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

#65 (March 2013): How I Learned to Stop Worrying
And Be Apprehensive

In this issue we grasp a bunch of related words – with our minds, not our tails – and a Not Our Clients slip-up that will leave you agog. Happy March. May springtime bring you more nosegays than nose-blowing.

Vocab Lab: Word Cousins

Etymology – the roots (or, etymologically speaking, seeds) of words – can sound like a pretty dry pursuit if you aren't a word farmer by trade. But knowing a word's derivation has all kinds of benefits. It can make you a better, more nuanced communicator, of course, and if you happen to find words fascinating and beautiful, it can heighten your, ahem, textual pleasure.

I've always loved exploring how words are related, especially if they contain seemingly contradictory meanings. A famous example is the kinship of "treason" and "tradition" – two words that would seem utterly at odds, more like the Montagues and the Capulets than members of a single clan. But both derive from a sense of "handing over." Once this scandalous similitude is known, it's impossible to think of either word quite the same way again.

Lately I've seized on words with variations of "prehend" as prefix or suffix, a particularly rewarding subject for inquiry as they're all about "grasping."

Read the rest here.

Not Our Clients: Gaga Dada Edition

Given her moniker, it's Lady Gaga's prerogative to engage in baby talk. But it appears the staff over at CNN wants to get in on the act:

Lada Gaga: Yada yada yada.
(Thanks to Jeremy Helfgot for hipping us to this item.)

For other gaffes galumphing across the world stage, tune in to Not Our Clients. Have you encountered a monster of a mistake? This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . If we honor it in our Goof-Up Grammys, we'll send you an Amazon gift card, redeemable toward the purchase of Gaga's Fame perfume or flip-up glasses or a meat-dress costume.


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