Seuss: Our first rhymes and how they remain a part of us.


Dr. Seuss’ birthday is tomorrow. In our family we celebrate this ocassion with flair. We have a deep appreciation for the love of reading he instilled, and continues to instill, in children around the world. The day will start with green eggs. Lunch will have Thing 1 cupcakes completed by blue cotton candy on top and a story reading in the first grade classroom.The children will end their day eating cake in the bathtub as a tribute to, “The Cat in the Hat Came Back.”


Theodor Seuss Geisel was an American writer, poet, and cartoonist most widely known for his children’s books written under the pen names Dr.Seuss,Theo LeSieg and, in one case, Rosetta Stone. Seuss’ books continue to inspire parents to read with their children, giggle at the silliness, and perhaps pick up on the messages that drifts through some of his beloved books such as “The Lorax,” “The Sneeches,” and “Horton Hears a Who.”

As we learn to write copy for ads, headlines for press releases, or enticing subject lines for promotional emails, many of us must resist the urge to go “back to Seuss.” Children run through the alphabet looking to make “clever” rhymes for poetry, composition titles, and utterances to gain entertainment points when in a group. We need to move beyond the obvious. Take the lessons we learned from Seuss and his contemporaries to create SIMPLE, thought-provoking headlines and copy.

Our daily paper, The Oregonian, seems to hire reporters based on their ability to write bad puns for headlines. It is a daily reminder of how small our state newspaper is, and how little professional, adult supervision there is when it comes to copy and headline editing. Don’t fall into this Sophomoric trap.  S-T-R-E-T-C-H yourself. CHALLENGE yourself to rework a headline until you are proud of it – truly proud. If you are writing for clients, they will appreciate it and how good you make them look to the world.