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Blog Excerpts

Top Seven Journalistic Cliches

Chris Pash, who works for Dow Jones Asia-Pacific, has been using the Factiva news database to track the most overused journalistic expressions. He's come up with a list of the top seven cliches, from "at the end of the day" to "concerned residents." Read all about it here.
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During the global economic crisis of the last few years, previously esoteric financial jargon has worked its way into public discourse. One such term is quant, a shorthand term for "quantitative analyst." They're the subject of Scott Patterson's new book, The Quants: How a New Breed of Math Whizzes Conquered Wall Street and Nearly Destroyed It, and I take on the term in my latest On Language column in this Sunday's New York Times Magazine. It's a timely topic, given the mysterious 1,000-point dip in the Dow Jones index last week, variously blamed on quants and "fat fingers."  Continue reading...
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Blog Excerpts

Strange Signs from Abroad

The New York Times recently ran an article on how the city of Shanghai is struggling to combat "Chinglish" — poorly (and often humorously) translated English signage. Accompanying the article was a slide show, "A Sampling of Chinglish." The Times then asked its readers for further "photos of amusingly translated or otherwise quirky signs," and the hilarious collection is now available here.
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Michael Lydon, a well-known writer on popular music since the 1960s, has for many years also been writing about writing. Lydon's essays, written with a colloquial clarity, shed fresh light on familiar and not so familiar aspects of the writing art. Here Lydon explores how the best writers speak to us through their singular literary styles.  Continue reading...
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The "call to action" is one of the sacrosanct elements of ads and direct mail: Lose weight! Save money! Act now! How unorthodox, then, to discover calls to inaction — invitations to simply think — in a spate of recent ad campaigns.  Continue reading...
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A few days before I was married, almost 21 years ago, I was walking the eight blocks from our apartment to the daily newspaper at which I worked and, at a stoplight, happened to glance downward. Yikes! I was wearing two different shoes.  Continue reading...
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Writing teacher Margaret Hundley Parker continues her entertaining and enlightening look at common errors in college papers and how to fix them. Here she tackles frequently appearing grammar goofs.  Continue reading...
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1 2 3 4 5 Displaying 15-21 of 33 Articles