Thursday, April 17, 2014

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“Over” versus “more than”

March 22, 2014 by  
Filed under Blog, Featured, Writing

Reader Russ Schumacher pointed out to me that the Associated Press has now accepted both “over” and “more than” as in “over 500 people attended” and “more than 500 people attended”. The outrage from the community is described here. Where do you stand?

My response to 3monththesis’s “Why some perfectionism is a good thing”

March 6, 2014 by  
Filed under Blog, Featured, Writing

The original post is here, and the post starts: One of the most common pieces of writing advice is to “just get words down on the page; don’t worry about detail, and don’t think too much”. This is often given as a way of overcoming writers block, or the “fear of the blank page”. Perfectionism […]

Dead salmon have meaningful brain activity, or how to get scientists to stop using outdated methods

March 4, 2013 by  
Filed under Blog, Featured

We’ve all seen in our science bad approaches or terminology that get established and are difficult to kill. Chuck Doswell has his pet peeves, I’ve battled against my share: conditional symmetric instability to explain banded precipitation and moisture flux convergence as a diagnostic for severe storms forecasting. Bennett et al. were awarded the 2012 Ig […]

“Utilize” versus “Use”

December 18, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog, Featured, Uncategorized, Writing

From The Telegraph (sent to me by Jamie Gilmour): When the American writer David Foster Wallace died four years ago, he left behind the following fragments: notes towards a dictionary all of his own. Utilize A noxious puff-word. Since it does nothing that good old use doesn’t do, its extra letters and syllables don’t make […]

How important is it to use “important” in your writing?

Have you read an article where the author talks about “an important process” or “the important role of another process”? Do these sort of platitudes go in one of your ears and out the other? Are you convinced by the author’s use of the word “important” that it truly is an important process? Or, do […]

Problems with the term “overrunning”

Several authors have criticized the use of the term overrunning to represent warm-frontal lifting here and here. I don’t need to add anything to those Web pages, but I do want to point out that the definition provided in the American Meteorological Society’s Glossary of Meteorology is wrong and ambiguous. overrunning—A condition existing when an […]

“This issue was not raised by the other reviewers, so we prefer not to address it.”

July 25, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, Featured, Reviewing

As a reviewer and an editor, I occasionally see an author respond to a reviewer comment with the above response: “This issue was not raised by the other reviewers, so we prefer not to address it.” This response has always bothered me, but I didn’t know why. After thinking about it recently, now I know […]

What are your pet peeves?

Appendix B: Commonly Misused Scientific Words and Expressions of Eloquent Science was inspired by a list of incorrect science expressions and annoyances maintained by Chuck Doswell. Many of Chuck’s pet peeves are included in Appendix B. I also surveyed my friends and colleagues about their pet peeves and included many of them in Appendix B. […]