Archive for April, 2011

Wealthy Janitors

Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright

“Many wealthy people are little more than janitors of their possessions.”


–Frank Lloyd Wright

Dave Barry vs. the Metric System

Dave Barry

Dave Barry

“The weightlifting competition I saw was the women’s 63 kg class.

I’m not sure whether this means the actual women weighed 63 kg or the weights they lifted weighed 63 kg.

Or possibly the temperature in the weightlifting hall was 63 kg.

There’s no way to know for sure without finding out what a “kg” is, and my belief, as an American, is that if I have to start understanding the metric system, then the terrorists have won.”


–Dave Barry

Poor Orphan

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln

“He reminds me of the man who murdered both his parents, and then, when sentence was about to be pronounced, pleaded for mercy on the grounds that he was an orphan.”


–Abraham Lincoln

Vocabulary Builder

Here’s a great link to a vocabulary builder at Quizlet: Kaplan GRE Flash Cards.

Rather than scrolling through the flashcards, just scroll downward on the page to the area where the flash card content is shown in aggregate, and you’ll find a list of 500 words and their definitions. What a great, quick way to refresh your vocabulary!

And here’s a link that tells you more about Quizlet, a powerful learning resource.

Just remember this: as a writer, your job is NOT to impress people with your awesome vocabulary. Your job is to be able to convey complex concepts in an easily understandable format. Your vocabulary skills simply help you quickly grasp this information; your skill as a writer converts this knowledge into a usable format for the benefit of your readers.

As one of my professors used to say: “Your Job is to Obviate Obfuscation and Eschew Sesquipedalianism!” [Look it up; it's a JOKE : ) ]. Or, as Ralph Waldo Emerson so elegantly put it: “Simplify, simplify.”

Diplomacy Defined

Will Rogers

Will Rogers

“Diplomacy is the art of saying ‘Nice doggie’ until you can find a rock.”


–Will Rogers

Writing

Steve Martin

Steve Martin

“I think I did pretty well, considering I started out with nothing but a bunch of blank paper.”


–Steve Martin

Puritanism Defined

HL Mencken

HL Mencken

“Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.”


–H.L. Mencken

E-Book Sales Top Paperbacks For First Time

On April 15, 2011, CNN Money reported that sales of E-books outpaced those of paperbacks for the first time.

The growth of e-books is stunning; sales rose 202% from February 2010 to February 2011, and Amazon reported in January 2011 that its sales of e-books surpassed those of paperbacks.

Good news for trees, writers, and Amazon. Bad news for traditional book publishers and traditional book stores.

The PACE of the shift is what is so stunning to analysts. And this pace spells doom to bookstores who are unable to accept this new reality and make quick and nimble adjustments to their business model. The world has fundamentally changed.

Welcome to WordPros

WORDPROS’ BLOG Celebrates Great Writing. It’s also filled with tips and tricks to help you improve your own writing skills. Whether you are a professional writer, a blogger, an Executive Secretary, or an English Major, a few basic tips can take your writing from bland to WOW.

OUR MOST BASIC ADVICE for the beginning writer? (more…)

got enemies?

Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill

“You have enemies?

Good.

That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”


–Sir Winston Churchill

City Structure vs. Mental Structure

“What is it about certain cities and places that fosters specific attitudes? Am I imagining that this is the case? To what extent does the infrastructure of cities shape the lives, work, and sensibilities of their inhabitants? Quite significantly, I suspect.”

Interesting thoughts on something we’ve all observed (but perhaps not fully registered) from Talking Heads’ David Byrne (who is also a wonderful writer and avid city bicyclist–check out his new book: Bicycle Diaries

Read more of this interesting piece here.

Geek Out: Google Domestic Trend Charts

Here’s a cool resource for economic freelancers (or for anyone who is interested in real world charts and graphs): America’s past economic performance, as demonstrated by trends in Google searches, adjusted for search volume.

The first page shows a couple of fascinating charts: the first is the “Google Retail Index and Clothing Store Sales” and one called the “Auto Buyers Index.” Actual retail sales figures are added on the Retail Index chart–interesting trends here.

It’s also obvious from the Auto Buyers Index that Cash for Clunkers had a dramatic effect, as was widely reported by the news media.

You can generate all types of charts by clicking through the lists on the left sidebar. Google also invites you to download the data, search for trends, & report back your results. You can learn more about this resource here.

There’s even MORE info about this project on the Google Research Blog.

Go to Top