The Red Jacket Diaries blog

Sue Horner is a freelance writer in Oakville, Ontario, who blogs about writing, newsletters, communications and running an independent business in The Red Jacket Diaries blog.

Bottom line? Get to the bottom of numbers

How rare is it to be born on February 29, the extra day in a Leap Year? By chance I was travelling on this year’s extra day, and found this explanation by journalist Steve Rubenstein in the San Francisco Chronicle: “Being born on Feb. 29 is rare, sort of. The odds of it happening are […]

Posted in The Red Jacket Diaries blog | Tagged , | Leave a comment

A seasoned writer can save your bacon

My client’s newsletter deadline was already past, she was scrambling to get it finished, and then WHAM. A story she was counting on looked like it had fallen through. This is a case where the person you hire to help you with some writing is more than her ability to write. The story was meant […]

Posted in The Red Jacket Diaries blog | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Storytelling makes the Orlando shooting personal

A mom out dancing with her son was one of the 49 people killed and 53 injured in the latest senseless shooting in the U.S. That could have been me; maybe that could have been you, or your mother, daughter, sister, wife, aunt, friend. It’s almost irrelevant that Brenda McCool‘s son is gay, except that […]

Posted in The Red Jacket Diaries blog | Leave a comment

Cleanses or colons, it’s time to talk about tushes

It breaks my heart when I read that colon cancer is 90% preventable if detected early. The fact that my brother didn’t find his in time, sadly, puts him in an uncomfortably large crowd. According to Colon Cancer Canada, about 24,400 new cases were diagnosed in Canada in 2014, and more than 9,200 Canadians lost […]

Posted in The Red Jacket Diaries blog | Tagged | Leave a comment

6 ways writers can shine a spotlight on safety

A campaign described in The New York Times last week got me thinking about how writers can contribute to safety awareness. The article reported that roadway deaths are on the rise, and we need to stop calling the reason accidents. Writer Matt Richtel quotes “safety advocates” as saying that using the word accident “trivializes the […]

Posted in The Red Jacket Diaries blog | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Is it time to put a stake in ‘stakeholder’?

The well of BS is endless, as a new Twitter connection observed about business jargon this week. During the exchange, the word stakeholder came up. Fans find it a useful word describing people with an interest in something, an expansion of the original shareholders who had invested money in a business to include employees who […]

Posted in The Red Jacket Diaries blog | Tagged | Leave a comment

Rhyme and rhythm: Musicians know how to write

If you’re looking for writing inspiration, here’s an idea: Turn up the tunes! Musicians do a masterful job of touching our hearts and souls, and sometimes our funnybones, too. Artists tell stories using many of the more traditional writer’s tools for expressive writing, such as metaphors and similes. One that always sticks in my head […]

Posted in The Red Jacket Diaries blog | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Sigh. Still reason to be cranky about jargon

Time to get cranky, again, about jargon and annoying words. Who’s with me? First up are overused words that are quickly becoming jargon: Hacks. I get it, it’s a handy short word, which is useful in headlines. In most cases, it’s thin disguise for “tips,” as in “23 best productivity hacks of the year.” Killer. […]

Posted in The Red Jacket Diaries blog | Tagged , | 4 Comments

‘Man-hours’? The hunt for inclusive language continues

The phrase stopped me in my tracks. “Man-hours.” I was interviewing a client’s internal expert, a man, talking about a recent maintenance shutdown. When he mentioned how many “man-hours” were involved, I asked if his crew was all men, and he said no, there were a few women. Pointing out that I, too, was female, […]

Posted in The Red Jacket Diaries blog | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Undies and tushes and butts, oh my

You have to joke when it comes to talking about a disease that affects your butt. That means there are no sedate names for the 5K events raising awareness of colon cancer and money for colon cancer research and support. Nope, we’ve got the Undy Run, raising money for the Colon Cancer Alliance in cities […]

Posted in The Red Jacket Diaries blog | Tagged | Leave a comment
  • Subscribe

    Subscribe via RSS