Yearly Archives: 2010

Tonight, we celebrate New Year’s Eve

Champagne on ice? Check.  Cupboards stocked with food? Check. Coins in the pocket to signify wealth for the coming year? Check. Twelve grapes to gobble at midnight, also meaning wealth? Check. Bright red or yellow undies to ‘catch’ love or money? Er – I’ll never tell! It’s New Year’s Eve, and superstitions abound. One of […]

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Live your life, part 2

We interrupt the week’s frantic shopping, work and studies to bring you this important public message: Do not wait to live your life until you find the perfect man or woman. If the Sexiest Man Alive (so named by People magazine), Ryan Reynolds, and the Sexiest Woman Alive (so named by Esquire magazine), Scarlett Johansson, […]

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My grandma helps avoid the passive

Maybe it’s the influence of Legal departments, who prefer the blameless “mistakes were made” or “it was decided” to naming names. But corporate writers often have to fight for the active voice — you know, where the subject performs an action, like “The Legal department slashed my article to ribbons.” Instead, the passive voice creeps […]

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E-newsletters a great tool

While Facebook and Twitter continue to get all the press, email newsletters just keep building their solid reputation. In fact, they are “the Internet’s best tool for supplementing a website,” according to web usability expert Jakob Nielsen: “The positive emotional aspect of newsletters is that they can create much more of a bond between user […]

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Funny but dubious honour

Leave it to the British to give an award for Bad Sex in Fiction! The 18th annual (dis)honour, given out last night, went to Rowan Somerville for his novel The Shape of Her. Somerville won over the judges with phrases such as the one describing an act of lovemaking as being “like a lepidopterist mounting […]

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Where are the proofreaders?

Yesterday, a headline in a prominent newspaper boldly proclaimed that the Saudi king was handing over the reigns while he was in the U.S. for treatment. Since a king only has one reign, and he holds it whether he’s in the U.S. or not, I thought at first maybe the writer was joking. But the […]

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Choose words that communicate

The author of one of my textbooks must be a friend of the magniloquent (see below) Conrad Black, or maybe a contributor to the harder levels of FreeRice.com! I say that because the text is sprinkled with so many obscure, unusual, “look how smart I am” kinds of words. Here, for your amusement or perhaps […]

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Corporatespeak for axed

Nobody believes a corporate announcement* that an executive has left to “pursue other opportunities,” so why do companies continue to pretend that they don’t fire people? Sometimes the person’s “contract has not been renewed” or he has “stepped down.” Maybe the “board has accepted her resignation” or he’s leaving “to spend more time with his […]

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Blogs still going strong

Hobbyists, or people who express their personal musings online as a hobby, make up the “backbone” (64%) of the blogging world, according to Technorati’s 2010 State of the blogosphere, which covered 7,200 bloggers. Self-employeds, like me, make up the next largest group, at 21%. Reflecting our professional nature, we’re most likely to blog about business, […]

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Women lag; indies a bargain

Two things jumped out at me about the report on the results of the 2009 IABC/Canada online salary survey, released October 19. (Note: access to the survey requires IABC member I.D. and password.) The survey was conducted by Leger Marketing between December 2009 and February 2010. The 998 respondents represent about 19 per cent of […]

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