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Exercise #28: Movie Star

Hollywood, CA—Entertainment industry sources are buzzing today with the gossip that the world’s last remaining noncelebrity, Phil Stackfield, a tax accountant from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is engaged to become the fifth husband of model, country singer, and celebrity cage-fighting phenom Darla Chartreuse. Chartreuse, 27, who began life as Darlene Carter, is the platinum-blonde star attraction of Fox Ultra Reality Channel’s Celebrity Death Match and the singer-songwriter who scored Grammy gold last year with …more

Boot Camp Day 10: Can I Get a Witness?

I received an e-mail today from Patty Gras at KUHT (Houston PBS). She’s a producer and the host of a “health and lifestyle” show called Living Smart. The show features topics related to health, alternative medicine, diet, self-improvement, and so forth. Here’s what she has to say about an upcoming show:

“Did you know the happiest man on the planet is a Buddhist monk? Scientists checked his brain waves and found him to be the most joyful person on earth, so we decided to talk to another monk, Master Jian Xiao Shih, so he could share some of the secrets to happiness!

“Master Shih of the Chung Tai Zen center of Houston will share the art …more

“The Language of Marketing”

A client raised my hackles recently by asking me to redesign a brochure with “more of a marketing appeal.” She presented an example—a mockup of a brochure cover with a huge photo that had nothing to do with the content and a few sparse blocks of words conveying little real information. The meager text referred to “all new world-class courses” that would offer “everything you need” to meet deadlines and budgets and would give you business analysis skills to “ensure flawless execution.” It sounded like unsustainable hyperbole to me—empty, meaningless phrases—but the client’s reaction to the piece was, “This is what I mean about a fresh sexy look. If you read each category you see the language of marketing coming through.”