cuneiform

Friday fun with the history of writing

Writing is a 5,000-year-old technology developed for commercial purposes like keeping a record of agricultural products. Ancient Scripts is an awesome resource to learn more about the world’s writing systems. This TED Ed lesson is a brief introduction. Speaking came thousands of years before writing. All writing that has developed since its invention can be traced…

leader_maze

Lead your reader through your content with transitions

Readers understand a message better when writers use explicit signals of what they want readers to get out of a document. Transitions like “unfortunately” are one type of explicit signal. (Headings are another — see Think long-term and be kind to readers with well-formatted documents.) In fact, transitions are also sometimes called logical connectives. Maybe that makes…

can-t-fix-stupid

The sorry state of language education

Please tell me you had a teacher talk about homophones at least once during your educational experience. This story from the Salt Lake Tribune a few days ago depresses me on many levels. In short, an English language teacher was fired for using the word, “homophonic.”  Like I’m watching a car crash . . . I haven’t been…