Three More Things I’d Like to Put Into a Time Capsule

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

Those of us who take public relations seriously have a great respect for the written word and the work we do.  Print and online communications is all about using words effectively; and, serious public relations professionals have great respect for the communications business and those who work in the business.

Today, I continue with what more than likely will be an infrequent post on stuff I’d like to see gone from our vocabulary, popular culture and the industry.  The 0nline community is filled with bloggers and commentators begging for contributions to “buzz words we’d like to see die” polls and other such nonsense.

The PRDude don’t need no stinkin’ poll.  Or no stinkin’ badges, for that matter.  He’d like to see the following just go away.

Stop the Debasement of “Vegetables.”  Here, I don’t mean the edible plants that grow in the ground and end up (although not often enough for some) on dinner tables.  I’m referring the awful bastardization of the word — “veggies.”  Why did this happen?  When did it become appropriate to use “veggies”  indiscriminately?  And, what can we do to reverse the course back to the fine word called “vegetables?”   The nice folks at Wikipedia offer this on the etymology of the word:

“”Vegetable” comes from the Latin vegetabilis (animated) and from vegetare (enliven), which is derived from vegetus (active), in reference to the process of a plant growing.”   That’s all I need to keep supporting the proper name for many edible things that end up on my plate a few times a day.

Would you refer to this as a "bunch of carroties?"

This nice ear of corn is a "vegetable!"

J-Lo, A-Rod, E-Nuff.  Call me an old fuddy-duddy.  I’ve been called worse.  But the time is now to put a halt to the abbreviation of names given to some celebrities.  Perhaps it’s an integral part of the hip-hop culture; and, many corporations — banks and other financial institutions come to mind — use abbreviations all the time.

But someone, please tell me where this policy got started and who determines which celebrity gets to have the initial-hyphen-shortend last name moniker.  And, if there’s a policy for singers and athletes, is there one for plumbers and grocery clerks?

This man's name is Alex Rodriquez. He plays for the New York Yankees and hits a lot of home runs.

This gorgeous woman is named Jennifer Lopez. She has acted in several films, sells lots of records and now is featured in a TV commercial for Fiat autos.

Man of God or Man of  Marketing?  One relatively new development in communications today is the word of mouth marketing movement.  It’s basically getting people who like your product, service, cause or organization to tell others to like it.  It’s fueled through social media, and there’s even an association based here in my home town of Chicago, the Word of Mouth Marketing Association, that does a tremendous job of promoting the practice of ethical word of mouth marketing.

Now to the issue: Some who take on these tasks have been given the title of “brand evangelist.”  Really? Do they shout fire and brimstone from the pulpit while thumping on an iPad?  Do they hold divinity or some related degree along with schooling in one of the communications disciplines?  Will they put “Brand Evangelist” on their resume when it’s time to find a new job?

St. Luke was one of the first evangelists. He looks pretty serious in this painting.

This man is a modern evangelist. Note the microphone.

Do you have “time capsule” ideas?  Share them with me and others.