Possibly because my mantra is ‘words matter’ or that I’ve been writing continuously for many years, I get asked for tips on better writing. For years, I quoted George Orwell’s advice on how to be simple and clear, including my personal favorite: If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out….
Archive | September, 2012
Origin of the Word Upset
By Jonathan Becher on September 16, 2012 in books, communication, Culture, language, phrase origin
The English word upset has multiple definitions. The most common implies an anxious uneasiness; as in “I am too upset to say anything.” This emotional version also has a physical equivalent; “My stomach is too upset to eat anything.” In sports and in politics, an upset is to defeat a seemingly better opponent. My favorite…
The Myth Of Fair Value
By Jonathan Becher on September 9, 2012 in books, Business, Culture, measurement missteps, profitability
To prepare for the upcoming holiday shopping season, I’m reading ‘Priceless: The Myth of Fair Value (and How to Take Advantage of It)‘ by William Poundstone. Poundstone references a wide variety of psychology studies which show consumers are unable to accurately estimate fair prices and are “strongly influenced by the unconscious, irrational, and politically incorrect.”…