The End of Scarcity

A little on the newspaper skill of finding the right size word to fit a tight space.
Heather Green

On the bus this morning, I was fascinated by the use of the word "kin" in a headline in one of the New York tabloids. Maybe it's because I was just down South visiting my family in Waycross, Ga. They may use the word kin a lot, but up here in the North people seem to tend to use "family" or "relatives." But, I bet ther reason this Northern tabloid used the word kin was because of space.

I could imagine the copywriter struggling to come up with the right word to use to fit the space he had, because I have been in that situation plenty of times here at BW. But that skill is a dying one. Not that I think newspapers are going away anytime soon, but as their number and quantity shrinks, so will the number of positions for people who can find just the right word to fit a certain amount of space.

Online, the beauty is you have infinite space. Though you need to figure out how to use it wisely so you don't lose the interest of a reader. That calls upon a different skill, which people are learning. I felt like one of those monks who grew up copying books by hand and then came face to face with a printing press, tugged between a love for the old ways with an appreciation for the new.

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