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21

You may be surprised to hear that there is one word that can significantly increase the effectiveness of your business communications.

You can see this word in most successful ad campaigns. You’ll find it in the work of the world’s most notable copywriters, like David Olgivy.

You’ll hear it in many of the most famous and influential speeches in history.

This powerful word is “you”.

Why?  

Because it shifts the spotlight from the writer Read more

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21

Web-users are fast, focused and read in an F-shaped pattern.

People act like information hunters when they are using the internet according to web usability guru, Jakob Nielsen. They usually scan the top two paragraphs and the left-hand side of a webpage and read only about 20% of the words.

People typically spend much less time reading a web page than a printed page in a book or magazine.

They are also more likely to Read more

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21

Imagine if you could have a super salesperson standing next to a customer every time they looked at your brochure, catalogue or website.

Your salesperson would draw their attention to the ways that your products could help them.   He or she would answer their questions and respond to their concerns.

The product descriptions on your website, catalogues and brochures should work like a top salesperson.    

 They should not merely describe.  They should Read more

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16
I’ve been recording oxymorons in a small notebook for several years, and have drawn upon that list for many of the examples I’ve posted in this column. Am I concerned I might run out of examples? Not on your life. Thanks to the media, I have an unending supply of oxymorons. Recently, the media gave me a special gift: A single sentence that had both an oxymoron and a redundancy in it. The sentence was spoken by a CNN morning show host who asked a movie reviewer about the film Lincoln which had just received the nomination for Best Picture by the group who gives out the Academy Awards. The question was this (the parenthetical statements are mine): Do you think a film is more likely to win the award if it is current history (the oxymoron) or past history (the redundancy)? This question revived my interest in redundancies so I retrieved the file in which I’ve been keeping track of these phrases. I will occasionally post some of the most interesting I hear or read now that I am again tuned in to them. Here is this week’s posting of oxymorons: terribly good eternal life flood control deceptively honest bitter sweet Here are a few redundancies: ingrained habit final outcome harbinger of things to come inadvertent accident advance notice Enjoy!...

Read More of Oxymorons Again – And an Introduction to a New Topic: Redundancies!...

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13
            My father will turn 80 this year but to me he is ageless. He is not dying. Most people write about the people they love after they are gone. I want to write about him while he is still here.             I grew up on Long Island in the 70’s. The youngest of three children, my mother was a registered nurse and my father was an accountant. Dad moved out of the house and into an apartment in Manhattan when I was eight years old. It was the end of their marriage but the beginning of the discovery for me of who the man I call Pops really is. A journey that has taken 40 years and which continues today.             While a child, every Sunday he picked me up at our house in Bellmore, took me horseback riding in Babylon and then to Jack In The Box for tacos. I rode the train to the city to spend weekends with him. We went to Danbury, C......

Read More of My Pops, My Friend...

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13
            My father will turn 80 this year but to me he is ageless. He is not dying. Most people write about the people they love after they are gone. I want to write about him while he is still here.             I grew up on Long Island in the 70’s. The youngest of three children, my mother was a registered nurse and my father was an accountant. Dad moved out of the house and into an apartment in Manhattan when I was eight years old. It was the end of their marriage but the beginning of the discovery for me of who the man I call Pops really is. A journey that has taken 40 years and which continues today.             While a child, every Sunday he picked me up at our house in Bellmore, took me horseback riding in Babylon and then to Jack In The Box for tacos. I rode the train to the city to spend weekends with him. We went to Danbury, C......

Read More of My Pops, My Friend...

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09
I continue to pay attention to oxymorons I find in the various media. Here are this week’s top five: cool passion unbiased opinion plastic silverware random order virtual reality I don’t know if I should be grateful to the media for supplying me with such a fertile field of oxymorons or resentful that they do not set a better example....

Read More of Oxymorons – The Media is a Treasure Trove...

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03
I Cani d’Italia, E I Gatto Troppo The dogs of Italy, and the cats too As my adventure in Italy comes to an end and I reflect on all I have seen and done, I wonder what my favorite part of my trip was. The ancient walls that still surround Lucca? The lardo di Colonnata? Da Vinci’s Last Supper? The leather boots in Milan? While I have loved all of it (except the lardo!), as I start to pack I realize without reservation my favorite part of Italy is I cani d’italia, e i gatto troppo The dogs of Italy, and the cats too I’ve explored Toscana (Florence, Firenze, Lucca, Carrara, Colonatta, Pisa), Emilia-Romagna (Bologna) and Lombardia (Milan). Dogs were everywhere. And I am not talking about scrawny strays scrapping for food. I am referring to healthy, leashed dogs of all shapes and sizes wearing coats and happily trotting next to their people. And in the parks, dogs jogged next to their owners, occasionally chasing a bird but then quickly ret......

Read More of I Cani d'Italia/The Dogs of Italy...

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02
I skipped posting my list last week since I was away in Michigan on vacation. Here is my list for this week. All come from newspaper articles I read these past two weeks: a definite maybe seriously funny clearly misunderstood extinct life minor catastrophe The nice thing about posting oxymorons is that there seems to be no end to the listings. All you have to do is keep your ears open and your reading eyes alert....

Read More of More Oxymoronic Phrases I've Heard or Read...

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30
As I was driving along the Tuscan highway a couple of days ago, the white mountains came into view. Not a ski resort (although there are many in Italy) but the quarries where white marble has been excavated since the 2nd century BC. The area is Tuscany and the provinces are Massa and Carrara. You know the marble and the mountains better than you might imagine. Can you picture how white the perfectly carved marble of Michelangelo’s David is? Or his Bacchus? How about the Pieta in the Vatican? All marble from Carrara, where Michelangelo spent years choosing the perfect stone for his projects. In our modern-day, can you envision the white marble imported from Italy and used to make kitchen counter tops, tiles, pillars, statues and decorative borders? Also marble from Carrara and Massa. Visiting this area is a dream come true for me. This time of the year, I am very much aware of how old meets new and how 2012 is meeting 2013. Somehow, if these white mountains can still b......

Read More of The White Mountains and the New Year...

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