As my wife would readily attest, I have been editing menus for years. But it’s happened only in my head, as I have scanned my restaurant meal options.

Along the way, among other peculiarities, I have been struck by the neck-and-neck race between the properly labeled “Belgian waffles” and the rampantly used but wrong-wrong-wrong (!!) “Belgium waffles” variation.

Not that I’m that plugged in by the wayward version.

What’s on the menu? Lots of copy editing! (Illustration by Jose P. Moreno)

Anyway, Belgian-Belgium distinctions aside, here’s the biggest take-away I gained from my recent menu editing effort: the premium, fresh-baked value of offering variety in how we communicate. (Whoops, slipped back into menu-speak there.)

On menus, it really does behoove you to come up with phrases other than “home-made” and “fresh-baked” and “served” once (or twice) in awhile.

Power in Variety

If this principle is true for menus, then it’s likewise valid on any platform where we are communicating on any given topic. There is power in variety, as long as that variety is not for its own sake.

Choosing another word or phrase than the default-key standard should contribute something and move the story forward in some fashion. So get out the thesaurus, continually find other ways to expand your vocabulary and offer some different food for thought.

Make it fresh-baked, not half-baked.

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