Friday, October 16, 2009
A long time ago I lived in Maseru, Lesotho, and there was this fabulous restaurant we’d go to for celebrations called Fat Alice. I particularly remember the restaurant’s creamy hummus garnished with kalamata olives, crunchy wee pickles, and smoked paprika, not the least because my parents would reserve the olives and pickles for me and my brother. Anyway, we always left there stuffed and happy. Before we returned to Canada, Fat Alice made us a gift of their poster, which we framed. As you can see from the pictures, the restaurant’s slogan was “Fat Alice’s Restaurant: Nobody leaves here thin.”
I love it for its boldness and sense of humour. It would have been awful if it had been paired with a shmarmy image, but it wasn’t—the picture is romantic, soft, and playfully suggestive.
Now on the other hand, I reacted negatively to Coke’s 2009 slogan: Open Happiness.
I don’t enjoy the contrived nostalgia, the nod to a “simpler” time (perhaps the 1950s). I don’t like the equation of drinking cola to happiness. I feel like they’re trying to con me in an arch sort of way. But I’m not the target audience.
Posted by Kiley Turner on 10/16 at 08:44 AM
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Craig sent me to the website of Herrainco, a design shop in Richmond, BC, after he checked out the way they presented their portfolio of work.
All I can say is WOW. No wait, I can say more. Beautiful pictures, perfect balance of spare (layout) and lush (photography), and small but clear invitation to read more about the project. The slim gold back and forward arrows are a nice touch, too.
We’re thinking about refreshing our portfolio. Any impressive examples you’ve seen lately? Send ‘em our way.
Posted by Kiley Turner on 10/07 at 12:24 PM
Thursday, October 01, 2009
If every person could look inside a professional editor’s office, they’d be surprised and relieved to know how often two books are in the perennial open position: a style manual and a dictionary. No one, absolutely no one, knows everything about language, and the best editors and writers are those who embrace this and make a point of looking things up whenever there’s a sliver of doubt. This practice is in fact a main reason they are so good at their jobs.
So today I’m going to cover two mistakes I see lots in my day-to-day work that some of you will find very basic and “duh.” If you fall into this camp, rest assured that you likely stumble over things that other people find amazingly easy. I certainly do. As we become more and more digital and involved in micro-format writing (e.g., Twitter and Facebook), our punctuation and usage skills can get rusty.
#1: It’s and its
There is only one reason to use it’s: to contract it is. Therefore:
- “It’s cold today.”
- “He told me that it’s the best restaurant he’s ever been to.”
Otherwise you want its.
- “Its teeth were jagged and it growled menacingly.”
- “There is no way its contents could have been leaked.”
This can be confusing because we’re so used to seeing ‘s indicate possession. If it’s any help, think of the apostrophe as standing in for the i of is. Otherwise, just keep coming back here!
#2: I.e., and E.g.,
These abbreviations truncate Latin words. I’m not going to go there because no one remembers the Latin. What you need to know is that i.e., and e.g., (and yes, they require the periods and commas) are not interchangeable; they stand for very different things.
- i.e., means that is.
- e.g., means for example.
- “If you’ve never visited the area, consult a travel guide (e.g., Lonely Planet or Fodor’s).”
- “His heroes, i.e., Spiderman and Indiana Jones, occupied prime positions on his window sill.”
Grammar Girl provides some handy help on i.e., and e.g., so go there if you’re a tips and tricks kind of person.
Till next week (or the week after),
Posted by Kiley Turner on 10/01 at 11:37 AM