Monday, November 15, 2010

Around the Word

We're starting the week with a crash course in communications: Gotham President Dan Gerstein comments on concession speech gaffes, Ragan debates the worth of writing in corporate communications, and the roar of Mama Grizzly goes down in linguistic history.
  • Gotham's on TV: last week, in the wake of the mid-term elections, Fox News asked Dan to comment on concession speech goof-ups and the value of losing gracefully. While Christine O'Donnell's declaration that "We have won!" didn't seem particularly gracious—or even accurate—Dan applauds Linda McMahon's willingness to throw in the towel and congratulate her opponent. Check out the full clip for more analysis of the season's rhetorical winners and losers.
  • "Getting the message across" is the bottom line in corporate communications, but in the modern business world, just how much does literary finesse matter? Ragan's Russell Working referees the scrimmage between the craftsmen and the critics. In the digital age, communications expert Liam FitzPatrick tells Working, companies are looking for "good communications" rather than "great writers." Former journalism school prof Don Ranly, however, disagrees: a company "will look like idiots if there isn't somebody writing decent copy." What do you think—have new media pulled the rug out from under writing?
  • Here's another feather in Sarah Palin's bonnet—neologist of the year. "Refudiate" has been declared the New Oxford American Dictionary's 2010 Word of the Year, edging out "bankster" (a hybrid of banker and gangster), "retweet," and "Tea Party." Not quite identical to its parents "repudiate" and "refute," the infant word means something akin to "reject." CBS news hosts the clip of Palin's first call to "refudiate"—though the word actually made its television debut when John McCain used it on the Letterman Show in 2009.

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