Thanks to Sticker Mule, the be-verb bumper stickers once again abound.
Recently, a car pulled up next to my Prius at a stoplight in downtown Portland. The driver opened her window and asked, “What does your bumper sticker mean?” Through my passenger window, I told her that it means to look for verbs like “is” and “were” and “are,” and then consider how you might reword to make the writing tighter and more impactful.
“You made my day,” I said.
“You made MY day,” she said.
(For the full answer to her question, see this chapter from Word Up!)
Get your own bumper sticker, and make someone’s day. While you’re at it, get several: one for your car, one for your bulletin board, one for your fridge door, one for your bathroom mirror, one for your best friend’s bathroom mirror.
All you have to do is … Scratch that “is.” Ask! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your mailing address. (I won’t use your address for anything else.)
Hat tip to Brian Poulsen for the design.