authors & audience grammar & speech

Little ears

Setting: in a bank branch
Teller: How old is she?
Customer: She’s 4, and we have another at home 2½.
Teller: I have a 1½. We might have another when this one is potty trained.
Child: Mommy, why are we here?
Customer: I’m getting a check.
Child: Looks puzzled by the unfamiliar transaction.
Customer: Realizes the setting. Emily, when we go to the bank we get a C-H-E-Q-U-E. We get C-H-E-C-K-E-D when we go to the doctor.

A piece of paper and a lollipop appear to cure all.

grammar & speech

Follower types

Passionate followers of John McCain are called McCainites but I wondered what name is given to Obama followers? Try pronouncing ‘Obamaite’. Is it 3 or 4 syllables? Do people just make up names?
A new site called The Global Language Monitor talks about trends and words and has an article about ObamaSpeak.

authors & audience

Scanning v reading

I came across a business article that reads in part, “… we will use a link from XI — our [acquired] platform — to our [existing] platform …”.

Hmm? How does the author want us to pronounce the word “XI”? Possible options are:

  • Eleven
  • Ex-Eye
  • Zee

Does pronunciation matter? Perhaps not so much in scanning. But when you’re pitching a product, knowing how it’s pronounced matters big. However, anyone reading the article might find it helpful to know that “XI” refers to, let’s say, the eleventh release.

If your product name matters, then treat it like your own name. Don’t make me guess it wrong.