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Friday November 28, 2014
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Words and all that

The write stuff

I'm always on the lookout for good writing tips, both to improve my own work and to pass along to others who want to do likewise. Here's a good piece with six tips from Harvard's Steven Pinker. Two are expecially worth mentioning here.

The first is "Don't bury the lead":

Now they own it

Finally, they've come up with a name for our war/not war in Iraq in Syria, and it's exactly the kind of name you would expect for a futile, politically driven operation by an utterly incompetent administration:

More than two months after the U.S. first launched airstrikes against the Islamic State, the military mission has a name: “Inherent Resolve.”

Y'all come

Can we talk?

Compassion

Oh, for God's sake: Paul Ryan's Plan: Rebooting Compassionate Conservatism:

The ex-VP candidate has been touring the country has he formulates an anti-poverty plan Republicans can get behind. Now he’s unveiling some of the details.

[. . .]

And don't spit, either

If you go to Brighton, Mich., better watch your !@#$% mouth:

Quite the event

OK, class, your new word of the day is "eventize":

NEW YORK (AP) -- One day into the annual week where television's biggest networks reveal their future programming plans and it was clear what the buzzword was going to be: Eventize.

Go be generous, but not with my money

People Francis has coined my favorite new oxymoron:

On Friday, Francis called for the United Nations to promote a "worldwide ethical mobilization" of solidarity with the poor in a new spirit of generosity.

Yo, Will, congrats

A four-letter word that rhymes with duck

Whatever else you can say about newspapers, we're sort of the last bastion of clean and polite language. Any of you who still read newspapers appreciate that, or would you rather we loosenedup a bit? A case can certainly be made for relaxing our rules against profanity:

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