With October 31st around the corner, it’s the perfect time to discuss a subject that’s near and dear to my heart: What happened to the apostrophe that used to live in Hallowe’en? And how long has it been missing?
For years, I thought I’d never find that charming throwback to Ye Olde Worlde punctuation, but then I’ll be darned if it didn’t turn up the other day gratuitously tacked on to the title of the Lands’ End catalog. At least, I think that’s the same one. Or maybe the Lands’ End bonus apostrophe is the rogue migrant that’s missing from Maurices clothing chain store, and has nothing to do with Hallowe’en at all.
The Language Ninja is back, answering your burning grammatical questions. Of course, if the burning persists post-answer, see your doctor.
Q: What’s the difference between “who” and “whom,” and does it matter?
A: Well, the difference matters as much as any non life-threatening issue matters. The Ebola virus certainly doesn’t give a damn.
But, for those of you who either possess a high degree of intellectual curiosity or grammar-specific OCD, the who/whom distinction could be a weighty issue.
Commodities have been on my mind as of late. I’m not talking about the “Trading Spaces” kind, but rather those that are mistaken for commodities when they’re actually not — especially services. This all came about when a client of mine requested that we chat about a new direction for his company’s blogs. We’d been focusing on some of the graphic design elements of the company’s service offering and hadn’t received much feedback as of late, so when I was contacted to discuss details, I got excited. Feedback and client involvement is a strong component in effective, targeted content.
Ah, fall: my favorite time of year. I’m not a full-fledged drive-thru maven in yoga pants with an uncontrolled addiction to #PSLs, but I do love a touch of fall flavor. Interestingly, autumn is really a season of decay in some senses: the leaves wither and fall, the air turns colder, and warm ovens turn the harvest’s bounty into pie after pie.
Even though this season is about things falling away, it’s still impossibly joyful for many people. Perhaps it’s our collective recognition of the fact that when things wither and die, they will come back renewed after a winter of rest. Whatever it is, we can’t get enough of fall. And perhaps the world of business writing, copy, and marketing could use a touch a pumpkin spice.
Here are a few lessons we can all glean from some of fall’s most cherished pastimes and traditions. This is an excellent time of year to do a bit of “cleaning house,” just as we pack away the shorts and bring out the sweaters with October’s first chill.