50 Delicious links about writing, words and language

Noted by Matt on 21.12.10

Words & language

It looks like Yahoo! has fallen out of love with Delicious, its social bookmarking service. Although it now seems like it’ll sell — rather than close — the site, we thought we’d take this chance to share some tasty links we’ve bookmarked on our Delicious account.

The Delicious homepage
The Delicious homepage

Wordy links: 50 favourites

  1. Longreads — the best long-form stories on the web.
  2. StoryCorps — an independent nonprofit giving people the chance to record, share, and preserve the stories of their lives.
  3. Letters of Note — a gathering of fascinating letters, postcards, telegrams, faxes, and memos.
  4. Does language influence culture? — new research suggests that it does.
  5. An open letter to all of advertising and marketing — please, please please leave me alone, says Brian.
  6. ‘I wrote 2U B4’! British Library shows up textspeak as soooo 19th century — Victorian poems written like text messages.
  7. DailyLit — read books online by daily email and RSS feed.
  8. (Brands that whisper) versus BRANDS THAT SHOUT! — confident brands don’t need cheap tricks, says Interbrand.
  9. Secret vault of words rejected by the Oxford English Dictionary uncovered — millions of “non words” lie unused.
  10. Websites with personality: what marketers can learn from Zipcar.com — a lot, by the looks of things.
  11. Does your brand sound as good as it looks? — a timely checkup from the brand doctors at Landor.
  12. BookSwim — get books to your door with this US online book rental service.
  13. I Write Like — check which famous writer you write like with this statistical analysis tool.
  14. Yahoo! style guide — learn how to write and edit for a global audience.
  15. The Literary Platform — experimenting with literature and technology. 
  16. Words are more important than ever before — some wise words from Interbrand.
  17. Hit singles from the 1990s in the passive voice — McSweeney’s has fun with tunes.
  18. Thinking literally — Metaphors shape your world in surprising ways, says The Boston Globe.
  19. Missing the nuance — the New York Times on how the most effective writing uses words sharply and precisely.
  20. When novelists sober up — in Intelligent Life, Tom Shone studies writers who quit boozing.
  21. The A-to-Z of online copywriting — Econsultancy’s top tips.
  22. Put a lid on canned copy — great advice from the Brain Traffic Blog.
  23. We are all writers now — we’re all reading and writing much more than we used to, writes Anne Trubek in Intelligent Life.
  24. A spew, a poo, and a didgeridoo — Geoffrey K Pullum reports some unusual mid-air poetry.
  25. The poetry of journalism — the Freakonomics Blog on what happened when a newspaper swapped reporters for poets and authors. 
  26. Wordnik — an ongoing project devoted to discovering all the words and everything about them.
  27. A ride in peace — transport writer Christian Wolmar on a subject close to our hearts: those annoying train announcements.
  28. Morrisons supermarket gets writer’s block over children’s toy — nobody noticed they said “yatch” and “umberlla” until it was too late.
  29. The joy of exclamation marks! — Stuart Jeffries on the revival of the exclamation mark.
  30. John Prescott’s attack on the English language — “I undressed 450 students yesterday with Ed Miliband and Eddie Izzard and I did 300 last night.”
  31. World’s best headlines: BBC News — precise communication in a handful of words? The editors at BBC News offer remarkable headline usability, says Jakob Nielsen.
  32. Writing 101: visual or verbal? — Ellen Lupton on why writing is important, even for designers.
  33. Neologisms — a special report on new words from Forbes.com.
  34. How the web made me a better copywriter — an interesting article from AIGA, the professional association for design.
  35. Want to be a web writer? — this Skillset page is a great place to see what it’s all about.
  36. How to write complaint letters — the Guardian on how a Virgin passenger raised complaining to an art form.
  37. What is a poodle-faker? — a man who habitually chooses to socialise with women, according to World Wide Words.
  38. Weird words: aposiopesis — the rhetorical device of suddenly breaking off in speech.
  39. American English vs. British English for web content — users pay attention to details in a site’s writing style, says Jakob Nielsen. 
  40. Nibble his chicken — and other funny shop signs on Language Log.
  41. Don’t mind your language… — a rambling post on — yes — language from Stephen Fry.
  42. Linguification — turning a factual observation into a linguistic claim, often without justification.
  43. It’s time to stop using work jargon — try using plain English, says Giles Morris in the Guardian.
  44. Mumfordishness — anyone know what it means?
  45. The power of words — and how to use them to the greatest effect in advertising.
  46. I, Pencil by Leonard E. Read — leave all creative energies uninhibited.
  47. Gnathonic — “resembling Gnatho or his proceedings”. 
  48. 100 most common English words quiz — how many can you guess in five minutes?
  49. Where does the expression “lipstick on a pig” come from? — Ben Zimmer ponders the origins of the porcine proverb.
  50. Tesco checks out wording change — “10 items or less” becomes “up to 10 items”.