y: Rich OppelRich Headshot

I’m all for metaphors. I like anecdotes, analogies and similes, too. They enliven our language, create pictures in the minds of our listeners or readers, and bring concreteness to the abstract.

But before you use one in a company publication, or in a Facebook, Instagram or Twitter post, hit your internal pause button. Read it aloud. Try it out on a colleague. Watch or listen for the wince.

Online is forever.

A case in point was Donald Trump Jr.’s Twitter post Sept. 20, “If I had a bowl of skittles and I told you just three would kill you, would you take a handful? That’s our Syrian refugee problem.”

Leaving aside politics (we could just as easily focus on Hillary Clinton’s “deplorables”), the point is that words can be explosive, and nowhere is care more important than when you are describing people, tragic events or both.

Read the original story from The New York Times here.

Rich Oppel Sr. is a senior advisor at Crosswind Media & Public Relations.