Gathering of the Ghosts – January 22, 2024

Words to the Wise Issue 4

September 29, 2021

The latest issue of our Words to the Wise newsletter hit inboxes today. In case you’re unfamiliar, it’s our curated monthly round-up of the latest news and analysis from the publishing and storytelling worlds – along with some fun tidbits for language mavens, the newest content from us, and some upcoming things we’re excited about.

Issue 4 has stories about a common speaking tic connected to Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, an exciting and controversial update to the Hebrew alphabet, the troubling trend of tech companies poaching publishing talent, and more. A preview is below, and you can read the full issue here.

The Latest In Language

So There’s This Trend Called “ZuckTalk,” Right?

Do you know someone who ends their sentences with “right?” even though they’re not asking a question? Maybe you have a friend who unnecessarily peppers their sentences with the word “so”?

While these tics are increasingly common — the New York Times calls them “one of the defining communication styles of our time” — let’s be honest: They’re downright annoying, especially for those of us who prize precision and clarity in our language. Gotham friend David Murray, the head of the Professional Speechwriters Association, puts the point bluntly: This style of oratory is “coercive, manipulative, cowardly, and dishonest.”



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