Stop Bastardizing the Language: Four “ies” Words to Discard Now

By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)

Modern communicators know that sound strategies are behind messages that generate measurable results to a targeted audience.

So, my strategy today is to point out to everyone who publishes a book, blog, article, column, report, website or any other form of communication about the ridiculousness of incorporating “ies” to perfectly good English language words.

You know who you are: Writers who think it’s cool, cute and acceptable to add that silly, childish suffix to the modern lexicon. My request to you is:  Please stop.


For the love of proper English, I say.

Stop the “ies” nonsense now. For the love of proper English, I say.

As a serious modern communicator and staunch, ethical public relations practitioner, I am taking it upon myself to stop the bleeding and continued bastardization of communication units.

Where to start? Here are four “ies” words I’d like to banish immediately from common use:

  1. Foodies: Uh, just don’t get it. How do “foodies” differ from people who just likes to eat food? Is there a requirement to be classified as a true foodie? Is one who dislikes food a “foodud?” Who determines when someone crosses over to the foodie ranks?
  2. Cubbies: A personal assault to this life-long fan of the Chicago Cubs, and especially distasteful given the team’s collapse in the NLDC earlier this month. Referring to the team as “Cubbies” is akin to characters in a children’s fable. Perhaps the team would have won the World Series by now if this word never caught on.
  3. Selfies: An unfortunate fallout of today’s technology. And,
    Even Woody! Say it ain't so.

    Even Woody takes selfies! Say it ain’t so.  Say it ain’t so.

    this practice of taking a photo of oneself with a handheld has even created an industry and practice that involves use of a telescopic rod one has to carry around or rent. What will they think of next.

  4. Veggies:  According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word “vegetable” means “capable of life or growth; growing, vigorous.” Given its etymology, the word has a certain nobility to it, don’t you think? To me a “veggie” is what comes with a frozen dinner, not the ingredients in a delicious, savory harvest casserole.

Now it’s your turn, kind readers. What “ies” words should get tossed away like yesterday’s news?

* * *

This is not the first “manifesto” from the PRDude. Consider:






Chicago Cubs: Here’s Who Should Throw Out the First Pitch at NLCS

By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)

An open letter to the Chicago Cubs (and anyone else who wants to read this post):

After careful consideration, this life-long Chicago Cubs fans is making an unbiased recommendation on who should throw out the ceremonial first pitch when the team takes the field the evening of October 20 to face the New York Mets in the National League Championship Series at Wrigley Field:

Me, Edward M. Bury, APR.

Want some reasons why? Please keep reading.

  1. Long-Time Fandom: As noted, I’ve rooted for the Cubs as long as I can remember. There were good memories, and some not-so-good.  (Think 1969, 1984, 2003 — forget it; that’s ancient history.) At the end of the game, my allegiance never faltered.
  2. Color Blue: People have told me I look good in blue. Something about bringing out the green in my eyes. And, there will be lots of blue and green at Wrigley Field the evening of the first NLCS game.
  3.  Vintage Cap: The cap that accompanies this post was
    One of my most prized possessions.

    One of my most prized possessions. Note the “Ball” pin on the brim.

    purchased back in 1984. Or perhaps it was 1985. It’s “the same kind the players wear.” I’ve worn it only to games and while watching the Cubs during playoffs. I promise to wear it next Tuesday.

  4.  I’m an APR. Okay, so why should holding the Accreditation in Public Relations count toward my qualifications? Simple: I don’t have a ticket, and having the honor of throwing out the first pitch would get me a seat. I think.  I’m demonstrating open disclosure, a sign of ethical public relations practices.
  5. Not a Hater. If you’re like me, you’ve had enough of the references in the media and by fans to “the hated Cardinals” and now, “the hated Mets.” Get over it! It’s a baseball game and the Cub fans need to demonstrate positive energy.

As the Cubs prepare to take the field in tonight’s NLCS game in New York, I’ll be rooting for an opening series win. And, of course, I’ll be hoping to get the honor to stand on the mound and throw that first pitch Tuesday.

One more thing: I promise to throw a strike.

Go Cubs!





Chicago Cubs, Last Day Regular Season, Thoughts

By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)

On this cool, dreary, cloudy October 4, a day more akin to November, it’s warm, bright and sunny in Cubdom.


The guys with this emblem on their jerseys will play in the post season. Bu for how long?

Yes, it’s the last day of the Major League baseball regular season, and my Chicago Cubs — actually everyone’s Chicago Cubs — will be playing a meaningful game later this week.

Counting the hours, no minutes, until the first pitch Wednesday, against the very dangerous and talented Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park, where my Chicago Cubs will be playing a wild card, single elimination game in order to advance to the National League playoffs.

Well, let’s check that: Last night’s shutout win added more thrills to the 2015 season; the Cubs may host the Pirates at Wrigley Field with a win today.

As a lifelong and long-suffering Cubs fan, of course I’m thrilled my Chicago Cubs are in the post season.  And, while I won’t make a prediction, I will share these thoughts.

An artist's rendering of proposed renovations to the venerable Wrigley Field.

Later today, we’ll know if the Cubs will play the October 7 Wild Card game at Wrigley Field.

On the Field Headlines Are Best. Throughout this glorious season, one where the Cubs provided tremendous baseball drama, that drama was confined to the field of play. I can’t recall news reports of Cub players or management making headlines for what took place off the field.  (Well, unless you count the litigation with the property owners on Waveland and Sheffield avenues.) In short, skipper Joe Madden and his boys behaved themselves, keeping the focus on baseball and not antics that could get them in trouble.

Treating Baseball as It Should Be: A Game.  Years ago I read an article that included a line that stated: “The umpire yells ‘Play Ball’ at the start of a game, not ‘Work Ball.'” My 2015 Chicago Cubs know how to enjoy the game of baseball, but they do so in a workmanlike way. Scenes in the dugout show a team that’s relaxed but focused, and seemingly unaffected by a bad loss or bad call from umps. These guys are having fun, which much of the time leads to winning.

Little Things Lead to Big Wins. Visit this page from Major League Baseball for official stats. But some casual observations of my Cubs reveal a team that rarely got beat when failing to execute  fundamentals: Hitting the cutoff man, hitting behind the runner, laying down the bunt, putting the ball in play, turning the easy double play.  These little things have paid big dividends for the 2015 squad, setting them apart from many, many Cub squads of past seasons.

My Cubs today have as many wins this year as they had losses in  seasons not too long ago. In around an hour from now, they’ll take the field for their final regular season game against the Brewers in Milwaukee.

It means something, because the Cubs may get home-field advantage and host the Wild Card game.

Regardless of where the game is held, after the ump yells “Play Ball,” I’ll be watching, waiting and hoping.


But wait! There’s more from the PRDude on the Chicago Cubs: