If you work as an academic or a professional in a technical environment, I recommend "Zombie Nouns," Helen Sword's piece in yesterday's New York Times online. Sword, who teaches at the University of Auckland, attacks nominalizations such as proliferation, formation, implacability, and heteronormativity. These are words made from verbs (proliferate and...
If you've been wondering how to get readers to open your ezine or email and read it, read this brief article (less than 200 words) from marketing expert Marcia Yudkin's "Marketing Minute." ******************* "Catchy Lines" from "The Marketing Minute" by Marcia Yudkin: A subject line of a news service to which I subscribe read: Pedicures, pit bulls...
The other day my friend Joanne wrote to ask me how to render the word "by laws." She said Google had suggested "by laws," and a legal website had offered "by-laws." "Which is correct?" she asked. Neither. That is why it is important to check respected expert sources. I let Joanne know...
I have been invited to participate in a website that gathers resources for administrative assistants. It's called Assistant Edge. You can see the logo I have added to the right column on this page. If you click on the logo, you will find an assortment of my blog posts...
Ricardo wrote to me today to tell me about a free English-Spanish online dictionary. It's at the Word Magic website. As someone who is interested in learning Spanish, I was pleased to find out about this resource. I tested the dictionary with the Costa Rican expression pura vida, which people use to respond...
I was just introduced to a blog by Ken Adams, whose expertise is in drafting contracts. His recent posts cover some of the latest options and thinking on typography. If you are interested in contracts, typefaces, and gems of language, visit Ken's site. Lynn
If you write frequently asked questions (FAQ), check out these excellent resources from E-WRITE: Frequently Asked Questions Style GuideE-WRITE wrote this style guide for the Energy Information Administration of the U.S. Government. Even if you don't write FAQs, it is a good example of a style guide. Here are three...
Yesterday Matthew Stibbe at Bad Language wrote brilliantly about what is wrong in corporate case studies. If you are in corporate communications, read his ideas here. Stibbe covers the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of case studies, also known as "white papers" where I live. Among the symptoms: case studies...
There's a great article in today's Wall Street Journal Online, and it's available to nonsubscribers--at least for now. Writer Jason Fry warns that the biggest threat to email is not spam. It is the internal junk we send to our coworkers and managers. He offers five whimsical suggestions for...
I know what it is like to try to communicate in a foreign language. I remember a visit to Madrid's Bibilioteca Nacional (National Library), where I tried to do research for a book I was writing. Crushed by the limits of my skills in Spanish, I left the building...