Category Archives: Great reads

Ageless Living Magazine September issue


September marks my first issue as editor of Ageless Living Magazine, and I have to say it’s a heck of an issue!

It’s available now in select pharmacies, gyms, and other locations in Vancouver, Victoria, Penticton, Winfield, and Regina. You can read many of this issue’s great stories at, including my profile of Kevin Campbell, the first person ever to complete the Tough Mudder while on dialysis.

New project: Ageless Living Magazine

agelessI’m excited to announce that starting with the September issue, I’ll be taking on the role of Editor at Ageless Living Magazine while current Editor Liberty Craig steps away to welcome her new baby. It’s a great magazine produced right here in BC, and I’m thrilled to join the team to bring the latest information about living an ageless life to readers both in print and online. You can find the current issue and the archive of back issues at

My book: The Hands-On Guide to Surviving Adult Children Living at Home

There’s been The Hands-On Guide to Surviving Adult Children Living at Home by Christina Newberrysome media attention recently for my book, The Hands-On Guide to Surviving Adult Children Living at Home, so I thought I would provide some information here. It’s packed with great information for families with adult children living at home or planning to move home. It’s available in an eBook format that you can read on your computer, iPad, or other device at (where you can also find a great blog with loads of free information and resources). If you prefer a book that you can put on your bookshelf, you can buy a copy  here.


Here’s all the key info:

The Hands-On Guide to Surviving Adult Children Living at Home by Christina Newberry

Second Edition published June 2012 by Nuru Guides
Available at

Comes with a downloadable family contract template and budget calculator.

Taking pleasure in a good read… of an English usage guide

If, like me, you appreciate a good English usage guide almost as much as a good novel, you’ll like this article from Harper’s Magazine.

The author recommends H.W. Fowler’s Modern English Usage. I’ve also enjoyed Bill Bryson’s Dictionary of Troublesome Words and The Mother Tongue, as well as Bill Walsh’s excellent Lapsing Into a Comma and The Elephants of Style.
For some reason, none of these books captured the public attention that was given to Lynne Truss’ Eats, Shoots & Leaves, though I think they’re all more technically accurate and satisfying for a real language curmudgeon.

As always, simpler is better

I’m a firm believer in simplicity in writing. Using 5-syllable words when 2-syllable words would do may make you *feel* smart, but it doesn’t make you look smart. One of my standard tasks as an editor is combing through language looking for ways to make meaning clearer — and simplicity in language helps without exception.

Here’s a recent blog post from my former colleagues at The Internet Marketing Center that explains another reason why simple language is best — unfamilar, complicated-sounding words can actually scare your readers.

Check the article out here.

Beaconicity? A non-word? C’mon now…

As an editor, I am firmly opposed to using a five-syllable word when there’s a perfectly good one- or two-syllable one that says exactly what you mean, especially when it can make your meaning less clear.

So I offer my enthusiastic congratulations to the Local Government Association, a group that represents city councils in the UK, for their recent banning of 100 “non-words” that have recently cropped up in bureaucratic correspondence, but that baffle the general population — the very people these local councils are meant to serve.

Here’s an article from The Guardian that explains the move, and contains these insightful words from the association’s chairman:

Why do we have to have ‘coterminous, stakeholder engagement’ when we could just ‘talk to people’ instead?

Here’s a list of the top ten terms — with plain-English translations — from The Telegraph.  My favourite?

Predictors of Beaconicity: Signs that a council may win an award

Of course. Who wouldn’t have understood that?

To “ed” or not to “ed”

The other day, a client asked me whether the expression “cast doubt” should be  “casted doubt” if used in the past tense.

 The answer is no, since cast is an irregular verb — the past tense is also “cast.”

But I did a quick Google search to see what’s happening to this expression online, and “casted doubt” comes up about 2,000 times.  Hmmm…

I did find one very useful document in the process of this diversion: a guide to tense  produced by the University of Ottawa.  It contains a nice list of irregular verbs.

Of course, that sent me off on a whole new diversion: looking for concrete and definitive proof that “boughten” is not a word — because I hate it.

That brought me to this very interesting post.

And at this point, I think I’d best get myself off of Google or I could be lost for days.

Even Microsoft is okay when they’re disagreeably facetious

I don’t like Microsoft.

But I am rather fond of their “Disagreeably Facetious Type Glossary.”

I particularly like this bit:

BOWLS are strokes that enclose a white space, like those that make the o and O. The two parts in the g are also bowls. Where a curve partially encloses a space it is also sometimes called a bowl, as in C. But it shouldn’t be. In a B you have two bowls. In the C you have a curved stroke and a COUNTER. The lower space in a Baskerville g is a counter. The upper is also.

The rest of this witty guide is definitely worth a read. Enjoy!