“Change is constant. Change is inevitable.” This applies to language, writing, and journalism too, especially in this age of technology. Perhaps at one point — when we were being sticklers for “proper” usage — we have corrected someone’s misuse of hopefully, literally, or enormity. However, people’s use of these words has changed, and we understand what they mean nonetheless, which is the point of language. Technology has also evolved, and it is changing how we write, edit, check for facts and plagiarism, and think about business. Here, we list recent stories on these changes, along with some creativity tips and fun reads.
- CNN has fired its London bureau news editor after the news agency found out, through Google and a plagiarism detection software, that the editor plagiarized around 50 articles, copying primarily from her old employer.
- The New York Times’ leaked innovation report is said to be “one of the key documents of this media age.” As Joshua Benton of Nieman Lab said: “You can sense the frayed nerves and the frustration at a newsroom that is, for all its digital successes, still in many ways oriented toward an old model. It’s journalists turning their own reporting skills on themselves.” This has led to the question: “Why reinvent the newspaper?”
- Check out Lifehacker’s guide to choosing the right writing app for you, featuring Editorial, Write, and RedNotebook. Also try Anti-Social, Self-Control, Write or Die and other tools to beat procrastination.
- There are campaigns encouraging five servings of fruit/veggies a day to improve health and wellness. Now, here’s a 5-a-day campaign to boost your creativity. There’s also hand-lettering and other ways to get unstuck from a creative block. And to get yourself writing, start by letting your body speak.
- A lot of articles argue about correct word usage, including those mentioned above which are among peevers’ favorites. The value of some rules needs to be challenged, while others seem to be set in stone. As Stan Carey put it, “word meanings have always drifted and spread, shifted and multiplied – change is a fundamental trait of any living language.” There are forgotten words and words that survived through idioms.
- The Tipping Point and What Color is Your Parachute? now seem to be standard readings for fresh graduates. If you’re looking for other, uncommon business books to read, here are five suggestions on the necessity of teamwork (Showstopper!), accepting fear instead of fighting it (A Conversation with Fear), turning problems into opportunities (Secrets of Power Problem-Solving), humanism (Essays on Humanism), and reality (The Social Construction of Reality).
- Also read about Hemingway’s suggested reading list for a young writer, circa 1934, as well as some advice on allowing the subconscious to help in the creative process: “The main thing is to know when to stop. … When you’re still going good and you come to an interesting place and you know what’s going to happen next, that’s the time to stop. Then leave it alone and don’t think about it; let your subconscious mind do the work.’”
Now for a dose of fun reads:
- The Editor’s Creed
- 6 Embarrassing Things You Do—and Why
- 38 Wonderful Foreign Words We Could Use in English
- When and Why Did People Start Saying “Um” When They Talk?
- 17 DIY Office Hacks to Make Work More Tolerable
Ditto is a fortnightly collection of stories on publishing, media, communications, and topics that concern editorial professionals from the most credible sources on the Web. We hope to educate young professional writers and editors about industry standards, breakthroughs, and trends, among other things. Usually, you’ll find news and commentaries in here, but from time to time, we also feature tweets, visuals, games, freebies, and other fun but useful stuff that caught our eye.