Most of the time, we leave our politics at home. But this time isn’t like most times. And because we’re all about words that’s what we’re going to talk about today, specifically the words Mr. Trump used over and over again in his campaign.
Look, his policies are his policies, and to be honest, we don’t know enough about them to comment one way or the other on their efficacy — of if he’s even going to follow through on them.
But we do know what a word can do to legitimize hatred, prejudice and ignorance. And it’s up to all of us, Americans, Canadians, Europeans, everybody, to teach our children that these words are NOT okay.
It’s not okay to mock disabled people.
It’s not okay to insinuate that all people of a certain background are a certain way.
It’s not okay to body shame people.
It’s not okay to draw subtle correlations between hard times and Jewish bankers who are making it so.
It’s not okay.
We say this especially to those of you who have young children because they’re all going to get in trouble one day for saying at least one of these things. And you have to be steadfast in telling them that it’s not okay.
And when they come back and say, “Well, the president says it,” and you feel like you have no apt response because, well, the President DID say those things, you have to tell your children that the president was wrong.
It’s not an easy thing to do because the president is supposed to be the yard stick by which everyone measures their own conduct.
We don’t have that luxury now, so it’s up to us to fill that gap.
Don’t let the words of a buffoon define what is and isn’t acceptable. We’ve seen far too often throughout history where this leads. And we certainly don’t want to see it again.
Dan went apple picking this week with his kid and twelve other kids. It quickly descended into little shits throwing apples at one another and tired parents trying to avoid black eyes. Good times.
And then something lovely happened. Here’s how he tells it.
“I’d had it. Seriously, man. I was ready to leave him there. And as I led him by the arm towards the check-out barn to pay for our apples, I laughed for the first time all afternoon. I saw this fantastic sign on the barn door, and the corners of my mouth went up without me trying really hard to feign happiness. I could’ve kissed the orchard master for that.”
First of all, Dan — well played on “orchard master.” So much better than “owner.” But also, that natural grin you described is a common effect of good writing, because good writing’s easy to read. And easy makes us smile.
That goes for writing in any medium. How many more instruction manuals would get read if they weren’t written with such little consideration for readability? And how many accidents could be avoided because of it?
In the boardroom, how many awkward snoring situations could be avoided if the writing in the presentations wasn’t so dry and verbose?
And don’t even get us started on websites. Or get us started on websites. Maybe your website? We do those, y’know.
BTW, here’s the sign Dan saw:
Maclean’s, one of Canada’s finest magazines, and Dan’s favourite, recently put out a video about the history and etymology of swear words. It’s interesting, but the one line that made us think the most was the explanation for the reason we enjoy saying fuck:
The explosive consonantal opening sound, short vowel in the middle and a hard ending make it extremely satisfying.
Amen to that. The combination has gotten us through many a stubbed toe, lost set of keys and less-than-reasonable client request.
But it got us thinking about the extension of the word fuck: motherfucker.
First of all, if we step back and consider it, it’s really gross (and illegal).
But that aside, we found it so interesting the way different people drop it. Some leave out a few of the consonants so it becomes muha fugga. Some over-emphasize the final “r,” giving it a rather dorky feel. And, not sure if you noticed, but motherfucker is uniquely North American. You don’t hear Europeans dropping it ¾ like you never hear us saying bollux or poxy.
Of course, because it’s 2016, we took to the Internet in search of motherfuckers. And we hit the motherfuckin’ load.
The problem with writing is the immediacy and relative ease by which something can be changed. It doesn’t take a ton of effort to open a copy deck on your computer and do something different.
And so, when some clients want you to make a copy change, they think it’s that easy.
Those are the clients we don’t have. We have the others. The ones who see value in the writing process. The ones who are never in “hurry up and wait” because they were prepared beforehand for any directional changes.
We work with clients who take chances, who want their messages to stand out. And that’s why they pay us.
Sounds like the kind of client you want to work with? We don’t blame you. So send your resume and/or portfolio to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’re looking for copywriters, technical writers, copy editors, proofreaders and F-E/E-F translators. We’re not married to full-time freelance. But either way, our office is among the best in the city.
We’re not horn-tooters. For the most part, we sit in our little office pounding out words. We get happy when a client gives us the opportunity to make ourselves laugh. We get happier when someone comes back to the office with a shawarma platter from Alexandria’s. And we’re happiest when we’re busy as stink. We thrive on it.
But today we’re gonna toot our horn for a second. And we’re gonna get super jacked about ourselves. And then it’ll be over and it’ll be back to business.
We’re now writing about North American sports for one of the largest sports content providers on the planet.
For those of you who don’t know Dan, he’s a sports junky. He’s the guy who road trips with his buddies to see awesome stadia, the guy who’s repeatedly ignored his children because there was something brewing in the game. So for him to be leading the charge on this stuff is pretty spectacular.
Gina’s a hockey nerd. Shell talk passionately about politics or cooking or what makes writing good. But get her talking about the Maple Leafs — no seriously, we dare you. She wants tickets to games. Lots of them. And she’ll get them in time.
Okay. Back to business.