Phenomenal author, poet, activist, and actress Dr. Maya Angelou died at 86 on May 28. Her life and lessons inspired people, from writers and activists to hip-hop artists and scientists, to be their best selves. Social media users paid tribute by sharing Dr. Angelou’s inspiring words, one of them is on lifelong learning: “I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn.” So here are some pieces from the past two weeks to help us keep learning:
- Robert Niles offers writers and journalists help on statistics and data analysis — all in plain English.
- Austin Kleon’s fourth tip in Steal Like an Artist is “Use your hands.” He quoted Ernie Pook’s Comeek cartoonist Linda Barry: “In the digital age, don’t forget to use your digits!” So try drawing, which may help develop your documentation and planning skills. Or make it a habit to take notes using pen and paper, preferably in cursive, to enhance learning and self-control.
- How good is your grammar and spelling? Take Stroppy Editor’s simple grammar test and find out. Or read through the coverage of the Scripps National Spelling Bee last week for some refresher then try to spot the typo in New York Times’ May 29 front page. Hint: It’s in the headlines.
- While more and more apps try to make content curation automatic, there’s still a lot about good writing that algorithms don’t get. If you want to find and select content to share without the aid of aggregation tools, as you probably are already doing when you browse your social media feeds, here are some tips on how to keep it ethical.
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.