Ouch—and Yeah!


From Slate’s Dear Prudence column:

I am five years younger than the newest hire [at this newspaper], and I am infinitely more efficient, clear with my writing, and communicative with my sources than the new reporter. [She] constantly works overtime, is defensive to managers, and is overall awkward and completely aloof to her bizarre treatment of sources, other reporters, and bosses. I wonder why nobody ever suggested to this girl that she pursue copyediting instead of reporting.

(You can read Prudie’s snippy response here.)

As a colleague of mine said in her email, I’m laughing too hard to be offended.


Old-School Hyperlinking


Have you seen the funny and “clever illustrations of bad decisions”? In the same vein, Evan Robertson, a New York–based graphic designer and writer, created a line of striking illustrations based on quotes from famous authors. He described his inspiration for the series in a Huffington Post interview, deftly breaking it down for the internet generation: Continue reading “Old-School Hyperlinking”

Senior Moment

I was walking down the street, when I noticed a much older man looking at me from the storefront up ahead. As I approached, we locked eyes and he hollered, “INDIAN CHIEF!” Was it the nerdy glasses? I took it as a compliment.


A Viper in the Pipes

It’s sometimes hard to relax when the radiator sounds like a rattlesnake.


If Only I Were Eugene Mirman

Some people, such as software engineers, make useful things for a living. Other people, like workers in a state unemployment office, make misery for a minimum of one full hour. I endured a phone call from one such person, a dour and condescending lady-robot sliding off the mild end of the autistic spectrum. I haven’t been spoken to like that since I was five. Perhaps she was elitist and judgmental, perhaps she had been encouraged to be suspicious, or maybe she simply hated herself for not getting fired from her horrible job. Wouldn’t it be the sweetest slice of irony to have her get the business end of a phone call from her former employer? Continue reading “If Only I Were Eugene Mirman”


You Need an Object

In my line of work, as in life, things of a lewd nature creep up from time to time. I spent one day replacing every fucking with fuckin’  in a certain character’s dialogue to better convey his Scottish brogue. I quite enjoyed that one.

Then there was the author who had written about a young girl who fisted in her dress. My eyeballs skidded to a halt. Continue reading “You Need an Object”


Helvetica on Wheels

Association can be deeply ingrained. Think corporate, think business, and if you’re design-oriented, you’ll see all kinds of words floating above your head, twirling on their axes in a simple, smooth font devoid of pizzazz or personality. What I tend to see are the actual words.

It’s clear that language is a living thing powerful enough to reshape how we speak, read, and write. I appreciate that and allow for some wiggle room. Although I refuse to use disrespect as a verb (we all have our standards), the words nauseated and nauseating are used interchangeably without any twitch of the eye, and that’s fine by me. Such judgment calls depend on how conservative you choose to be. Although irregardless is a word, if your aim is to be taken seriously, you cannot use it; people will question your integrity, your level of education, your hygiene, and the ability to maintain relationships.

Continue reading “Helvetica on Wheels”


Yeah, Right


Do you have a quick answer to this question? If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be? Here’s mine: Sidney Morgenbesser. Unfortunately, he is of the latter category. A revered philosophy professor at Columbia University for five decades, he was in the business of blowing minds. Noam Chomsky once stated that he was “one of the most knowledgeable and, in many ways, profound thinkers of the modern period.” He was “a philosopher in the old sense,” Dr. Chomsky explained. “Not so much what’s on the printed page but in debate and inspiring discussion.” Some have even likened him to a modern-day Socrates. Continue reading “Yeah, Right”


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