Monday, December 19, 2011

Around the Word

The best gift for a writer. For those of you who prize creative gifts that don't necessarily cost a lot, and especially for those having a Buy Nothing Christmas, GalleyCat has an excellent suggestion for the writer in your life: give the gift of time. Among other ideas, you can "let them borrow your office on the weekend...promise to babysit on a weekday evening...volunteer to do their household chores for a short, do anything it takes to help your writer friend find a few consecutive hours of peace and quiet to write." In the article's comments, writers suggested a second (free) gift idea: read their book and give them a positive review on Amazon or another book site. Any other ideas for non-traditional gifts for writers? Tell us in the comments.

Winning words. PR Newswire revealed earlier this month that for the first time, Oxford English Dictionaries in both the US and the UK chose the same phrase for Word of the Year: "squeezed middle." Here at GG, we didn't think that was such a great pick. In contrast, this list from Flavorwire of the Most Memorable Words of the Year seems a lot more comprehensive, and includes some terrific ones, like "Arab Spring," "occupy," and "planking." Are there any words you think they forgot?

Losing words. Speaking of words of the year, Marist announced the results of their poll for the years most annoying word. We'll skip the suspense and tell you that for the third year in a row, the winner is "whatever," with "like," "you know," and "just sayin'" close behind. Do you agree?

Memorable closers. For those speech-givers and -writers out there, there are a lot of things to take into consideration when planning out a winning speech. You should of course consult our friend Fletcher Dean's terrific book 10 Steps to Writing a Vital Speech, and to supplement that, Ragan has a list of 5 great ways to close.

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