Archive | writing

Lockdown Lingo

The shelter-in-place / stay-at-home orders have triggered new words and phrases in our collective vocabularies. Some of them existed before but have become more commonly used: coronavirus, pandemic, and virtual happy hour. But others are newly created to describe our COVID-19 mandated world. They are descriptive portmanteaus which aren’t likely to stay in our vocabularies…

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Words Matter, Made-Up Edition

As my mantra is “Words Matter,” I’m fascinated by the etymology of words, how different cultures use language, and when people accidentally/purposefully misuse English. I’ve covered spelling bees, written about mondegreens and eggcorns, and advocated for the banishing of overused words. So, it’s probably not surprising that a friend caught my attention when he recently…

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The Pygmalion Effect in Business

In 1965 two researchers conducted a now-famous experiment in a public elementary school, dubbed Pygmalion in the classroom. The researchers told teachers that about one-fifth of their students were unusually intelligent (so-called “growth spurters”), based on results of a fictitious IQ test. Even though the gifted students were seemingly chosen at random, these students performed…

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Do mobile phones cause you to trust less?

If you use your smart phone frequently, you’re less likely to trust strangers. Kostadin Kushlev of the University of Virginia and Jason Proulx of the University of British Columbia came to this conclusion by analyzing data from the most recent World Values Survey. The World Values Survey is a U.S. nationally-representative poll in which participants…

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Change Is The Only Constant

Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened. This optimistic quote is frequently attributed to Theodor Geisel (aka the popular children’s author, Dr. Seuss). In fact, the saying likely pre-dates him by 100 years and should be attributed to the poet Ludwig Jacobowski. Regardless of the true origin, it’s a useful quote to pull…

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