Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Delta R

What a difference an “r” makes. Without it, the word signalwrite is my Web address. With it, signalwriter is part of my blog address. (You have to add a dot and a “blogspot” to it, plus the usual “com,” etc. See above.) Get the distinction?

That one-letter change, the delta as we say in physics and chemistry, will help you distinguish between my Web site address and my blog.

What is the distinction, you inquire? Well, “write” is the verb form; cleverly, it takes both transitive and intransitive forms. It really means “to express or communicate in writing” – just the kind of thing I do for clients. It is the writing that helps clients market to their customers, to send the right signals. I can write up a storm, write off a debt (which doesn’t happen too often), write in my journal…but never write down to my audience.

When I “express ideas in writing,” I am a writer: “One whose occupation is writing” for client marketing communication programs. Add the “r” (technically, the suffix “-er’), and I differentiate myself as a person from the object of my occupation. Writer, thinker, presenter, creator – okay, that’s an “-or,” but you get the idea. I am also “taller,” although this is really a comparative adjective.

Somewhere along the advertising line, “creator” became “creative” – here, a noun describing the bead-wearing casual dressers around the advertising agency that came up with the weird (and often award-winning) ideas.

I’m partial to “r” since it appears so frequently in my name…four times altogether. It has more meanings than you imagine. Not too long ago, for example, you were only supposed to eat oysters harvested in months with an “r” because those are the colder months – you didn’t want summertime oysters because you might croak.* Which would make you a frog.

Write is what I do. Writer is what I am. Surprisingly, there is no “r” in “ad guy.” I can live with it.

*Urban legend, to be exploded in a later post.

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