Just say “No” to jargon?

Just say “No” to jargon?

Are you drowning in jargon? My son’s voicemail said: “Hi, Mom. I’m in Minnie, on my way to Indy. I passed my FO. Call me after 7 when I’ll be out of the box.” Hello??? One short message, four examples of airline jargon. This message certainly was concise, but it wasn’t clear to me and… Continue Reading



Several readers responded to my recent blog about not liking to write but liking to have written. To overcome writer’s block, I force myself to sit still and write for a block of time. I have become a voluntary prisoner again today, at least until I finish this blog post. I have recently become aware… Continue Reading

Questions, questions everywhere–I hope they make me think!

“I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” Albert Einstein, physicist, 1879-1955 I have serious doubts about Einstein’s not having special talent, but I do believe the second sentence and try to apply passionate curiosity to all facets of my life. I have been especially thinking about curiosity recently after publishing a 3-page… Continue Reading

A linguists’ joke

 “What do you call someone who speaks three languages?” (Multilingual)  “What do you call someone who speaks two languages?” (Bilingual)  “What do you call someone who speaks one language?” (American) Continue Reading

Why be bilingual?

After so many years of teaching writing, I am accustomed to feeling that I am the language expert in the classroom. I’m not saying that my perception is accurate; it’s just my perception. Imagine my discomfort when I volunteered in my granddaughter’s kindergarten Russian immersion class. Here were 5-year-old American children chattering in Russian and… Continue Reading

Persuading through stories

I have never been overly impressed with my own persuasive capabilities, but recently I experienced a political success that I attribute to storytelling. Some background: On five separate occasions, I had recently had five near encounters with bicycles while I was walking on the sidewalk that loops through our condo development (there are several blind… Continue Reading