Entries by Howard Daniel

‘CorporateSpeak’ and Condescension in Business Letters

A business letter In his novel 1984, George Orwell wrote about Newspeak,1 which “Big Brother” — i.e., the totalitarian government — wanted to substitute for Oldspeak (everyday English). In 1984’s dystopian society, the objective of Newspeak was to strengthen government control of the populace by shaping and limiting its vocabulary. I’ve begun this piece by referring […]

Unless You’re Prepared for People to Ignore — and Maybe Sometimes Laugh at — What You Write, You Might Need the Help of an Editor or Copywriter

If you must smoke, please do it quietly! Yesterday a friend asked if I’d like to speak at his Rotary Club in a few months. We tentatively agreed on a topic, namely the title of this post. The following is a preview of some of the territory I expect to cover in this and another […]

Look, Mom – Fish Sauce!

Have you ever wondered about fish sauce, the all-but-ubiquitous ingredient in so much of Vietnamese, Thai and several other Southeast Asian cuisines? The one that, when sitting innocently on the table in an unlabeled bottle, looks almost identical to soy sauce but which has a peculiar fragrance and flavor that seem quite unlike anything you […]