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July 20, 2007


Lisa Braithwaite

Mochalala reminded me of another new use of the word "off." I haven't heard "cover off", but if you ever watch a cooking show, you'll hear "baked off" ("I baked off the pie crust") and on home improvement shows I've been hearing "paint off" as in, "I painted off this chair." I know I've heard it in another context, too, but I can't remember the third example. What the heck?

Marilynn Mobley

I tend to dislike most words ending with "ize." Apparently, you can add "ize" to any word to make it a verb, as some of my clients and colleagues have repeatedly demonstrated.


Here's a phrase that I can't stand: come-to-Jesus. I cringe when I hear people use it, and I think it's inappropriate to use it in a business setting because of it's religious suggestion.

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Why "Word Wise"?

  • When I started to e-mail out a weekly writing tip to my Chicago colleagues at Edelman in 2002, little did I know how quickly how many people outside my office would start to request it. But word spread, as word is wont to do, and in 2006 the e-mail evolved into this blog. The tips, which are about grammar, usage and style, have a dual purpose – to remind my colleagues in PR of the power of the written word and, more generally, to support and perpetuate clear, concise, creative, honest, lively, stylish, compelling writing everywhere. In 2009 I started to add commentary about and links to stories and other blog posts related to the media, marketing, writing and, sometimes, just interesting stuff. For some reason, I also started Twittering (at SantowDan).