Abandoned wagonOh, hello! (Gets up and dusts herself off.) You may have noticed that I’ve fallen off the weekly blogging bandwagon. I’ll blame work, and summer, and maybe a lack of blog mojo.

Instead of an original post, here are some of the smart, helpful, and sometimes funny pieces I’ve found and shared on social media:

Plain language

  • Some writers act as if only certain situations warrant plain language, but Cheryl Stephens challenges that assumption. Instead, she asks the simple question: Is the reader human? Read this informative interview with WordRake.
  • “A judge’s decision, and the effort behind it, should be understandable to all Canadians.” Why judges are junking legal jargon (thank goodness!). By Daniella Murynka via The Walrus.

Writing tips

  • 15 headline formulas that work, like “The secret to” and “This is how to,” by Matthew Royse.
  • Four editors give tips on writing headlines, like use better verbs, alliteration and intrigue. A classic from 2014 by Tiên Nguyen via Open Notebook.
  • The science of strong business writing. When our brains hear more-specific words, we “taste,” “feel,” and “see” traces of the real thing. Bill Birchard via Harvard Business Review.
  • How reading online hurts readers’ eyes, bodies and brains, and what to do: Get to the point faster, organize better, make it easier to read and more skimmable, says Ann Wylie.


  • Binoculated? Max-vaxx? Doppeljabber or bivaxual or twinshot or antibody-double?  David Astle asks how we should describe those who’ve rolled up their sleeves for the greater good and gone for their double shots, via The Age.
  • How to avoid ableist, exclusive language (like unconscious bias vs blind spot) by Ted Kitterman quoting Nikki Hopewell at Rush Medical.
  • Don’t always use ‘went,’ says Proofreading Services, offering 335 options. Try a more exciting word, like ‘pounced,’ ‘ambled,’ ‘rocketed.’ (Please don’t use ‘perambulated’ or ‘peregrinated,’ though.)
  • Less or fewer? Doris & Bertie’s Dr. Clare Lynch explains ‘fewer’ is used with countable nouns, ‘less’ with uncountable.

Made me laugh

  • From R. Eric Thomas (@oureric) on Twitter: “So now I’m hearing that the ‘government’ is making you show an ‘age passport’ to enter a bar or buy alcohol and a ‘driving passport’ to operate a tractor trailer? Wowwww. Smdh” [shaking my damn head]
  • Mental Floss shares comments from Roger Ebert on 50 movies he hated, such as “This movie doesn’t scrape the bottom of the barrel. This movie isn’t the bottom of the barrel. This movie isn’t below the bottom of the barrel. This movie doesn’t deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence with barrels.”

Did you enjoy reading this roundup of items? Do you have any others to share? Please add in the comments.

Wagon photo by Aiden Craver on Unsplash.