Okay, that dates me. “I’m your huckleberry” is one of my favorite lines from the movie Tombstone. If you haven’t seen this classic western, check it out. Hate westerns? This picture could change your mind. Val Kilmer did a masterful job in the role of Doc Holliday.
Doc Holliday was a folk hero, a gunman, a gambler, and a dentist, and best remembered for his role in the shootout at the O.K. Corral. It really happened, right there in Tombstone, Arizona. “I’m your huckleberry” was an actual slang term from the 1800’s, essentially meaning, “I’m the one for the job.” Well, it was actually “I’m the man for the job,” but I have updated it for the times.
When Doc Holliday died in Colorado (at a young age, succumbing to tuberculosis), the Denver Republican published the following: “Few men have been better known to a certain class of sporting people, and few men of his character had more friends or stronger companions. He represented a class of men who are disappearing in the new West. He had the reputation of being a bunco man, desperado, and bad-man generally, yet he was a very mild-mannered man, was genial and companiable, and had many excellent qualities.”
In case you wonder:
- A “sporting man” is a gambler.
- “Bunco” meant a swindler and a cheat, what we might call a scammer or a con man.
- A “desperado” has a root in Spanish – a desperate or reckless man.
Every generation has its own set of slang words and sayings. I only wish that we were as creative as they were in the 1800’s, and could come up with something with a little more flair, like they did in the old days. I’d love to go to a meeting with a prospective client and say “I’m your huckleberry,” to close the deal.
Our writers come from various generations and walks of life, including a lawyer, a legal secretary, an eco-blogger, and a fiction writer. We all avoid using any current slang as it tends to die a fast death, and the content loses some of its “evergreen” status. Evergreen content remains relevant over time – you need plenty of that type of content, as well as date-specific content, to succeed in the online marketing game.
Don’t Get Too Buzzy.
Some people like to use the current buzzwords in business conversations, and that’s fine with us. If our client wants to circle back, we’ll circle back. We can talk about vertical silos, channel marketing and thought leadership, and we understand all about pain points. Underneath the buzzwords there is one constant – the goal, which is to engage prospective clients. That’s the fundamental – no matter what you want to call it.
Simplicity is a Beautiful Thing.
Simplicity is the key. How many readers do you want to leave confused (or in 18th century jargon, in a state of “hubble-bubble”)? Using industry-specific terms, buzzwords, or even complex sentences can be a mistake that costs you.
What’s a “real writer?” My definition is that a real writer in the web content field is a person who understands the reader (and the specs of the assignment), and creates the piece by taking on the user’s point of view. How else can you expect to generate interest?
The Online Content Waltz, Tum de Dum…
Online content has a specific rhythm, when it works. Sentences are short – with a longer one thrown in occasionally. Short, short, short, long, short, short, short, long. Those are your moves if you want to keep people reading.
Your content needs to be a conversation – not a pitch. You have just a few seconds to grab the attention of a user. Shorter sentences are easier to read, especially now, with many dealing with hundreds of emails each day. The acronym “TLDR” (Too Long, Didn’t Read) is real. Don’t blow it, and as they would have said in Doc Holliday’s time, “get the boot.” Get it right.
Talk to Us.
Talk to us. We think that Creative WordCraft is your huckleberry!
History Net: Doc Holliday