Misha Crews

Love stories about old houses and family secrets.

If humans had taglines, what would yours be?

I’ve been enjoying the daily writing prompts from WordPress, even though I don’t always take the time to answer them. This one, however (“If humans had taglines, what would yours be?”) was too much fun to pass up. Especially because I do have a personal tagline — two of them, in fact.

But before I tell you what they are, I am going to succumb to the temptations of my logophilia (i.e. my love of words) and look at the definition and source of the term “tagline.”

black and white book business close up
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

According to Merriam-Webster.com, the word “tagline” has two meanings:

  1. a reiterated phrase identified with an individual, group, or product.
  2. a final line, as in a play or joke, especially one that serves to clarify a point or create a dramatic effect.

For the derivation, I checked Etymonline.com, which gives the following origin: “‘punchline of a joke,’ 1926, originally ‘last line in an actor’s speech’ (1916).” So that’s definition #2. And according to Pixartprinting.co.uk, the term entered the world of advertising and branding (definition #1) in 1935.

Okay, now that that is out of the way, I will tell you my personal taglines.

Writer, Reader, Friendly Hermit

This one came about because of social media–especially Twitter. Back in 2012 or so, when I was trying to navigate my way across the many social media platforms, I came up with that tagline as a way to explain my both my bookish tendencies and my shyness (which nowadays is probably considered a social disfunction, but that’s okay).

Although I’m much less shy than I used to be, every once in a while I return to my reclusive ways, so the line still fits.

Here it is on my Instagram profile.

Work Hard, Expect Nothing, Celebrate

If ever there was a perfect formula for not only success, but happiness, this seems to be it. I first came across the phrase in 2008 when reading about the sad death of actress Natasha McElhone’s husband. It was the motto by which they lived their lives. It apparently derives from a quote by painter Jules Olitski. His daughter talked about it in a 2014 interview with Artsy.net:

Lauren Olitski talking about her father, Jules Olitski, on Artsy.net.

I love the simplicity of the phrasing, and the great truths contained in the text: put your nose to the grindstone and work hard; don’t expect any automatic praise or success, but take full responsibility for your success or failure; and rejoice in every moment. This one is probably more of a motto than a tagline, but I thought it was worth including anyway.

So those are my taglines! What about yours?

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