It’s true — there’s only one ‘only’

not teaching, still THINKING … If you listen carefully to what people say, you’re likely to hear this phrase: “one of the only …” It doesn’t make sense. Something can be “one” of a specific number, such as one of three, or it can be the “only” one, meaning just that. Words take up valuable […]

9 words clarify ‘frozen meat’ detail

Much has been written and shared about the massive search for two prisoners who boldly escaped from Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York, almost three weeks ago. Details have included: How the two men made their exit Who at the prison helped — by providing tools How the tools were handed over — in frozen meat Anyone […]

May you never ‘like’ anything

MAY you … For the month of May, we are devoting this blog to our wishes for journalists present and future: “MAY you … “ Every day, you will find a tip, a tidbit or a top-of-mind piece of advice we hope will help you now and later Wait. What? One memorable thing we learned from […]

Words to ‘nix’ in your headlines

If you want to get people to read your content, start with a headline that smartly markets your material. Be clear and specific. Use everyday words that people will recognize. Avoid go-to words for headlines — commonly referred to as headlinese — that you ordinarily would not use in conversation. Consider our list, as a […]

10 warning signs about credit

Journalists and content consumers, alike, share a need to know where information comes from, who is providing it and how it was gathered. Whether the content is a long-form story in print or a link shared on social media, we need to be able to trust it. To that end, we share 10 warning signs […]

Transitions: be subtle, be smooth

Transitions in writing take readers from paragraph to paragraph, from topic to topic and from speaker to speaker effortlessly. The best transitions are subtle. They amplify words as if a person is speaking into a microphone, not a megaphone. Here are some quick tips about transitions. KEY QUESTIONS Ask yourself some key questions when assessing […]