Serif and Sans fonts. Both easy to read, both user friendly. But which is better? The folks at UrbanFonts (another FREE font website!) put together an infographic debating between the pros and cons of the two. The final verdict is Serif fonts are easier to read in print and Sans easier to read on the web. The final message they leave you with, though, is crucial to any designer trying to figure out which type to use: “The best font choices are ones where readers do not notice the font, but the message.”
Source: Cool Infographics
Check out the infographic here from Urban Fonts!
In a recent article written on Inside Higher Ed, there is talk about a debate on whether or not machines grade writing exams as well as or better than humans. Les Perelman, the former director of writing at MIT, is behind the argument, challenging the claim to this well-publicized study.
“The machine is rigged to try to get as close to the human scores as possible, but machines don’t understand meaning,” he said in the article. He thinks, and worries, that teachers will soon be teaching “students to write to please robo-readers [that can] disproportionately give students credit for length and loquacious wording, even if they don’t quite make sense.” It would be an educational crime if this were to happen, but time will tell if these “robo-readers” become the main system for grading exam papers.
Everybody enjoys a little slang. Especially when it comes from a time period like the ’20s. Restronaut feeds this enjoyment with sarcastic flapper slang. A potato isn’t a “starchy, tuberous crop” like we know it, but instead it’s a young man shy of brains. A corn shredder is a young man who dances on a girl’s feet and a face stretcher is an old maid who tries to look young.
Read more sarcastic flapper slang! Maybe you can work some of it into your daily language!
Although it’s not a new phenomenon in the least, it has recently come to light among Women’s and Gender studies scholars and feminists. It’s the College Hookup Culture. Defined by Urban Dictionary as, “The era that began in the early 1990s and has since prevailed on college campuses and elsewhere when hooking up has replaced traditional dating as the preferred method of heterosexual liaison,” hookup culture is becoming more and more predominant among college students.
Professional Writing teacher, Stephanie Amada, recently released an e-book on the subject, titled, How to Deal With Hookup Culture.
“The book was actually inspired by some discussions in my WRA 140 class [Women in America].”
Hooking up, Amada explained, can range from anything such as making out to engaging in full out sex.
“So, when you’re talking to your friends and you say you ‘hooked up’ with someone, many students are unclear about what that might mean unless you are more specific.”
From the e-book emerged an idea for a research project. Aimed more towards women students, Amada wanted to know what do women (and men) really think of this hookup culture? Do they enjoy the casual, “friends-with-benefits,” relationship, or would they rather find someone to date seriously? Along with these questions, Amada wanted to incorporate social media into the project as a way to help students find a place they can talk about the hookup culture.
“The goal of the project is to create an online, anonymous forum that allows students to log on and ask questions or give advice from anything ranging from relationships to dating or sex to women’s health. It should be a comfortable setting where mainly college women can talk to other women students in similar situations as them.” (more…)
Being a writer requires attention to detail, patience, and can sometimes make you a little crazy. Every now and then, it helps to sit back and think about why you’re writing in the first place.
Roxane Gay brings us gentle reminders about writing that are helpful for any writer. Things like “prolific doesn’t mean good” or “there is no shame in writing slow.” If you’re a writer, write these tips down, print them out and put them by your writing space, or just save the webpage to check back with now and then. It never hurts to remind yourself of these little things.
Finding letters penned by writers in the 1800’s is always an interesting thing. But when they give advice to aspiring writers, it’s even better. Experts recently found a letter penned in 1890 by Oscar Wilde. In it, he addressed a Mr. Morgan, and gave two points of interesting advice.
“Make some sacrifice for your art, and you will be repaid, but ask of art to sacrifice herself for you and a bitter disappointment may come to you.”
“The best work in literature is always done by those who do not depend on it for their daily bread and the highest form of literature, poetry, brings no wealth to the singer.”
Read more about the letter on Open Culture, and check back to see what more of the 13 page letter will be revealed.
There are many articles out there with tips on how to be a better writer; so much that sooner or later every tip feels recycled. Thought Catalog released an article from one of its contributors who wrote a list of 33 tips for writers; the difference between this list and others is the more unconventional advice the author gives.
“Be honest” and “Don’t be afraid of what people think” are the typical pieces of advice you hear. “Break the laws of physics” and “Bleed in the first line” are not the typical pieces of advice you hear. I expect most of these are to be taken tongue in cheek, but they’re good pieces of advice, nonetheless.
Ok, so you graduated from college, your diploma *finally* came in the mail, and with any luck you’ve settled into a job or freelance work or an internship, or some delightful combination of the former. You’re paying off student loans, you’re settling into your work routine, you’ve moved into an apartment (or back into your childhood bedroom), and it’s finally sinking in that you’re no longer a student.
Now, that is not necessarily true. Besides the more obvious choices like graduate school or other types of higher education, you are in fact, still a student. The only difference is that you can pick what you want to learn (and there’s usually no one waiting to give you a rolled up piece of paper at the end).
There are numerous ways to continue learning even after you leave your dorm room or college campus. You can, for instance:
Read. Read everything under the sun. Books, magazines, blogs, newspapers, web comics, Twitter feeds, etc. My favorite thing lately has been re-trying out all of the classic novels and bits of literature that were skimmed at break-neck speed during my undergrad English classes. Now I can kick back and enjoy some Steinbeck or Bradbury (or Julia Child and Ingrid Bergman biographies) at my leisure, and not have to worry about looking for symbols or finding applicable quotes for a final paper. Or, if you miss those final papers, you can blog about what you liked/disliked/discovered along the way.
Go back to “school.” One of the my favorite discoveries during post-college life have been online tutorials and actual “classes” you can take. Some examples include Codecademy, Coursera and Hack Design. Best part? Almost all of them are free, and you can learn at whatever pace is comfortable, or if you work full-time, convenient for you.
Listen. If your eyes are already tired from staring at computer screens all day or you have a lengthy commute, try a podcast, or NPR, or one of those books on tape/CD if you’re feeling a bit old school. Or, find people that you think are interesting, or who are doing interesting things in your field, and hear what they have to say, whether it’s through a speaking engagement, a phone call or initiating a conversation via your favorite flavor of social media.
But hey, maybe some of these things are a no-brainer, and that’s fine. Maybe some of you have other methods of learning that you prefer, and that’s fine too. Heck, maybe you actually are still in school but you like to add things to the coursework you’ve already completed (that’s more than fine – in fact, go you!). All that matters is that you keep on learning new things. And if you like what you find, share it with others.
Noelle Sciarini is an alumni of MSU’s Professional Writing program. Now a resident of Ann Arbor, she currently works as an email marketing copywriter for a series of charitable “click-to-give” websites. Sometimes she’s on Twitter, where you can tweet her at @NoelleSci.