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Showing posts from March, 2015

Are You :-) or :-( with all those Emoticons at Work?

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Are emoticons making social media communicating easier or easier to avoid real emotions?How do you feel about emoticons?Well, maybe I should first ask, did you now that those punctuation marks that look like faces on their sides actually had a name? And that they have different names for the style type depending upon the expression orientation and where in the world they were developed or what software you're using? There's even documentation on the first known use of the original smiley-face emoticon and a kickstarter for an emoji keyboard. But like casual Fridays and Holiday parties, those collection of silly faces have become an accepted part of business communications despite their non-business like nature.

It seems that emotion icons, (better known by the portmanteau emoticon), and their pictograph close cousin emoji are part of every communication, built into email clients, Facebook, and many other platforms. Some applications will even turn your emoticons into …

When You Don't Fit the Corporate Culture

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As part of a clever promotion for the movie "Unfinished Business" with Vince Vaughn and Dave Franco (pictured above), the stars were Photoshopped into some iStockphotos of "realistic business" shots. The result is that those stock photos we see and use on Websites and emails which always appear awkward at best, never looked more out of place. Nor have their new "models".

It reminded me of my own foray into the business world. Fresh from the ivy covered collegiate world into a New York Wall Street firm, I spent whatever money I had saved from graduation gifts on suits and ties from the discount men's store. The weekend before I started I sprained my ankle playing basketball and that first month I greeted my new coworkers with a bushy black beard, pinstripes, and a cane, looking like a hipster version of DeCaprio's Wolf of Wall Street. I stood out like a sore thumb - or sprained ankle as it were. And it didn't get much better until I …

Have Social Media Grammar Police Gone Too Far?

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Full disclosure: Every thing I've written has had at least one comma or apostrophe out of place...Maybe a letter or word omitted in haste when meeting a tight deadline. I'm not proud of the fact, but it goes with the territory. It's not that I'm careless, or couldn't care less as it were, but like many writers I "see" the finished product in my head. I've always known about this shortcoming and praise copy editors as unsung heroes who make us better while preserving the sanctity of the written word in our increasingly video-obsessed society. 

Like the make up artists and camera operators are to the actor, editors and copy editors make us writers look good -- or at least better. (Heck, I even married my copy editor years ago, and not surprisingly, my column and scripts haven't read so messy since we split.)  So in short, writers need copy editors and we should all strive to be grammatically correct when we speak and write. Copy editors val…