A Monthly Meditation on Branding and Language
From Your Favorite Copy Shop, Editorial Emergency

Issue 24 (Jan. 30, 2009): The Scoop on Customer Service

In this, our first issue of 2009, we bring you a stirring tale about The Little Frozen-Yogurt Shop That Could (Teach Us All a Lot About Customer Service and Community-Building); a Vampire Weekend-name-checking guest column on the Oxford comma; a shout-out to the PR agency that made our bubble-gum dreams come true; an introduction to the divine wonk-rock of Chicago sextet Umphrey's McGee; and yet another trip down the humiliation highway we like to call Not Our Clients. And since, for at least the next few hours, it's still January, we're just gonna say it: Happy New Year.

What I Learned From the Frozen-Yogurt Shop

ImageEditorial Emergency's favorite source of post-gym sustenance is 21 Choices, a cheery but unassuming little frozen-yogurt shop on the main thoroughfare of Pasadena's heavily trafficked Old Town.

21C keeps a cornucopia of low-fat, high-flavor, largely organic options in rotation on its daily menu. Those without cholesterol issues can up the ante with mix-ins like Butterfingers, Reese's and Ding Dongs. Our usuals: the healthful and aromatic Vanilla Bean, mashed up with fresh bananas and strawberries, and the deceptively decadent-tasting Valrhona Chocolate, stirred in with almonds. Not that Peach Pie, Root Beer Float or other cultured confections are off the table.

What, you might be wondering, does this have to do with business? Grab a napkin and I'll elaborate.

Read the rest here.

Red Pen Diaries: I Give a F*&# About the Oxford Comma

Image And now, a few words from guest contributor and Editorial Emergency associate Megan Zinn (artist rendering at left).

In the song "Oxford Comma," Vampire Weekend asks the musical question, "Who gives a f*&# about an Oxford comma?" to which most of their fans pay no attention. At best, they wonder what an Oxford comma is. Maybe Google it. As a grammar geek, I actually have an opinion.

Read the rest here.

Dig Communications: PR Firm Makes Dreams Come True

ImageRemember that time I wrote about gum? Specifically, the copy on the inside of the new Extra Classic Bubble slim pack. I'll admit I was a little concerned that someone from Wrigley, purveyor of my chosen chew, would catch wind of and object to the line, "I've stuck with it through my husband's concerns that some of the additives therein are none too healthy (I admit to periods of chain-chewing)." I need not have worried.

Read the rest here.

Round and Shiny: The Prog You've Been Praying For

ImageProgressive rock, the grandiose, often fussy pop subgenre known to its fans as "prog," more or less peaked in the 1970s, the decade of post-idealistic substance abuse and Laserium shows. Loved or loathed for instrumental flash, mad time-signature shifts, far-out lyrics and songs clocking in considerably past the 10-minute mark, the form ventured far afield from rock's visceral, earthbound origins. When the backlash came — in the form of punk and new wave — it was severe.

Yet the music never completely vanished. It was simply subsumed by new variations that continued to operate on the fringes, like "math rock" and neo-hippie jam-band noodling. That said, few of its latter-day practitioners have achieved the vaulting melodic glory of Yes or early Genesis, the brooding magnificence of Pink Floyd, the angular ingenuity of King Crimson or the glossy complexity of Rush.

Read the rest here.

Not Our Clients: Incoherent Awards Edition

What happened in this Los Angeles Times piece about the American Music Awards? Perhaps it was written during the cocktail-fueled afterparty. Maybe the newspaper industry's financial straits have led to draconian word-rationing. In any event, the music of this excerpt sounds a bit off-key.

Fortunately, the official theme of this year's American Music Awards was Words Randomly Strung Together.

Enjoy more tone-deafness on the station where the hits to the language just keep coming, radio KNOC. This installment goes out to one of our extra-special listeners, little Carrie Bryden. Got a bubbling-under boo-boo you think belongs on our chart? Send it to the EE request line: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .'; document.write( '' ); document.write( addy_text53913 ); document.write( '<\/a>' ); //--> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  If we post it, we'll send you an iTunes gift certificate to spend on more harmonious fare.


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