Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Around the Word

Curb your e-thusiasm: While there has been a lot of doom and gloom about the fate of brick-and-mortar bookstores, the New York Times found that independent bookstores are actually having a booming holiday season this year. While everyone was sure that the economic recession, aggressive Amazon tactics, and the popularity of e-books were destined to put a dent in sales, people seem to be walking into actual bookstores to purchase physical books at a pretty good clip. Are print books on your holiday shopping list?

Indiefficient: Though many book lovers will rejoice at the cheerful holiday outlook for independent bookstores, Slate columnist Farhad Manjoo doesn't think indie bookstores are necessarily worth saving. In a criticism of Richard Russo's NYT op-ed slamming Amazon for killing the bookshop around the corner, Manjoo argues that local bookstores are not all that "local" and are also massively inefficient. Buy two books on Amazon, he suggests, instead of one at a indie bookshop for the same price. Do you agree?

LinkedIn lexicon: You may consider yourself a motivated and efficient professional with dynamic communication skills, but unfortunately so does everyone else on the business networking site LinkedIn. The site recently released its list of the most overused professional buzzwords of 2011, with "creative" and "organizational" topping the list. What's on your personal list of annoying professional jargon?

Talk the talk: "Write like you talk" is a classic piece of writing advice, but would you really want to read something that sounds the way most people talk? Men With Pens blogger Taylor Lindstrom always took issue with this advice, until he reconsidered that maybe the problem wasn't with writing like you talk, but with not talking well enough. His advice: always think about your words, even in casual communication, and get in the habit of expressing yourself well all the time. "Write the way you talk," he writes, as long as "you can speak persuasively, eloquently, and clearly."

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