27 Jan 2015
Do you engage in risky writing? Or, more to the point, should you?
I’m not talking about Charlie Hebdo-style cartoons, or even the kind of novel that forced Salman Rushdie into hiding for years. I’m talking about garden-variety edginess for rhetorical effect: strong language, subtle references to sex, drugs, alcohol, bodily functions, taboos of various kinds… you get the idea. Where do you draw the line? How far (and how often) do you cross over it before a little bit becomes too much?
20 Jan 2015
I recently came across a series of eye-tracking heat maps that show where people really look when they look at ads. My initial reaction was to think, “Cool!” and then completely forget about it as I do with most Internet things I skim while I’m waiting for my morning coffee to brew. But something about it came back to haunt me as I sat down to do some writing later on in the day.
Hello, and welcome to the first Questions for a Language Ninja of 2015! May this year bring many and sundry language-related treats for web content-readers to enjoy, and for the Language Ninja to lightheartedly ridicule. Let’s get started!
Q: Which language trend would you like to see abandoned in 2015?
A: Without question, the Ninja would like the suffix “–ista” to be jettisoned from the popular English lexicon, permanently. Does the addition of “-ista” to a subject really cause anyone to think that the title is suddenly weighty or fabulously European? The Ninja is overdosing on cute.
06 Jan 2015
Every 365 days or so, people like to reflect on the previous year and extract lessons. From news stories to top 10 lists, it seems late December and early January is a time of reflection and pointing out all that has changed in the past 12 months. And there’s plenty of change to reflect upon since, after all, change is the only certainty in life — well, that and death and taxes. However, while it’s easy to reflect on worldly events, sometimes our own lives take on a more nuanced progression.