Monthly Archives: June 2016

The Devil’s Dictionary of Scientific Words and Phrases

Good Science Writing

A List of Helpful Expressions
which commonly appear in Scientific Texts:
their Meanings and a Guide
to their Appropriate Use


inspired, naturally,
by Ambrose Bierce

copyright 2016 by Russ Hodge

additionally  a word meaning the opposite of “subtractionally”.

affinity  a word indicating the likelihood that two components of a system will have intercourse with each other, whether molecules or members of a laboratory; “high affinity” means they’re getting it on every chance they get, whereas “no affinity” means “when Hell freezes over, and probably not even then.”

aliquot  a small portion of a liquid, not an exact measurement, but smaller than the contents of a shot glass; if you start with a full shot glass and then drink a portion of it, this leaves you with an amount that is no longer a portion, so you drink a portion of that, then a portion of the portion, and so on…

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Are You Botching Your Dialogue?

Kristen Lamb's Blog

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Today we are going to talk about dialogue. Everyone thinks they are great at it, and many would be wrong. Dialogue really is a lot tricker than it might seem.

Great dialogue is one of the most vital components of fiction. Dialogue is responsible for not only conveying the plot, but it also helps us understand the characters and get to know them, love them, hate them, whatever.

Dialogue is powerful for revealing character. This is as true in life as it is on the page. If people didn’t judge us based on how we speak, then business professionals wouldn’t bother with Toastmasters, speaking coaches or vocabulary builders.

I’d imagine few people who’d hire a brain surgeon who spoke like a rap musician and conversely, it would be tough to enjoy rap music made by an artist who spoke like the curator of an art museum.

Our word choices are…

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