You should avoid lists of words to avoid

People keep sending me word lists. “Use these words,” they say. “Don’t use these other words.” If you want to be a better writer, these lists are useless, because they don’t change how you think. Words to ban from tech? This list is way too short Robert Dean lists “20 bullsh*t buzzwords that should be banned … Continued

Reaching across the aisle to prepare for the Trump presidency

If you’re a liberal, Donald Trump’s presidency gives you two choices: fight fiercely against everything conservative or Republican, or find common cause with Republicans against Trump’s excesses. The angry fight will make you feel good for a moment. The rapprochement might save our democracy. Democrats are about to enter hell. Republicans controls Congress. The new president … Continued

The New York Times’ remarkable corporate self-criticism

While The New York Times may be the most successful news organization on the planet, it faces the existential threat of digital disruption. This, as Clayton Christensen would say, is a recipe for disaster. But maybe not. The Times’ 2020 Group has published a manifesto for change. The cogent self-criticism in this document is amazing. Learn from it. The Times’ … Continued

The Edelman Trust Barometer shows how we’ve driven into a ditch

We are living in a portentous moment, characterized by distrust in our leaders and institutions. But what’s the context — is it measurably worse now, and what does it mean? The global communications firm Edelman has released its 2017 edition of the Edelman Trust Barometer, a global survey on exactly these topics. Edelman clearly and evocatively … Continued

Vote for the biggest bullshitters of 2016: Bullshitty Awards ballot

I’ve reviewed and analyzed all the most outrageous bullshit from last year. Now you get to choose who gets the ultimate recognition in the form of the 2016 Bullshitty Awards. Which corporate statements were the most craven: Samsung, Wells Fargo, or Yahoo? Who hid the most outrageous thing in a public statement: United Airlines, Mylan, or … Continued

Where should I practice writing? (Ask Dr. Wobs)

Dear Dr. Wobs: I just finished Writing Without Bullshit and I’m looking for some material to help me get started in putting these new techniques to practice. I’m graduating college this spring, so I don’t have much required writing at the moment and I’d like to start developing strong writing habits before I enter the … Continued