You may or may not be on social media. Almost certainly, you aren’t seeing every interesting link that flashes past. So here are more links to helpful posts I’ve shared that you might have missed:
- “Don’t be mealy-mouthed about mortality,” says John McIntyre. “People die; they do not pass, pass away, pass over, expire, depart, succumb, enter eternal rest, go to be with Jesus/the Lord, go west, cross the bar, buy the farm, pay a debt to nature, rest from their labors, wander the Elysian Fields…”
- 12 nouns that are always plural, by Simon Thomas for Grammar Girl. An exception is the fashion industry, which loves to go on about a sharp “pant” or the right “jean” or a red “lip.”
- Slang like “YOLO” and “on fleek” often has a short life because people lose interest when it gets too popular. (Also younger gen annoyed when older gen picks it up.) Linguists Ben Zimmer and Nicole Holliday explain slang trends through history.
- 80 wordy expressions – like “a majority of” (most) and “due to the fact that” (because) — and what you could use instead (including nothing) via English Grammar.
- Consider the reader’s point of view. Say “My research team will ask you some questions about a typical day for you” instead of the alarming “Data will be collected about your lifestyle.” That’s one example of plain language in health care by Iva Cheung.
- Please stop verbing nouns, like “languaging.” I’m with Josh Bernoff on this, although I disagree that “brick” as a verb (meaning to render an electronic object useless) is obvious and unmistakable.
- “If everyone agreed to use language in the way that it is normally used, which is to communicate, the workday would be two hours shorter.” Molly Young on “garbage language.”
- Use simple words, move from known to unknown and other techniques to explain a complex, technical product or process to non-tech people, from Stanford Engineering via Allison Carter and Ragan Communications.
- “No one wants to slog through sentences full of words like forthwith, heretofore, and whereas…” Jargon stands in the way of both understanding and building trust. By Shana Simmons.
- 10 workplace buzzwords we all hate, including the “new normal” and “circling back,” via Fast Company.
- You can use technical language if you know it will be meaningful to your audience. But remember even highly educated specialists want content that’s easy and pleasant to read, says Nielsen Norman Group.
- There *may* be a (limited) use for jargon, as Ann Handley suggests, but I agree “THERE IS NO LANGUAGE OF BUSINESS. There is only language people use with other people.”
What other helpful, interesting or funny posts have you found online? Please share in the comments or send me a message.