Friday, April 6, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Skills: Why They Matter

The author concludes:
Always remember that your body language — the way you move, listen, react — will influence whether or not others want to work with you, and how well you can convince people of your ideas. You don’t have to become a professional actor to change your nonverbal communication; but you do have to become more self-aware.

7 Tips for Increasing Your Writing Productivity | Personal Branding Blog - Dan Schawbel

According to the author:
The more you use the 7 writing tips that follow, the more powerful they’ll become, creating lasting habits of writing and branding success.

Elbowing our way to better writing | Christian Science Monitor.com

A new book argues that people would write better if they connected better with their true "mother tongue": spoken language.

Want a job? Write a letter  | ajc.com

Referring to the principal of a human resources firm in Atlanta, Georgia: "A recent survey conducted for OfficeTeam, a leading staffing service, backs him up. Of the more than 1,000 senior managers at companies with 20 employers or more polled, 91 percent said that cover letters were very or somewhat valuable when evaluating candidates. Additionally, 79 percent said it was common to receive a cover letter even when the resume was submitted electronically."

Writing advice from C.S. Lewis was both adorable and concise

The author writes:
On June 26, 1956, author C.S. Lewis responded to a fan letter from Joan Lancaster, a young Chronicles of Narnia enthusiast. In a personalized thank-you letter, the writer imparted some simple and valuable stylistic advice for budding prose writers.
For more online resources about concise writing and plain language, check out these free websites of mine:



The Daily Tar Heel :: UNC journalism school defends spelling and grammar exam changes

Beginning in the fall of 2012 [at the University of North Carolina], the test that all journalism students must pass with a 70 percent or higher before graduation will be composed of two-thirds grammar questions and one-third word usage questions. The word usage section will replace the spelling portion of the test.

Advocacy in hard times: Lessons from the Occupy movement | Crosscut.com

Excellent article. It affirms my professional goal of working for progressive nonprofit agencies and organizations to help them communicate their mission, goals, needs, plans, programs and services to key audiences.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Top Six Online Resources For Professional Editors | Erin Brenner, Intelligent Editing

Brenner writes:

Don't get me wrong: I love my print books as much as the next word geek. But the internet allows me to look at how language is being used right now—not how someone wishes it were—and it puts lots of up-to-date expert advice at my fingertips. Combining those two things helps me make the best decisions for any text I'm editing, whether it's a press release, a thoughtful book on how to teach mathematics, or a no-holds-barred blog post.


Her article describes "some of the best online resources for judging how a word or phrase is currently used and by whom."

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

No, business writing doesn't need to stink - Megan Hustad, Fortune Management

Hustad writes:
If you extract the jargon and corporate-speak abstractions, what's left may not be all that impressive. If the basic idea is fatuous, its stupidity has nowhere to hide once phrased in plain language. But if the point sounds unremarkable once put in plain English, maybe that's a signal to keep working and reworking. Not just the text, but also the idea -- because there's no separating the two.

Trouble With 'As' and 'Than' - NYTimes.com

The blog begins: 
It’s surprising how often we stumble over constructions involving comparisons with “as” or “than.” This is a case where reading aloud (even reading “aloud” to yourself) may save you from a misstep. These lapses are easy to miss by eye but are more obvious to the ear.
Check out the examples. 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Can you pass the test on banned words? | Leonard Pitts Jr., Miami Herald columnist

Pitts writes:
Rather than shield the fundamentalist kid from the fact that not everybody believes God created the world in a week, rather than shield the poor kid from the fact that some people have computers at home, rather than shield the vegan kid from the fact that some people eat pepperoni pizzas, is it not more important to teach them to navigate a world of tumult where not everybody believes or behaves as you do? Isn't that part of what education is for?
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