March 27th, 2015
Author: Dianne Craig
On Words: March

It’s spring! A season of growth, or as Robin Williams once said, “Spring is nature’s way of saying, Let’s Party!” In the spirit of this growing and building season, this month we look at some structural grammar issues – specifically, double constructions and squinting modifiers.

Double Constructions

This is a reference to those times when a part of speech is duplicated unnecessarily in an effort to ensure clarity. Simply put, it’s a way of over-explaining. The University of Toronto calls this ‘grammar overkill’. Double constructions are unnecessary, read as clunky, and break the flow: Read More

 
March 27th, 2015
Author: Ashleigh Mair
#ICYMI YouTube dabbles with video toggling and Twitter gives businesses the reins

ICYMI - March 25

In this week’s ICYMI, we look at a recent addition to YouTube that allows users to pick their preferred angle when viewing videos and a new tool on Twitter that enables businesses to promote tweets more efficiently. Read More

 
March 19th, 2015
Author: Gayle Robin
OpenTable selects StrategicAmpersand as Agency of Record for Canada

 

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As Canada’s leading integrated marketing communications agency, we have always had an appetite for cooking up and delivering targeted, and successful, PR and marketing campaigns.

With that in mind, we are more than thrilled to announce that OpenTable — the world’s leading provider of online restaurant reservations — has selected StrategicAmpersand as its agency of record (AOR) for Canada! Read More

 
March 4th, 2015
Author: Catherine Brasch
#ICYMI: Facebook is controlling the amount of promotional posts you see

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We’re back with a great update from social media! In this edition of #ICYMI we look at an update to Facebook promotional posts that took effect in January. Read More

 
February 26th, 2015
Author: Dianne Craig
On Words

February 2015 OnWords

This month we look at flat adverbs, which are increasingly popular but often ruffle feathers because they seem to break the rules. Also, if you’ve ever wondered whether ‘that’ or ‘which’ is the right word to introduce a clause you’ll find out in this month’s issue of On Words. Read More

 
February 12th, 2015
Author: Gayle Robin
Designing Effective Creative
 
January 16th, 2015
Author: Dianne Craig
On Words: January 2015 Grammar Tips

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When a new year begins, many of us look at everything with fresh eyes and renewed enthusiasm. It’s a good time to remember the importance of good grammar and to remember the best written or spoken communications are about much more than the mechanics. Clarity, brevity and using the right tone all make a big difference, while having a passion for language helps with composition. In this post, we look at hyphenating compound adjectives, an odd headline, and more ‘confusables.’ Read More

 
December 17th, 2014
Author: Andrea Berry
The Crammer’s Guide to Last-Minute Holiday Shopping

For those of us in denial, the holidays are here! And if you’re like some of us here at StrategicAmpersand, you haven’t even started your shopping list! So, to make holiday shopping a bit easier, we’ve come up with a few ideas for those ‘tricky’ folks on your list.

For the builder and creator on your list:

The LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Milano Spaceship Rescue is THE signature set from LEGO’s Guardians of The Galaxy line, the latest in its Marvel Super Heroes collection. Recreate one of the most exciting moments from 2014’s summer blockbuster in stunning detail, with five mini-figures – including three of the Guardians (Star-Lord, Drax and Gamora) – and 665 pieces. This is sure to be a hit with the ‘young’uns’, and young at heart, on your list this holiday season.

As LEGO says about The Milano Spaceship Rescue: Prepare for an epic clash between the Guardians of the Galaxy™ and the ultimate villain, Ronan™!
Read More

 
November 17th, 2014
Author: Dianne Craig
On Words: November Grammar Tips

On Words is designed to help build or renew your grammar skills. This month we look at run-on sentences, overuse of passive voice, usage of semi-colons and more ‘confusables’ – words  often mistaken for each other.

With educated people, I suppose, punctuation is a matter of rule; with me it is a matter of feeling. But I must say I have a great respect for the semi-colon; it’s a useful little chap.

- Abraham Lincoln

Using Semi-colons:
You may disagree with Abraham Lincoln, but there are instances where semi-colons serve a good purpose. The University of Toronto writing department advises using a semicolon to join independent clauses without a coordinating conjunction (and, or, nor, but, so, yet, for), and gives this example:  “Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Had there been a coordinating conjunction like ‘and’, you would use a comma instead, as in “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Tip: You can use a semi-colon if the two clauses in a sentence can stand as sentences on their own, as in the first example above.

Exception: Semi-colons can also be used occasionally as ‘supercommas’ between items in a complicated list, as in, “I have a three-day layover in Amsterdam; another stop in Geneva; and a third stop in Frankfurt.”

Avoiding run-on sentences
It’s easy to get carried away and try to pack too much information into one sentence. I know, because I’ve done it. Sentences that become bloated by going off in too many directions and containing too many words are a reader turn-off.

Tip: Ensure each sentence expresses only one central idea. Read More

 
November 12th, 2014
Author: Jennifer Rideout
The biggest mistake your brand can make on social media, and how to avoid it

ICYMI - June 23

At StrategicAmpersand, we manage many social media programs for clients, as well as provide support to in-house teams. We’ve seen and discussed, a lot of social strategy. And there is one mistake that brands – B2B or B2C – make in their social media strategy that is often repeated. Read More