The Caution Race

A “caution race” currently is underway in the cruise line public relations practice.

It started with the political unrest in Egypt a couple of years back when cruise lines in media statements canceled port calls at potentially unstable destinations “as a precaution.”

Over the past year, however, the caution race has escalated, with cruise lines canceling calls or taking ships out of service in “an abundance of caution.”

Most recently I read a cruise line statement regarding an itinerary-change decision … Read the rest

15 Words You Shouldn’t Oughta Use

From Ragan’s PR Daily:

No authoritarian authority exists that determines whether a given word is valid or bogus. In any language, there’s a complex and imperfect vetting procedure; at least in English, most serious writers agree on the correct or preferred form of a word that is one of two or more variants or on whether a word is acceptable at all.
Here’s a list of words that have been under scrutiny in this approval process:

1. Administrate: A

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The Current Worst of PR Jargon (Stay Tuned, It Will Change)

U.K.-based PR firm Twelve Thirty Eight has compiled this list of public relations jargon terms that suck the meaning out of intelligent discourse. U.K. journalists offered their least favorite PR terms, so the list has the dual limitations of being A) Anglocentric and B) just a little behind the times in terms of American popular usage. In other words, it is not ground-breaking and does not constitute a paradigm shift.

Nonetheless, at the end of the day it does contain … Read the rest

AP Stylebook a Window on the News

I subscribe to the Associated Press Stylebook online. For $20 a year, you can’t beat it for an instantly accessible, continually updated resource. And they send out periodic email updates with new items, clarifications and pronunciation guides that constitute a kind of meta look back at recent headlines, politics and trends. Here are some true-to-type examples from today’s update.

If enough reporters repeatedly make grammatical mistakes that drive editors crazy, it merits an entry: a, an — The update adds Read the rest

Sign of the Times — ‘Austerity’ Chosen as Word of the Year

These are dark days, indeed. Merriam-Webster, the dictionary people, noted that “austerity” was searched more than 250,000 times on its website, thereby earning the 14th-century noun Word of the Year honors, however dubious they might be.

The other most popular words of 2010 included “pragmatic,” “moratorium,” “socialism” and “bigot” — M-W cited the last word as a result of its public use by former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, former CNN host Rick Sanchez and former NPR senior analyst … Read the rest