New research: what that emoji in your email communicates

New research from Ben-Gurion University shows why you should never use an emoji in business communication. Researchers Ella Glikson, Arik Cheshin, Gerben A. van Kleef tested emojis with 549 people from 29 countries. Here’s what they found: Participants who received emails with smiley-face icons rated the sender as less competent. While smileys are supposed to make … Continued

Does it matter that Trump can’t spell?

President Trump tweets lots of spelling errors. In the New York Times, Farhad Manjoo says this is just a sign of the times. It’s fine to spell things however you want on social media your friends, but when you’re communicating with people who matter — like, say, the entire citizenry of the United States — … Continued

Art and craft

Here are a few words on what it feels to successfully create art, and why we can never really understand it. This weekend I attended “The Fabrication of Imagination,” a show put on by the Arts League of Lowell, Massachusetts. The people there were fascinating. I met Judith Wombwell, an artist originally trained as a choreographer … Continued

With Hurricane Harvey approaching, the Weather Channel wastes copy on weather porn

Hurricane Harvey looks like a devastating storm. But with the media deploying superlatives so frequently, is there any capacity for alarm left for this actual emergency? I analyze the lead hurricane article from The Weather Channel for precision, clarity, and effectiveness. The lesson here: context is crucial when describing a potential disaster. Start with this: … Continued

The Trump Afghanistan speech is full of heartfelt platitudes

President Donald Trump announced a new strategy on Afghanistan and Pakistan last night. But before he got to the substance, he spent 481 words on his feelings about soldiers. When you hear words like these, your heart may stir, but ask yourself: would anyone ever say anything different? Am I being manipulated? The speech last … Continued