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November linkfest

It’s Word of the Year season, and two British dictionaries are leading the pack. Collins picked lockdown – a word we threw around here in the US but never experienced the way they did in the UK and elsewhere. (A friend of mine is literally confined to her London apartment after spending a month in France: she can’t go outdoors at all.) And Oxford Languages, publisher of the Oxford dictionaries, chose a phenomenon instead of a single word: the impact of the COVID-19 on language. “What struck the...
Tags: Apple, Art, Fashion, UK, London, Writing, Steve Jobs, France, Advertising, US, San Francisco, Urban, Bloomberg, New York Times, Oxford, Linguistics

"If you’re comfortable saying that it’s fine for politicians to be politically pragmatic in their approach to alcohol regulation, but that guns..."

"... are such a transcendent question of conscience that you can’t stomach it, I think you should examine where that’s coming from. I suspect that you drink alcohol yourself and that alcohol consumption is common in your social circle and in fact it’s woven into the rituals of communal life. And I can relate! That’s me too. Indeed a lot of people like me don’t realize that drinking is much less common among working class people. The point is that guns are just like this for a lot of other people...
Tags: Guns, Writing, Law, Drinking, Editing, Matt Yglesias, Yglesias, Ann Althouse

The Polygraph: The Proto-Photocopy Machine Machine Invented in 1803 That Changed Thomas Jefferson’s Life Today we associate the word polygraph mainly with the devices we call “lie detectors.” The unhidden Greek terms from which it originates simply mean “multiple writing,” which seems apt enough in light of all those movie interrogation scenes with their juddering parallel needles. But the first “polygraph machine” meriting the name long predates such cinematic clichés, and indeed cinema itself. Patented in 1803 by an Englishman named John Isaac H...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Technology, Writing, College, History, Smithsonian, John Adams, Seoul, Thomas Jefferson, United States of America, Facebook Twitter, Jefferson, Monticello, Friedrich Nietzsche, Peale

8 Writing Tips I’m Thankful for This Year

At Wylie Communications, we’re getting ready for our 2021 Master Classes. With that in mind, I wanted to share some of my favorite slides from our workshops: Make sound bites sound better. One-quarter of journalists rank quotes as the least important element in a news release — after the boilerplate and the dateline. Make yours short, rare and memorable, and also sound like a real person said them. Cut through the clutter. In a world of information overload, how do you get readers to pay atte...
Tags: Writing, Pr, Business writing, Ann Wylie, PR Training, PR writing, Writing Skiils, Wylie Communications

"Morris lived for many years with her gravestone standing in the corner of her library, the ne plus ultra of memento moris."

"She was an inveterate traveler but also prized her house in the Welsh village of Llanystumdwy; she wrote often about its snuggly, hyggelig qualities. Death for her may be something akin to merely being in, to borrow the words of the novelist Joshua Cohen, a bed with a lid. 'I am attracted to decline, to the melancholy spectacle of things that get old and die,' Morris told Leo Lerman in a Paris Review interview. She also joked that when she departed, the headlines would read, 'Sex Change Author ...
Tags: Travel, Death, Writing, Law, Wales, Aging, Looks, Transgender, Canada, Language, William Shakespeare, Lincoln, John, Times, Jan Morris, James

Useful and Helpful Information When It Comes to Custom Law Essays

Do you need help with law articles? Are among those classified as understudies in the UK? Well, you are in the right place. Paper Writer’s Custom Law Essays is here for you. Understudies may not be so familiar with custom law essays, and therefore they are here to cater to your needs. These articles call for in-depth law research. It requires you to think of adequate law components and be familiar with UK laws, standards, law speculations, and regulations. Following 2001, the article writer ha...
Tags: UK, Writing, Law, Jazz, Custom Law Essay, Uni Tutor, Uni Tutor Custom, Conclusion Uni Tutors

On the Visual Thesaurus: How we talk about the past

For my November Visual Thesaurus column I look at our language of nostalgia and retrospect: at the words, old and new, we use when we talk about the past. Words like Before Times[s], retro, oldie, newstalgia, fauxstalgia, and reboot. Full access to “Into the Past” is restricted to subscribers. Here’s a preview:   Before Time(s). This phrase has become shorthand for “the time preceding the COVID-19 pandemic.” In his Word on the Street column for the Wall Street Journal, Ben Zimmer trac...
Tags: Writing, US, Linguistics, Words, Nostalgia, Zimmer, Miri, Ben Zimmer, Billy Collins, Nancy Friedman, Visual Thesaurus, Simone Signoret, Before Times, James I Bowie

