What it really means when the Journal asks Jill Biden to drop the “Dr.”

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On the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page, Joseph Epstein published an op-ed advising first lady Jill Biden — who has a doctorate in education — to drop the “Dr.” in her name. It’s dumb, sexist, and an insult to anyone who’s ever earned a university doctorate. Dissecting Epstein’s screed Here’s what’s in the op-ed — … Continued

How not to be a jerk when you post blog comments

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If the comment you made didn’t appear on my blog (or for that matter, on any blog), chances are you were being a jerk. Honestly, the rules are pretty much the same as they were 12 years ago when Charlene Li and I wrote about this stuff. And they’re pretty good rules for any conversation … Continued

The rare nested triple passive, courtesy of the US Supreme Court

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In a one-sentence ruling, the Supreme Court of the United States rejected the Trump administration’s plea to overturn the election result in Pennsylvania. But what a sentence! The background: U.S. Representative Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania filed a document to overturn the decision of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and nullify the election result in Pennsylvania, where … Continued

“This is our business model” is not a defense

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Companies engaged in questionable or unethical practices will often defend them by saying, “This is our business model.” But building a business on bad behavior does not make it right. This came up after my criticism of Statista’s research practices yesterday. The company responded in a pair of tweets: I am not disputing that Statista … Continued

My big problem with Statista

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Your Web search for data will often land on statista.com. Unless you’re a member, though, the data will be missing the source — which makes it worse than useless. Statista’s policies undermine the integrity of research and data and contribute to the flood of bad statistics and dubious surveys you read in media. Let’s take … Continued

8 rules for closing business quickly

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My prospects become clients quickly. They rarely choose a competing editor. This post is about how I do that . . . and what that might mean for you, if you freelance. This is typically what happens when an author is considering hiring me: They hear about me, from my blog or from another author. … Continued

What’s in the wacko manifesto that Michael Flynn tweeted?

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Former national security advisor and confessed felon Michael Flynn tweeted his support for a manifesto that had been published as a full-page ad in the Washington Times. This ad, by the “We The People Convention,” is one of the most unhinged statements ever embraced by anyone close to power in America. It’s sedition. What is … Continued