Sunday, June 19, 2005

An Original Copy

I've been introduced to the site "Oxymoronica." My preliminary conclusion is that I love it. The word is defined by the site owner as

"[a]ny compilation of phrases or quotations that initially appear illogical or nonsensical, but upon reflection, make a good deal of sense and are often profoundly true."

But shame on me. I have been using the singular word oxymoron to refer to the plural occurrences of the phrases.
"When you have more than one oxymoron, what do you call them? The typical answer, of course, is oxymorons. But, technically, that would be wrong. The correct plural form of the word is oxymora.... If you want to be precise, oxymora is the word to use.
This is the kind of information that Oxymoronica provides. Important stuff, wot?
"[I]f you say oxymora, purists will nod approvingly, but average people may think you're a pretentious show-off. It's a judgment call.
I love this guy!

Dr. Mardy Grothe, the creator of the Web site, describes how he coined the word oxymoronica:
If erotica and exotica describe things that hold a special interest or fascination, then why not oxymoronica to refer to this special interest of mine? Just like that, a new word was born.
Yes, why not?

So, if you are like me, proclaim your love of oxymora with proud humility. Speak clearly ambiguous phrases, such as "Be careful what you wish for; it may come true," with premeditated spontaneity.

You never know, it may lead to planned serendipity in your life.

Who Needs Copywriters?

This is a good morning for a rant.

I'm not sure what prompted Jason Fried to write about writing for software in the "Signal vs. Noise" blog, but I always appreciate a good plug for technical writers. I agree with his point: pay attention to your writing.

I'm just not sure what prompted him to call it copywriting.

To me, copywriting is what marketeers do, and it involves words like scalable and cross-platform and verticals. Writers write. Marketeers write copy. I'm not the only one who thinks this.

I'm not sure why I'm so cranky about the term CopyWriting. I guess I think it's just overdone. The word Writing gets the point across, doesn't it? What more do you communicate by adding Copy to it? What else might I be writing? Dishes? DishWriting. As Jason notes, you should not use seven words when four will do. I add: don't use a double word, when the single one will do: writing, not copywriting.

CopyWriting seems like a wiki word to me. I'm cranky about them too.

So, despite my ranting, I urge you to do as he means, not as he says. Do not skimp on writing or writers. Pay attention to writing. It's an important part of the UX.

Allen -- visualizing interactive supply-chains leveraging world-class deliverables
um, and working as a writer. Need one?