Clueless and shallow in Palm Beach, Florida #ThePalmBeaches

This advertisement for “The Palm Beaches” was the back cover of the Boston Globe Magazine on Sunday. It is a sign that we are losing our minds. Please, by all means, seek out great experiences. And it’s fine to post great experiences on social media. But if you are seeking out experiences for the purpose … Continued

I am your editor and I reject your apology

When writers send me pieces to edit, they all seem to come with an apology. Your apology is meaningless to me. “I’m sorry this is so long.” “I’m sorry this isn’t better organized.” “I’m sorry this seems to wander around a bit.” I have one client who doesn’t apologize, but submits every piece with a … Continued

Shakespeare didn’t plagiarize. He drew inspiration . . . just as you should.

A New York Times article with an inflammatory title suggests that, according to new scholarly research,  Shakespeare’s plays drew heavily on a manuscript by another author. For Shakespeare scholars, this is a revelation. For the rest of us, it’s a good demonstration of the difference between plagiarism and inspiration. The title of the Times article is “Plagiarism … Continued

5 reasons why text is better than video

Video content is taking over the world, or so we’re told. Text is old-school — video stands out and people share it. So who needs to learn to write? You do. If you think the future of communications is video, you’re way off. Here are five reasons why, for nearly every communication you’re planning, text … Continued

Patriots win AFC championship, Boston Globe wins the Cliche Bowl

Sportswriting is hard. You’re writing about things that have happened many times before, and on a deadline. The inevitable result is overblown exaggerations, overused cliches, hackneyed player quotes, and generally flaccid writing. Case in point: the Boston Globe’s coverage of the New England Patriots’ come-from-behind victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars in yesterday’s AFC Championship game. We’ve … Continued

The strange thing about Trump’s Fake News Awards

President Donald Trump announced his Fake News Awards yesterday. Many of them are, indeed, news reports that turned out to be wrong. Strangely, though, that’s not at all what Trump actually means when he says “Fake News” — or when he generates it himself. Breaking down the 2017 Fake News Awards Trump’s Fake News Awards … Continued

In defense of social technologies

Many of us who promoted social media when it was young are now wondering if we made a mistake. For example, former Facebook executive Chamath Palihapitiya has said “The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops that we have created are destroying how society works: no civil discourse, no cooperation, misinformation, mistruth.” So I decided to take a look … Continued