While the votes are not yet counted for the American Dialect Society's word of the year (WOTY) for 2018, the lexicon experts at Merriam Webster, Oxford Dictionaries, and Dictionary.com have already weighed in on their choices. For Merriam-Webster the word for 2018 was justice. Their lexicographers said they chose the word because: "The concept of justice was at the center of many of our … [Read more...] about What’s your WOTY for 2018?
Ideas, Insights, Quick Notes & Commentary
Time to admit to the world that I'm a fan of the serial (a.k.a. "Oxford" or "Harvard") comma. In my opinion, it makes any series of parallel words or phrases joined by "and" easier to understand and far less confusing. But not everyone is as liberal as I am about using commas -- serial or not. And sometimes that can affect the readability of a piece. For example, there truly is a difference … [Read more...] about Missing comma nets drivers $10 million
Just came out of a strategy meeting with my hair hurting, teeth grinding, and a renewed appreciation for simplicity in language -- and thought. Indeed, as Geoffrey James maintains, language can shape thought. That's why "fuzzy language" leads to "fuzzy" thinking, he says. James, a contributing editor at Inc.com, has written extensively on the neuroscience of word usage and perception. In his … [Read more...] about Boardroom buzz words that make my hair hurt
Found this on LinkedIn.com recently and taped it near my computer as a great reminder that more often than not, less is more. Thought it worth sharing with all of you. Enjoy! … [Read more...] about Embrace simplicity
Working with a client this spring to develop new content for their financial services website that is straightforward, concise, and "human," I was constantly reminded of just how difficult it is to reconcile the elegance of plain language with the client's need to impress prospective clients by using corporate-speak and financial jargon. "This is madness," I thought to myself (more than a few … [Read more...] about “Institutional” web site copy: My own March Madness
Ever wonder why some of the teams you've worked on have been highly enjoyable and productive, and others seem doomed to failure? The Project Aristotle team at Google took this question very seriously as it embarked on a two-year quest to discover the common traits of the company's best teams. And their findings were unexpectedly "squishy"-- especially for a company that thrives on hard data and … [Read more...] about What’s the “secret sauce” for a great team?
Finally back to my blog, with a busy year full of "other things" intervening. But I'm looking forward to moving ahead -- and offering a few helpful insights here and there as I (and my colleagues) continue our adventures in financial writing and editing. One of the greatest of those adventures of course is trying to convince investment executives (and their legal reviewers!) that using strong, … [Read more...] about Three squares sum it up pretty well
Ever feel like you've "gotta get outta Dodge" and take a walk to clear your head before you can solve your latest creative challenge? Well, apparently there's a reason for that: Walking boosts creativity. And it doesn't matter whether you walk outside or on a treadmill. Although the former is probably far more enjoyable, the effects are the same. A recent study by Stanford University … [Read more...] about In a creative funk? Walk it off!
I know I'm more productive working from my home office -- and I know other colleagues who are freelancers say the same thing. Despite the sometimes crazy deadlines (because we fear saying "no") and spells of feeling isolated from office water cooler gossip, my work as a freelance consultant does give me the opportunity for more focus and concentration, as well as the flexibility and down time I … [Read more...] about Am I happier? You bet!
Following up on my previous post about finding "aha" moments, I discovered another study on ways to keep the creative juices flowing. Here's a quick piece from Media Bistro on that "enlightening" research. Want to Boost Creativity? Researchers Recommend Dimming the Lights By Vicki Salemi on June 28, 2013 2:01 PM If you’re in a creative rut right now, according to a recent … [Read more...] about For that “lightbulb moment,” try working in the dark