inundated, and I hardly bother to look at them anymore, unless the headline is unavoidably compelling, which is rare.

Read this post...

Petraeus, Eisenhower, Miles Davis and the Power of Modesty

A couple of opinion columns recently focused on how leaders of the U.S. military present themselves these days – relentlessly wearing, for too many occasions, dress uniforms bedecked with the “fruit salad” of ribbons and award…

Read this post...

Are You A Foamer Or A Piker? Metaphors Matter.

Metaphors may be a writer’s best tool, primarily because they create a vivid mental picture, sometimes worth more than a thousand words.

Read this post...

I’m like, ya know, and he’s sort of like, I don’t know.

Do you have trouble understanding what people are saying these days? Do you know what they really mean? And do you find people in business using vague words with little meaning, without mentioning real people, actions or thoughts?

Read this post...

The Truth Can Set You Free… If You Know What The Truth Is.

Gandhi once said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” a term that has inspired countless activists in our troubled times. Only one problem: Gandhi never said it.

Read this post...
©2018 Don Heymann Website Design by Chroma Sites