Mobile is the new PC

I was happy to see that Marta Rauch--PCS member and principal information developer and team lead at Oracle and Senior Member of STC-- sharing her expertise with members of the Society for Technical Communication.  In a presentation entitled “Mobile Usability Guidelines to Implement Now," Marta described the new usability guidelines required by … [Read more...]

Voting for PCS Administrative Committee Candidates

DarleneWebb

IEEE Professional Communication Society will be holding the e-voting election of Administration Committee members soon. The following people have been nominated for the Professional Communication Society's Administrative Committee(AdCom). Each of the candidates was asked to respond to a set of questions. Please review their responses to these … [Read more...]

The Writing Engineer

To engineer is to write.

I was reminded recently about the amount of time working engineers spend on communication.  As Jon Leydens explained in his 2008 PCS Transactions article, "engineers spend between 20% and 40% of their workday writing, a figure that increases as they move up the career ladder.  Another study indicates that in their first few years on the … [Read more...]

Who Cares About The Oxford Comma? I Do!

I need this t-shirt!

I am ready to confess:  I do care a lot about the Oxford comma.  The purpose of this post is to make you care too. The Oxford comma, or "serial comma," is meant to separate three or more items that appear in a series, with the comma appearing before the coordinating conjunction.  For example, a certain advertising jingle should be punctuated … [Read more...]

Ask Me Anything

Obama's Reddit session was so popular, he crashed the site.  Oops.

During an election campaign, I usually notice which candidates are using media and technology in novel ways.  Think of Bill Clinton playing the saxophone on The Arsenio Hall Show in 1992, or Barack Obama dancing with Ellen in 2008.  This election cycle is no different.  Recently President Obama participated in a Reddit conversation, taking … [Read more...]

Now Available – Transportation Information for IPCC 2012 Attendees

Information on traveling between the Orlando International Airport and the Radisson Hotel Orlando—UCF is now available. … [Read more...]

If Communication is a “Soft Skill,” Then Why Is It So Hard?

Calling communication a "soft skill" implies that it's easier, less technical, and of reduced value.

Recently the phrase "soft skills" created a heated debate among the members of the PCS AdCom.  The question was, should communication be referred to as one of the "soft skills," or should some other phrase be used instead?  And if so, what should that phrase be? Let me start by saying that in my academic context, I am always fighting against … [Read more...]

IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication is seeking both potential book reviewers and books to review

Dear colleagues, IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication is seeking both potential book reviewers and books to review. Book Reviewers Book reviews generally range between 1,000-2,000 words. Upon receipt of the book, reviewers have up to 60 days to write the review. If you are interested in becoming a reviewer, please email Book … [Read more...]

Dash-ing All The Way

Do you know why it's called an "em dash"?

My day job -- as an English professor at an engineering college -- gives me plenty of opportunities to comment on and correct the grammar of my students. I don't often do the same kind of correcting for my faculty colleagues, however.  Quite the contrary, they are by and large effective communicators, and they want to know they are following best … [Read more...]

How (not) to improve student writing

Can a MOOC teach writing?

As Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs, gain in popularity and media attention, it seems that the course format--featuring 1 instructor and many thousands of students--may not provide a good environment for helping students with their writing. As Steve Kolowich reports in the August 30, 2012 issue of Inside Higher Education, students enrolled in … [Read more...]