Every Friday, Chicago-based writer and editor Evan Peterson offers five stories from across the Web that scribes of all stripes should check out. It’s the Week in Writing:
89 business clichés that will get any MBA promoted and make them totally useless.
When PR Daily
(or our sister site Ragan.com
) rants about the overuse of jargon in the workplace, many readers agree, but tell us that their managers use these words. If they want a promotion, they need to speak the language of the tribe. That’s a tough point to argue. Forbes.com
addressed the issue (last week), when contributor Eric Jackson offered dozens of buzz terms to avoid—unless you’re within earshot of a manager. Read the story (and the comments) here
The decline of the English language, continued.
This month, The Wall Street Journal
covered a topic that comes as no surprise to people working in an office: Writing standards are declining among social media obsessed youth. As The Economist
points out, this problem has a long history, dating back to at least the 18th century, when in 1712 Jonathan Swift wrote his “Proposal for Correcting, Improving, and Ascertaining the English Tongue.” Read The Economist
post here, and Swift’s essay here
88 books that shaped America.
The Library of Congress on Monday opened an exhibit dedicated to the books that influenced the nation. They’re not the “best” books, but the ones that helped “shape” America, according to the Library of Congress. “This list is a starting point … intended to spark a national conversation on books written by Americans that have influenced our lives, whether they appear on this initial list or not,” Librarian of Congress James H. Billington says on the organization’s website. The list includes the usual titles—“The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” “The Great Gatsby,” “On the Road”—plus a few obvious yet surprising entries, among them “Alcoholics Anonymous” and “A Grammatical Institute of the English Language.” See the list here
Tweets from people who claim they’re moving to Canada due to Obamacare.
Whether you celebrated the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Affordable Health Care Act or reviled it, you have to hand it to these savvy Americans who jumped on Twitter to proclaim that they’re heading north of the border. “I’m moving to Canada, the United States is entirely too socialists,” said one tweet. That might be the case, but apparently no one ever told these commenters that Canada offers its citizens universal healthcare and is far more “socialist” than the U.S. Read these unfortunate—yet hilarious—tweets here
10 Nora Ephron quotes that will inspire anyone.
Journalist, author, essayist, and screenwriter Nora Ephron died on Tuesday at the age of 71. Throughout her life, Ephron offered a number of witty and inspiring quips and quotes. Here are 10 of her best
Evan Peterson is off this week. Michael Sebastian, managing editor of PR Daily, is doing his best to fill in.