It’s a tired truism that language changes all the time. Meanings change—sometimes, I think, for the worse: not that long ago, “disinterested” meant something completely different from “uninterested” (look it up!)—and I think English has suffered a loss with the melding of the two. But pedantic arguments aside, words do matter in the real world. […]
Just about now, as fall tiptoes ever closer, benefits administrators everywhere are dreaming not of crisp new back-to-school outfits or a bountiful harvest, but of benefits open enrollment. Those dreams are not likely to be the happiest during the best of circumstances, but with regulatory changes big and small brought on by the Affordable Care […]
This Thanksgiving, I’m grateful for all the smart folks out there writing about writing. Back in a much earlier life I briefly studied photography, and one of my favorite practitioners was a guy named Duane Michals. If your idea of great photography is precision of structure, perfect lighting and gorgeous darkroom technique, a la Ansel […]
I’m writing this post from my home office in southwestern Queens, where we’ve been lucky. A couple of uprooted and scarily teetering trees on the street, spotty cell phone service and a complete breakdown of the transportation we rely on to get to school and work—but other than that, my family has survived Superstorm Sandy […]
On the whole, I don’t believe in synonyms. Such is the magnificent complexity of the English language that only rarely do two words mean exactly the same thing. Even if the dictionary gives two words the same definition, they almost never carry the same connotation, which is what makes using the thesaurus such a treacherous […]
I just came across an entertaining and dead-on article about corporate speak. He’s talking about external communications, not internal, but it comes to the same thing. Check it out!