My issue with “issue”? No problem. 

Problems. Difficulties. Complications. Obstacles. Disputes. Solid words but not used much anymore. Now everything is an “issue,” and I’m so grateful to Carina Chocano who wrote about this brilliantly in the New York Times Magazine (July 23, 2017). “Almost any difficulty, conflict or threat will feel less pressing as soon as you’ve reduced it to […]

Read this post...

Frank Bruni Asks a Good Question

I’ve been thinking about writing a column on this subject for a long time. Then I saw that Frank Bruni of the Times beat me to it, and did so beautifully. I couldn’t have said it better myself, so I won’t try.

Read this post...

11 Steps to Compose Clear, Concise & Effective Emails

The average office worker receives around 80 emails each day, and I’m sure many of you receive more than that. With so much to wade through, your audience – whether it’s one colleague or a slew of potential customers – needs you to get to the point and be immediately relevant. Here are some tips […]

Read this post...

Politically Correct? Or is it Time for a New Vocabulary?

We all know words have power. Take the vocabulary of incarceration – the stigmatizing way we speak about people who have served time. Studies show that the words we choose – “felon,” “ex-convict” or “ex-offender” – present a significant barrier to reintegration. While people are certainly responsible for their actions, there is little room for […]

Read this post...

Tech Can Stifle Language Skills? Duh!

It’s becoming abundantly clear that our technology does not necessarily help us increase our language (and writing) skills or our ability to learn. My fellow writers and communication professionals – and especially parents – should take heed. Here’s some of the evidence: Tech Toys A recent online article in JAMA Pediatrics reported that electronic toys […]

Read this post...

4 Easy Steps to DECREASE Innovation at Your Company

The term “innovation” is used a lot in business, taking on buzzword status. I’ve heard corporate leaders talk about their company’s “culture of innovation” more times than I can count. But what does it mean specifically? Is it fresh thinking that creates value? Is it new products and business processes that create wealth? Is it […]

Read this post...

The Obfuscating (Incomprehensible) Language of Finance

Many people – maybe most people – feel put off and insecure discussing the subjects of finance and economics. It’s almost like talking about serious health concerns with a doctor who only uses medical lingo. Many of us don’t have the training to understand, so we smile, weakly, and nod our heads. But whether it’s […]

Read this post...

I REALLY Want You to Read This VERY Important Post THAT Will Improve Your Writing

Mark Twain is supposed to have said, “Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very’; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.” The words “very” or “really” are supposed to increase the impact of a word but you’re not adding anything descriptive or insightful for the […]

Read this post...

Learning How Little We Know

Every Tuesday I look forward to the New York Times’s weekly section on science. But a recent edition stopped me cold, because it pointed to some serious communication challenges about our understanding of health and disease.

Read this post...

2014 Resolution: Lose ten pounds… of unwanted words

Each new year brings resolutions. But instead of the familiar ones (you know, more exercise, better eating), how about a commitment to lose clichés and unnecessary words, so your writing and speaking are as smooth and clear as a mountain stream? In nearly all cases, we make a first impression with words, whether you’re on […]

Read this post...
©2018 Don Heymann Website Design by Chroma Sites