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January 31, 2009


Brad Shorr

Dan, Great post, which also reminds us that the English language is continuously changing, and probably at an ever increasing pace. It's interesting to think about what our words will sound like to people forty or fifty years from now. They might be writing a blog post just like this one - about this very post!

Teresa Henderson

You didn't mention "cadeau" which is used a couple of times in my third-favorite-book-of-all-time (behind The Good Earth and the Grapes of Wrath). And "governess." Who says that these days?

I love that book.


Hello, this is my first time stopping in at your blog. I love Jane Eyre for the rich language. I just finished Count of Monte Cristo and learned quite a few new (old!) words. The way Dumas used "prodigal" was different from common usage and a quick look in the dictionary showed me that I'd been using the word incorrectly all my life.


Very pleased to have stumbled across your blog. I plan to visit it several times a week.

Sherrilynne Starkie

Excellent post. Love Bronte!

B. A. Fine

Referring to an amber-colored hair ornament: "it contrasted well with the jetty mass of her curls."

Thank you a fascinating post!

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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).