Friday, July 3, 2015

George Orwell Takes On Human Resources (Sort Of)

I direct you this morning to an excellent and fun essay, by James Gingell at the Guardian, about how George Orwell might have viewed human resources and the proclamations that come from it.

"The HR industry misuses language as a sort of low-tech mind control to avert our eyes from office atrocities and keep us fixed on our inboxes."

English: Picture of George Orwell which appear...
George Orwell, HR Representative
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I particularly enjoy the idea that George Orwell himself might have established the whole HR enterprise as "a never-ending, ever-expanding live action art installation sequel to Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four."

I bet there's a novel in there somewhere.

Anyway, enjoy "George Orwell, human resources and the English language."

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

New Word Wednesday: ort

Ort is one of my favorite short words. It's almost a rebus. A visual onomatopoeia. It looks like someone took a bite out of short and this little crumb of a word dropped down onto the page.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Announcing Logophilius Editorial

This is a big week for the Logophilius blog. Now, it’s more than a blog, it’s a business.
Today, I officially announce my new enterprise, Logophilius Editorial LLC, my venture into full-time freelance word work. It’s a step in my career that I take with hope, optimism, and no small amount of fear. 

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Writing prompt: Visualize Your Successful Future

Think for a moment about what you really want to do with your life — your dream job, your ultimate career, what you want to be remembered for when you're gone.

Now imagine that you have been living that life for a few years and, unexpectedly, you've been given a great award in recognition of your work. What reward is it — a Pulitzer or Nobel Prize? A Presidential Medal of Freedom? A Humanitarian Award from the Elie Wiesel Foundation? A dinner in your honor by the American Federation of Teachers?

With that picture in your mind, write your acceptance speech for the award.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Support Systems

Take some time this weekend to make some art. Not for money or recognition or (heavens!) work, but just for you. To add a little more life to your life. Everyone can make art, and everyone needs to.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

New Word Wednesday: toxology

Toxology is an old word that figures largely in some well-known, well-traveled stories. If you're thinking about Socrates, iocaine powder, or the Gom Jabbar, you're a bit off the mark — you're thinking of toxicology.

The stories of Robin Hood and William Tell are much more toxological.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Writing as a Constant Search

Writing and rewriting are a constant search for what it is one is saying.Writing about things happening to people isn't difficult. But a story — at least a good one — is so much more than just things happening to people. Behind every good story is some truth, some thing that the author wants to tell the world, or get off his chest, or convince herself of.

Unfortunately, that need to have something to say is also what can paralyze a writer, make writing word one a trial fit for Hercules.

Sometimes we stare at the blank page. Sometimes we just start writing and hope to find the meaning as we go.  And often, we fail.

But those few times when it all meshes just right — when the perfect story and its deeper meaning come together like a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup — it's all worth it.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Writing prompt: A Short Story Definition

Samuel: "You know, I tried reading the dictionary straight through once, but I just couldn't get a handle on the plot."
Daniel: "Of course you couldn't. A dictionary isn't a novel; it's a collection of short stories."

Friday, June 19, 2015

On Romanticizing the Writing Life

We are all guilty of romanticizing the writing life from time to time. It's so easy to do when you only look at finished products — works of beauty and truth and poetry that enrich the lives of everyone who reads them.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

New Word Wednesday: sequacious

The word sequacious might call to mind the mighty sequoia, or glittering sequins, or maybe even that sometime political buzzword sequestration. Though it does share an etymological base with the last one, that's where the relationships end.