How original(?)

My family is one of millions of avid Groupon users, but I didn’t know much about it until I read this New York Times article.

In a world saturated with words, being original can be a challenge. Some philosophers even argue that all of the “original” thoughts have already been thought. And especially in advertising, it may prove difficult to present the same product that everyone other retailer sells in a different, innovative way that convinces people to give one company money over another.

Groupon uses humorous wordplay to win over customers. Nothing punny (in fact, puns are forbidden), nothing too logical, but a short phrase that catches people’s attention.

I found their employee base interesting: artists, musicians, and poets. No one has received any formal journalism training because, as one executive put it, “It’s easier to train than untrain.”

Sure, journalists undergo education, and perhaps professors suggest the “best” way to write or criticize if stories don’t follow the “correct” format, but that doesn’t mean that writers should lose their voices. I thought the point of writing was to tell a story from the writer’s perspective; no matter how objective one may attempt to be about an issue, diction always conveys the slant anyway (thanks, Jill’s Bias in the Media class). So, it bothers me that Groupon accuses professional writers of lacking creativity.

Nevertheless, I’ll keep that in mind throughout the next several years. I don’t want to be a voiceless drone.

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