Do you know where you’re going to?

That’s the signature line from the Theme from Mahogany by Diana Ross. A lovely number, back in the day it was a sensation. But that line. Well, as tuneful at it is it also happens to be wrong. As a sentence it’s grammatically incorrect. Ask any 7th grader. it ends in –or should I say ends with- a preposition. Spell check will tell you the same thing. That “to” is tacked on. Technically, the line should be, “Do you know where you’re going?”

However, the correct line would also be the wrong line. Without that tiny,”incorrect” word the song may very well have failed. Theme from Mahogany might not have even happened.

Which got me to thinking about copywriting. How many times have we also used poor writing (grammatically speaking) to deliver stunning creative results?

“Think Different” anyone?

It’s what we do. It’s what we’re supposed to do. Good copy takes poetic license with the written word. And sometimes that means ending a sentence with a preposition. Or starting one with one. Or repeating words like “one” to make a point. To stand out. To shine. That’s the same reason I just used two phrases as complete sentences, even though spell check implored me not to. And look at that. There’s “to” at the end of another sentence. For that matter there’s “that.”

I realize all this may seem quaint in the age of social media and texting. Never before has the written word taken so much abuse. Brutal spelling, abbreviations and the like have manhandled the world’s languages into grotesque shorthand.

But that is how people choose to communicate. We like it. And for the most part, any and all marketing communications must adjust accordingly or risk dying off like big words and good manners.

For superb copy, creative direction and the purposeful misuse of prepositions : https://steffanwork.wordpress.com/

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Do you know where you’re going to?

That’s the signature line from the Theme from Mahogany by Diana Ross. A lovely number, back in the day it was a sensation. But that line. Well, as tuneful at it is it also happens to be wrong. As a sentence it’s grammatically incorrect. Ask any 7th grader. it ends in –or should I say ends with- a preposition. Spell check will tell you the same thing. That “to” is tacked on. Technically, the line should be, “Do you know where you’re going?”

However, the correct line would also be the wrong line. Without that tiny,”incorrect” word the song may very well have failed. Theme from Mahogany might not have even happened.

Which got me to thinking about copywriting. How many times have we also used poor writing (grammatically speaking) to deliver stunning creative results?

“Think Different” anyone?

It’s what we do. It’s what we’re supposed to do. Good copy takes poetic license with the written word. And sometimes that means ending a sentence with a preposition. Or starting one with one. Or repeating words like “one” to make a point. To stand out. To shine. That’s the same reason I just used two phrases as complete sentences, even though spell check implored me not to. And look at that. There’s “to” at the end of another sentence. For that matter there’s “that.”

I realize all this may seem quaint in the age of social media and texting. Never before has the written word taken so much abuse by such a mass audience. Brutal spelling, abbreviations and the like have manhandled the world’s languages into grotesque shorthand.

But that is how people choose to communicate. We like it. And for the most part, any and all marketing communications must adjust accordingly or risk dying off like big words and good manners.

MOTORHEAD_SKULL_CLOSEUP_by_Vijay_Artman
Beauty from inside… this?

Bit of an unusual post here…

I want you to read the lyrics below. Beautiful and bittersweet, they are about maturity and self-realization. How I managed to never know this song I’ll never know. But discovering beauty where you least expect it is one of life’s small joys. When you are done reading watch the video below to see the artist performing his tune (from a link supplied to me by a Facebook friend, Alex Anderson).

If you can resist scrolling ahead first try and guess who the artist is. Unless you know the material (or recognize my numerous spoilers) I can’t imagine you’ll get it right. The author stepped outside of his comfort zone to write it. Way outside. And that’s part of what makes it so special.

While you listen to the song I want you to think about writing and composition. If you are a writer think about how hard it is to come up with good words, let alone music to support them. My opinion, John Lennon could have penned this song. But he didn’t.

Anything is possible. Even a beast can have a brave and courageous heart. And a shit ton of talent.

I Ain’t No Nice Guy

When I was young I was the nicest guy I knew
I thought I was the chosen one
But time went by and I found out a thing or two
My shine wore off as time wore on
I thought that I was living out the perfect life
But in the lonely hours when the truth begins to bite
I thought about the times when I turned my back & stalled

I ain’t no nice guy after all

When I was young I was the only game in town
I thought I had it down for sure,
But time went by and I was lost in what I found
The reasons blurred, the way unsure
I thought that I was living life the only way
But as I saw that life was more than day to day
I turned around, I read the writing on the wall

I ain’t no nice guy after all
I ain’t no nice guy after all

In all the years you spend between your birth and death
You find there’s lots of times you should have saved your breath
It comes as quite a shock when that trip leads to fall

I ain’t no nice guy after all


Lemmy Kilmister, you are the man.