Extract from ‘The Journey’: Responses to the archive

This sequence of texts was written in response to various photographs of Nigeria made between 1920 and 1929 that form part of the Colonial Office photographic collection The post Extract from ‘The Journey’: Responses to the archive appeared first on The Mail & Guardian.
Tags: Photography, London, Writing, Nigeria, Research, Violence, Colonialism, Friday, Imagination, National Archives, Archives, Essay, Abuja, Nyanya, Colonial Office, Aeronautic Research Committee

Khulekani Masia: Poetry in the polemic

Khulekani Mayisa’s new film, Power to the Purple, is an intensely personal collaborative project The post Khulekani Masia: Poetry in the polemic appeared first on The Mail & Guardian.
Tags: Writing, Film, Filmmaking, Friday, Gaspar Noé, Dominique Christina, For Colored Girls, Gender-based Violence, Khulekani Mayisa, Africa Rising International Film Festival, Power to the Purple, Scribbled in Red, Thandi Busani, Tsepiso Mokobori, Khulekani Masia

Join Thom Dunn and "Nobody People" author Bob Proehl for an online convo about writing, whiskey, and X-Men

In a parallel universe where our federal leadership didn't utterly botch the handling of a massive pandemic through sheer belligerent inaction, there would still be things like "literary festivals." And one of those events would have been SpringWrites in Ithaca, New York. — Read the rest
Tags: Post, News, Writing, The Writing Life, Whiskey, Literature, X-men, Online Community, Literary Analysis, Bob Proehl, Thom Dunn, Zoombombing, Literary Festival, Ithaca New York Read

Ray Bradbury Wrote the First Draft of Fahrenheit 451 on Coin-Operated Typewriters, for a Total of $9.80

Image by Alan Light, via Wikimedia Commons It sounds like a third grade math problem: “If Ray Bradbury wrote the first draft of Fahrenheit 451 (1953) on a coin-operated typewriter that charged 10 cents for every 30 minutes, and he spent a total of $9.80, how many hours did it take Ray to write his story?” (If you’re doing the math, that’s great, but you might be in the wrong class.) Bradbury’s composition of Fahrenheit 451 demonstrates two of the prolific writer’s most insistent demands among h...
Tags: Google, Books, Writing, College, Ray Bradbury, Christ, Ucla, Ray, Facebook Twitter, Montag, Marguerite, Josh Jones, Bradbury, Alan Light, Durham NC Follow, Powell Library

Documentation templates and The Good Docs Project

Documentation templates not only help teams align with consistent approaches in docs, templates help guide engineers, non-writers, or other roles in creating content, removing the intimidation of a blank page. A group of writers passionate about templates have been working together to create templates for a variety of documentation scenarios. This group's project is called The Good Docs Project. The project makes available templates for API overviews, quickstart, reference, how-to topics, discus...
Tags: Writing, Seo, Ankita Tripathi

Documentation templates and The Good Docs Project -- guest post by Ankita Tripathi

Documentation templates not only help teams align with consistent approaches in docs, templates help guide engineers, non-writers, or other roles in creating content, removing the intimidation of a blank page. A group of writers passionate about templates have been working together to create templates for a variety of documentation scenarios. This group's project is called The Good Docs Project. The project makes available templates for API overviews, quickstart guides, reference, how-to topics,...
Tags: Writing, Seo, Ankita Tripathi

The story behind Document360 -- podcast with founder Saravana Kumar

In a previous post, I explored how Document360, a new cloud-based documentation platform, handles API documentation scenarios. This time, I decided to record a podcast with Saravana Kumar, founder of Document360, to get the behind-the-scenes story about how Document360 came about, what's driving their fast pace of development, and their roadmap for the future.
Tags: Podcasts, Writing, Seo, Stitcher, Technical-writing, Saravana Kumar

Process for collecting feedback post-release (new article in API doc course)

