The Elements of Presidential Style

“Practice makes perfect” has always been my approach to writing. Right now, I’m very much in the midst of the “practice” period. While improving my copy-editing capabilities is on the short list for 2016 New Year’s Resolutions, I believe that ALL writing can benefit from another set of eyes.

However, another set of eyes isn’t always the only answer. Sometimes, you’ve got to balance that with style, audience, and other choices.

This image from Laura Freschi on the Development Research Institute’s blog hammers home the value of balancing clarity and style nicely:

“How Good Writing Experts Are Not Always Right”


Got good pop-culture Abe Lincoln references? Send them my way at honestabeblog at gmail dot com.



Sk8rboi Abe Linc0ln’s txts

I’ve written before about the Tweetability of the Gettysburg Address, but this comic takes this to a new extreme:

lincoln texts

I also enjoy that Lincoln is apparently a skateboarder in this portrayal? Sure, I’ll take it.

All of this said, the digital communicator in me must urge every single one of you to avoid txtspk/SMSish/txt talk)… you can still communicate effectively without unnecessary abbreviation! #RantOver

Advertising with Abe

When people ask me why I love Abraham Lincoln, I frequently have  a hard time giving a concise response. You can choose from a wide array of fascinating elements of the personality and character of the man, but honestly, I’m not sure any of those accurately represent the origins of my interest.

If anything could describe what kindles my intrigue, it may be how everyone else uses Abe. Things like this image are what really get me going:

What does it mean when we appropriate an image of a man who transformed our nation into an advertisement for a boat ride? Can we analyze that, or have we gotten to the point that it’s just an assumed feature of being an American icon? Is there a danger to trivializing history, or does that make it more accessible? I don’t think I have a good answer for any one of those questions – which keeps me going in my pursuit.

So, keep ’em coming, advertisers. I want to see Old Abe selling me anything and everything, because at least as long as that’s our MO, I’ll have something to chew on.

The Scariest Photo That Never Happened

It’s Halloween — and so I figured it was as good a day as any to scare myself and actually make time for a spooky post!

As an amateur history aficionado with less time for extensive research, nothing is quite as scary as a nicely done fake photo like this one of Mr. Lincoln and the Raven-master himself, Edgar Allan Poe:


While the photo originates from one of my favorite Lincoln-related pieces of fiction out there (yes, I’ve come around to liking AL:VH quite a bit…) it also serves as a great reminder to do a little bit of Googling before you post something!

Got any other scary Lincoln things out there? Share them with me at!

Abe’s Business Card

Abraham Lincoln’s “Business Card”


Abraham Lincoln’s “Business Card”

Text reads:

“A. Lincoln. Attorney and counselor at law. Springfield, Illinois … My old customers, and others, are no doubt aware of the terrible time I have had in crossing the stream, and will be glad to know that I will be back … ready to swap horses, dispense law, make jokes split rails and perform other matters in a small way [Business card of Abraham Lincoln, probably printed by the Democratic committee in 1864.] [Springfield?].” 1864. An American Time Capsule: Three Centuries of Broadsides and Other Printed Ephemera, Library of Congress.

via –

“I will be back” = evidence that Lincoln was perhaps not a Vampire Hunter, but rather… the Terminator?