Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh

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Touchy, feely, gaggy

I call shenanigans. At first, I even called it a gag. The Oregonian's changed the name of its entertainment-lifestyle-review-and-comics section from "Living" to "How We Live."

I'm touchy-feely, and even I think that's too touchy-feely. It sounds like something to be announced by a Sensitive-Voiced Announcer (not the boomingly ominous Don LaFontaine or Peter Cullen, though that might be funny). It reminds me of my first reaction to Safeway's slogan "Safeway: Ingredients For Life." I'd mentally edit it to "Safeway: Even We Can Be Pretentious."

What exact purpose does the renaming serve? "Living" conveyed the same idea in two syllables and one word: this takes three syllables and three words. William Strunk would be unimpressed. Is it to make the section more distinctive? Y'know, set it apart from the papers who call it "Living" as well or "Life" or "Style" or "Lifestyle"? Well, the only content change I've noticed is that The Edge, a column of short-and-sweet smart-assedness that used to run along the left side of Living Page 1, is now along the right side of How We Live's back page. So one bit of distinctiveness is now a little more hidden. So maybe that's not why the paper changed it.

And it'll still be the "Living" section to me. Hey, I lived in Northern Virginia for years and read The Washington Post, whose Friday arts-and-entertainment insert was called "Weekend," and I still refer to all such sections generically as Weekend because I liked the name. I doubt I'll start calling any other papers' sections "How We Live."
Tags: creme de la chris, language, portland

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