The Unfortunate Thing About Ghosts

These days, I’m enjoying ghost-writing op-eds, scripts and speeches and solving (behind the scenes) dilemmas that affect organizations’ reputations. Much of what I do is considered proprietary or confidential, and my clients prefer my behind-the-curtain involvement not be known. I don’t get the byline or the credit. And that is absolutely OK with me. The […]

Will AI take this joy away?

I’ve experimented with AI. It’s impressive. And I know we need to embrace technology and take advantage of its efficiencies…. Or do we? I say we take a pause. Even rewind. Why are we assigning bots all the fun? I love writing. I want my grandkids to love writing. I say we get the bots […]

Pack Lighter, Write Better

I just relocated from the southeast side of Cleveland to the Hilton Head area of South Carolina after decades of Ohio consumption. Ugh. As hard as I tried, as much as I kept purging, I still had far too much to pack, unpack, force-fit and make sense of. Of course, the whole experience makes me […]

100 Stories

One way Cleveland Clinic celebrated its centennial was by giving 100 extraordinary individuals the opportunity to share their hospital experiences. I am proud of the role I played in helping patients, donors and employees craft their stories in their own words. Here’s how we started off a few:

For Real, What Should You Pay a Professional Writer?

When I shop online for shoes, clothes, electronics … even hotels or housewares … I select the filters that allow me to look at the most expensive items first. I typically want to know what the best in the category looks like. Once I do that, I may attempt to do a little comparative shopping […]

Bear vs. Bare.

I’m going to assume everyone knows the large, furry mammal is a “bear” and when a woman wears a tank top, her arms are “bare.” But after that, a person can get confused. “Bear” can mean “to carry the weight of or support, take responsibility for” or “to endure (an ordeal or difficulty),” according to […]

Word Stock.

We’re always adding new words to our lexicon. I often think we oughtn’t. New entries to the Oxford English Dictionary last year included “simples,” “chillax,” and “whatevs.” I’ll rest my case there. OK, of course, some additions are probably necessary. This year, a bundle have been added around the language of Covid-19 alone. (Or as AP would […]

Write nice, please.

Tell me: What did “unique,” “narrative,” “solution,” “dialogue,” “world-class” or “state-of-the-art” ever do to you, corporate America? Why abuse them so much and then grow to hate them and forbid them re-entry into our lexicon? And why have we all embraced this idea of turning perfectly good words into annoying nonwords, like “so” at the […]

Why “Content” must die.

Let’s be honest. We’ve just been piling it on, haven’t we? Often with zero regard for our intended audiences. “Content,” like “quality,” has lost its meaning. Our overuse of the term – and our abuse of the discipline – has made it a tired and meaningless conceit. Content, for the sake of content, should never […]

Three Things #1

Note: To subscribe to my e-newsletter, please email me at [email protected]. Hello and happy spring! You’re a smart, interesting fellow-believer in the power of words, so I’d really like to stay in touch. I hope you’ll say YES! to this sprightly once-monthly e-hello. And consider writing back when something resonates and time permits. Let’s give it a […]