I added a new article covering the process for collecting and addressing feedback post-release in my API doc course. Collecting feedback post-release involves a host of new challenges and processes, such as how to optimize your feedback form, how to account for random externally driven requests across your dev portal, how to process the feedback from incoming requests, and so on.
Tags: Writing, Seo

Dambudzo Marechera’s literary shock treatment

A new book on Zimbabwean writer Dambudzo Marechera draws on both actual and imaginary archives The post Dambudzo Marechera’s literary shock treatment appeared first on The Mail & Guardian.
Tags: Books, Writing, Zimbabwe, Literature, Friday, China Mieville, Juliana Huxtable, Dambudzo Marechera, Chimamanda Adichie Ngozi

A Seat at a Table, Ep 1: The writerly thing to do

Interviews can often demystify the processes behind how people create. It’s always fascinated Phumlani Pikoli to find the tricks to artists’ magic, as explored in his new podcast, ‘A Seat at a Table’ The post A Seat at a Table, Ep 1: The writerly thing to do appeared first on The Mail & Guardian.
Tags: Books, Writing, Podcasting, Literature, Friday, Bookstagrammer, Phumlani Pikoli, A Seat at a Table, Between The Covers, K Sello Duiker award, Katlego Tapala, Lefa Nkadimeng, Lesedi Molefi, Maneo Mohale, The Nine Club: Getting Skaters Talking

Great Titles Make Great Posts

Here is how one blog post author feels about titles: After agonizing over creating perfect, thorough, compelling content, it’s so easy to forget the blog title until the very last minute. We’ve all been there, and we should all be ashamed. So she feels blog titles are important and gives some helpful suggestions on how they should be constructed. I do not believe she goes far enough. A much better way of approaching titles is to regard the title as the very first item to be create...
Tags: Google, Writing, Marketing, Isaac Newton

The NYT mishandles a metaphor: "Democrats’ ‘Blue Wave’ Crashed in Statehouses Across the Country."

It matters more than usual which party controls the state legislatures, because 2020 was a census year, and it's time once again for the partisan game of redistricting. Even if you think you only care about Congress, the House of Representatives is at stake as these lines are drawn, creating safe districts and competitive districts for Republicans and Democrats.  I hadn't noticed any reports about the state legislatures, so I did a search. What came up first was this headline in the NYT:  "De...
Tags: Writing, Law, Senate, Pennsylvania, George Orwell, House, Arizona, Redistricting, Michigan, North Carolina, Orwell, Democratic Party, Legislature, Iowa House, Ohio Supreme Court, Storey

Obituary: Literary allrounder Stephen Gray was a scholar, critic, novelist and poet

Stephen Gray made an immense long contribution to the South African literary landscape across many genres, but it was poetry that he described as ‘the main activity of my life’ The post Obituary: Literary allrounder Stephen Gray was a scholar, critic, novelist and poet appeared first on The Mail & Guardian.
Tags: Death, Writing, Poetry, Author, Obituary, Friday, Novels, Kurt Vonnegut, Athol Fugard, University of Johannesburg, Playwright, Stephen Gray, Ruth First, Top Six, Scholar, Critic

Write the Docs Podcast episode 32: Self-publishing and AsciiDoc, with Mehmed Pasic

Many tech writers are familiar with using AsciiDoc for documentation, but did you know that you can also create fiction and non-fiction books with AsciiDoc, publishing to popular digital formats such as EPUB or PDF, along with HTML? In this episode of the Write the Docs podcast, we chat with Mehmed Pasic from Manning Publications about self-publishing, AsciiDoc, collaborative workflows between authors and editors, trends in book publishing, the most popular devices for consuming content, book ve...
Tags: Writing, Seo, Mehmed Pasic, Manning Publications


 The Arms Room blog has now had a Sunday Smith on three consecutive Sundays! Madness! [Author: Tam]
Tags: Guns, Writing, Smith, Collecting, Blog Stuff, Tam, Smith and Wesson

Processes for maintaining existing documentation (new article in API doc course)

As soon as new docs are published, docs begin a trajectory of decay. The natural progression of technology makes documentation outdated within a matter of months or years. New versions of web browsers, operating systems, supporting utilities and tools, etc., are released, and the whole technology landscape keeps moving forward, evolving, improving, and adjusting — all while documentation remains static. The more your documentation relies on third-party components, the faster it goes out of date....
Tags: Writing, Seo

"But, of all the pleasures that first year in the White House would deliver, none quite compared to the mid-April arrival of Bo, a huggable, four-legged black bundle of fur..."

