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

Issue 17 (June 27, 2008): Get Your Assonance in Gear

As far as we're concerned, those who dedicate themselves to making their writing fly through the air, bend time and crash through walls are true superheroes. This issue celebrates the stretching of language into new dimensions; tips its Boba Fett helmet to other, more familiar superbeings (the kind you meet at Comic-Con); extols the virtues of terseness; and grimaces at a molar eclipse in Not Our Clients. Up, up and away!

Vocab Lab: If Left to My Own Poetic Devices ...

ImageI love the assonance in my name, the repeated long "u" sound in Julia Rubiner. Which isn't to say I haven't daydreamed that my name is Julia Jubiner (or for that matter, in the manner of Scooby Doo, Rulia Rubiner) because then I'd enjoy both assonance and alliteration, two of my favorite poetic devices, and, as I've learned in my copywriting work, two great tastes that taste great together (the writer who coined that phrase on behalf of Reese's to describe the relationship between peanut butter and chocolate clearly knew a thing or two about assonance).

Read the rest here.

A Few Words About a Few Words

We pride ourselves on our ability to handle any and all writing tasks our clients want taken off their plates. But we're also aware that some think of us largely as go-to scribes for lengthy prose pieces – the projects that give them sweaty high-school flashbacks. Fact is, we have a "no job too small" policy that would make any handyman proud. And we take particular pleasure in parading our pithiness.

Condensing a client's message into a few words is immensely satisfying; what's more, sometimes word limits and other length restrictions actually spur creative thinking. So when we're charged with generating arresting movie taglines; "infotaining" lifestyle content for mobile devices (no more than 160 characters); produce-related slogans for bring-your-own shopping bags; cheerful sayings to accompany stickers and buttons depicting friendly internal organs; holiday-themed gags for promotional door hangers; and other abbreviated blurbage, we relish the opportunity to get small.

Not long ago, a client enlisted us to provide copy for a business-card-sized piece of collateral that would be handed out to concertgoers; the code printed thereon entitled the bearer to download a photo. We wrote a few fairly straightforward iterations of the message and then, in an impish moment, added a haiku. The client liked that one best, and this is as laconic a demonstration of their original thinking as one could ask.


Here's the point in a nutshell: Need a short piece on short notice? Give us a quick call; we'll hand you a micro-miracle.

EE at Comic-Con: A New Beginning

ImageComic-Con is more than a San Diego summit for costumed geeks, manga-mongers and other eternal adolescents – it's the state of the art in lifestyle marketing. Think about it: When the makers of next year's superhero flicks, horror franchises and sci-fi series decide its time to start building buzz, this confab is ground zero. So it's for at least partly professional reasons that we'll be cruising around the convention hall on Sunday, July 27. If you plan to be there, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it we'd love to meet for coffee (or perhaps some Romulan ale). We'll be the ones not dressed as Imperial Storm Troopers. Though, come to think of it, we really should get those superhero costumes back from the cleaners.

Round & Shiny: Lightning Round

ImageIn the spirit of brevity we invoked earlier, we offer you snapshot takes on a handful of new discs.

The Fratellis' Here We Stand is a stellar follow-up to the Scottish trio's raucous debut, Costello Music. More musically ambitious, it's packed with knockout tunes, notably the indelible single "Mistress Mabel."

The soundtrack to the rock musical Passing Strange made history by being the first Broadway cast album to have a digital-only initial release (the CD version hits stores on 7/15). But this Tony-, Obie- and Drama Desk Award-winning masterwork from L.A. rock innovator and national treasure Stew (in collaboration with the similarly inspired Heidi Rodewald) is as witty and soulful a meditation on racial politics, drugs, sex, art and the search for identity as you're likely to find anywhere on the pop scene – and the songs are just brilliant, putting influences as diverse as Burt Bacharach, Funkadelic, Stephen Sondheim, Gilbert & Sullivan, Kander & Ebb and Gang of Four into a cosmic blender.

Read the rest here.

Not Our Clients: Inconvenient Tooth Edition

In dentistry, as in all professional care, attention to detail is paramount. So this partially punctuated poster on the wall of our local practitioner's office is as worrisome as a malfunctioning drill.

The periodontist forgot the period.

Does the public chomping of the written word have you begging for Novocain? Spit it out in a note to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and we'll send you an iTunes gift certificate (or, if you prefer, an ergonomic toothbrush and some no-shred floss). Of course, you can sink your teeth into the whole rotten bunch by visiting the Not Our Clients section of the Editorial Emergency website.

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