When words lose their power

When words lose their power

Monday, March 14, 2016

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Fleur

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  1. The Power of Punctuation
    24 Mar, 2017
    The Power of Punctuation
    Feel like eating, Grandma? or Feel like eating  Grandma? One tiny punctuation mark can make a big difference, especially when you're asking your grandma if she's hungry. Recently, the punctuation has been in the news, with the Oxford comma making its presence and its power known. According to The Conversation, US company Oakhurst Dairy could owe $US10million to milk truck drivers because of a missing comma in a legal clause. Three drivers sued the company three years ago for unpaid overtime
  2. Distinguishing between meaning and tone in emails
    09 Sep, 2016
    Distinguishing between meaning and tone in emails
    Some words and phrases become so overused that we fail to read them. They might be typed on a page in front of us, but we are so familiar with their meaning that we skip over them, bypassing them in favour of words which might teach, inform or interest us. And so it is with the phrase used so commonly now in emails, and in letters of the past, “I hope you are well”. The New York Magazine recently called on office workers to strike the phrase from their communications, such was its meaningless.
  3. Words can be beautiful, ugly and deceiving
    23 Aug, 2016
    Words can be beautiful, ugly and deceiving
    There is a beautiful village in England, all stone walls and flower boxes, called Upper Slaughter, and another called Lower Slaughter. The macabre place names could not be further removed from the reality of these little villages in the Cotswolds. And so, in my mind, a word suggestive of violence and death has come to be associated with a place of beauty. Words can be beautiful, ugly, illuminating or deceptive, depending not just on their literal meanings, but also on the way they sound, look
  4. The tyranny of tech talk
    07 Jul, 2016
    The tyranny of tech talk
    I have always felt all at sea when confronted with numbers. At the mere hint of an equation, my brain jumps ship and swims for a far off shore. However, in the face of my poor math skills, I have consoled myself with the knowledge that I feel comfortable navigating the world of words. Having read books obsessively since my teens, I have seen too many words not to have developed a decent vocabulary along the way. But, lately, I have started to feel out of my depth as a whole new continent of
  5. If only a magnifying glass could help us spot our typos!
    22 Jun, 2016
    Why it is so hard to spot a typo in your own work?
    There is nothing easier than spotting a typo in news story you are reading. It lies there, glaring at you, begging for you to see it. Unless, that is, you have written the article yourself. No matter how many times you might have read over your writing, it can be so easy for you to look past a mistake. And while this propensity might make you feel stupid, you can cheer yourself with the knowledge that the opposite is actually the case. Psychologist Tom Stafford from the University of
  6. 'Hey guys' the latest words to strike a nerve
    02 Jun, 2016
    'Hey guys' the latest words to strike a nerve
    In the workplace, we hear them and say them all the time. But the words 'hey guys' are the latest to have been accused of having a more significant meaning than we might intend. The term 'guys' is the main culprit in the Diversity Council of Australia's new Words and Work Campaign, aimed to encourage workers to think before they speak. Or, more specifically, to think before they use subtly gender-loaded terms. Interestingly, the campaign has run into some detractors, who believe that women
  7. Are you a boss or a leader?
    08 Apr, 2016
    Are you a boss or a leader?
    I recently read an internet meme about 'bosses' and 'leaders'. At first sight, the words seems interchangeable. Surely, a boss is a leader, and a leader is a boss. But, if you think about it more carefully, the words have meanings that are quite different from each other. Most people know of bosses that are not leaders. They follow the rules, complete their tasks, but fail to display any ability to innovate, take risks or tackle difficult issues. Others lead without being bosses - they bring
  8. Does writing come naturally?
    29 Mar, 2016
    Does writing come naturally?
    It is a question that can be asked of all skills - does it come naturally or do you have to work to master it? Often, the answer is often the same. Most top sportspeople, artists and writers will say that their success is a result of a combination of talent and hard work. I am often asked by clients how they can improve their own writing skills or the writing skills of their staff. Unfortunately, I don't have a quick fix that will teach people about grammar and vocabulary. Sure, a quick spell
  9. Long live The Age
    19 Mar, 2016
    Long live The Age
    The future is not looking good for the print media. Fairfax last week announced it would cut a further 120 editorial jobs at The Age, Sydney Morning Herald and the Australian Financial Review. The losses came four years after Fairfax cut 1,900 staff from across its entire business. In response, staff have gone on strike in fear the job losses signal a devaluing of quality journalism. So, does it matter and how much? I believe it matters greatly. Living in a one metropolitan newspaper state is a