"... with a snowy-white chest and front paws. Malia and Sasha, who’d been lobbying for a puppy since before the campaign, squealed with delight upon seeing him for the first time, letting him lick their ears and faces as the three of them rolled around on the floor. With Bo, I got what someone once described as the only reliable friend a politician can have in Washington. He also gave me an added excuse to put off my evening paperwork and join my family on meandering after-dinner walks around th...
Tags: Writing, Law, Obama, Obama Administration, Dogs, Washington, White House, Barack Obama, Sarah Palin, Michelle, Sasha, Malia, Bo, South Lawn, Michelle Goldberg, Ann Althouse

The Freewrite Traveler is an outstanding, but expensive, dedicated portable writing laptop

As a hardware startup, Astrohaus stands apart because of its unique offerings focused specifically on writers and writing. Its debut product, the Freewrite, looked like an old-school travel typewriter with an e-ink screen. Now, it’s back with a new device it’s been working on for the past couple of years: The Freewrite Traveler. This more portable e-ink typewriter has a clamshell design and isn’t much larger than a Nintendo Switch, making it a flexible, go-anwyhere writing companion. The bas...
Tags: Reviews, Google, TC, Gadgets, Japan, Hardware, Writing, Evernote, Articles, Tech, Industrial Design, Computing, Microsoft Surface, Dropbox, Nintendo, Indiegogo

Freewrite Traveler reviewed

Jason wasn't in love with the original Freewrite for long, and when Astrohaus announced a more portable model, Seamus was skeptical. But the Freewrite Traveler is now available and has a lot going for it: it's a great form (recall Sony's Vaio P and other write-with-me clamshells) with a nearly-full size keyboard, 4 weeks on a charge, and is small enough to slip in cargo pants or a purse. — Read the rest
Tags: Gadgets, Post, News, Writing, Sony, Jason, Seamus, FreeWrite, Astrohaus

The Craft of Writing Effectively: Essential Lessons from the Longtime Director of UChicago’s Writing Program Academic writing has a bad reputation. “When a scholar’s vanity/insecurity leads him to write primarily to communicate and reinforce his own status as an Intellectual,” as David Foster Wallace diagnosed the problem , “his English is deformed by pleonasm and pretentious diction (whose function is to signal the writer’s erudition) and by opaque abstraction (whose function is to keep anybody from pinning the writer down to a definite assertion t...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Writing, College, University Of Chicago, Seoul, Steven Pinker, David Foster Wallace, Kurt Vonnegut, Facebook Twitter, McEnerney, Colin Marshall, 21st Century Los Angeles, Larry McEnerney, UChicago 's Writing Program, University of Chicago Writing Programs

The Art Of Writing A Speech For Someone Else

The next step in speaking is when you start to write for someone else Image Credit: Stanley Zimny Many times when I’m talking with speakers they want to know what the next step is. They have been giving speeches for a while and they believe that they understand the importance of public speaking. They have been getting better at connecting with their audience, and although they may still have room for improvement they want to know how they can become better. The answer for them, and p...
Tags: Google, Organization, Writing, Social Media, Tony Robbins, Journey, Speech, Homework, Audience, Speaking, Destination, Toastmasters, 3 - Create, Jim Anderson, Topic, Rule Of Three

How to Write a Book in 30 Days, With Author Grant Faulkner

This week we’re learning how to crank out that book you’ve been meaning to write in a mere 30 days, with author Grant Faulkner. Grant is the Executive Director of National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo) and author of the book, Pep Talks for Writers: 52 Insights and Actions to Boost Your Creative Mojo. Listen to…Read more...
Tags: Writing, Lifehacks, Writing Tips, National Novel Writing Month, Nanowrimo, Writers Block, Grant Faulkner, Grant Faulkner Grant

What is this world coming to?

 Sunday Smithery getting perpetrated on two Sundays in a row?!?(Relatedly, I really need to point the 100mm f/2.8L at more guns. That's a nice macro lens.) . [Author: Tam]
Tags: Guns, Writing, Tam, Smith and Wesson, Pickcher Takin