Want to be a better writer? Cut these common filler phrases from your work

Author:  Nicole Fallon, Muck Ruck Daily

The biggest improvement in my writing skills happened when I became an editor.

Writers are often too familiar with their own ideas to spot mistakes and poor phrasing in their work. When you’re reading someone else’s writing, though, it becomes easier to see points that need clarity and sentences that can be worded better.

Entrepreneur contributor Shaun Buck reminds us that people have an “infinite number of options” for media consumption, and if they get bored with your piece, they’ll simply find another article to read. It’s critical to capture and keep readers’ attention up front with concise, to-the-point ideas; long-winded narratives will only drive them away.

This is especially true in press releases, which reporters will delete if it take too long to read them (Jessica Lawlorrecommends 300-500 words maximum).

As a professional copy editor, I read and review dozens of articles every week, and I’ve noticed some common clunky and/or extraneous phrases that even the most talented writers occasionally fall back on.

Whether you’re writing as yourself or ghostwriting for a client, do a quick self-edit and see if you’ve slipped any of these “fillers” into your piece.

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Sabine, New Supercomputer Helps Researchers Obtain More Meaningful Data in Less Time

Dr. Andrea Prosperetti, Director of Center for Advanced Computing and Data Science (CACDS), University of Houston

The University of Houston’s Center for Advanced Computing and Data Science (CACDS) recently added Sabine to its resource pool of public computing systems and storage and is now available for use on campus. With the computing power equivalent to 2,700 home office PCs, Sabine greatly surpasses its predecessor, Opuntia.

All UH researchers have free access to Sabine which is proving to be quite useful to a variety of scientific and engineering projects around campus. Furthermore, with technology advancing at the speed of light, it’s critical for computing systems to remain current.

“Hardware ages very quickly and in order for the university to stay current and on the cutting-edge of research, we must update our systems frequently,” said Peggy Lindner, research assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and CACDS staff member. “With Sabine’s added computational power, researchers can obtain results much faster and the system will help them answer their research questions,” she said.

Currently, researchers in the College of Engineering are using Sabine to further their work with NASA to develop safer, lighter and more powerful batteries for the international space station, satellites, telescopes, rovers and more. Also, Sabine is helping the researchers to discover and design new materials for automotive catalytic converters to help car and truck makers produce more efficient and economically friendly engines.

Lars Grabow, associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and his student, Hari Thirumalai are quite pleased and excited about the high performance of the Sabine computing system.

“Through the new system, we retrieve more accurate data quicker,” said Thirumalai. “Not only is the data better, but it’s more meaningful to solving our most complex problems. My only complaint about Sabine is we’re unable to hog it all to ourselves,” he said.

The new Sabine computer system is housed in the Research Computing and Data Center (RCDC) located in the new Multidisciplinary Research and Engineering (MREB) building and is available through the CACDS.

CACDS also offers resources to researchers who require large-scale data analysis for projects. They also offer training services to researchers and students to support further education and knowledge in high-functioning computing.

For more information on Sabine.

By: Ciandra T. Jackson

The Interactive Resume

As we all know, content these days is more digital and interactive. When it comes to your resume, the same shareable content rules apply.

My resume is visible on my site, but instead of stagnate words on a page, I decided to hyperlink my accomplishments and experiences to relevant articles (or actual earned media placements), videos and social media posts.

This tactic is quick, easy and allows readers of your resume to interact with your wonderful professional experiences. I really believe our resumes, cover letters and professional websites should flow like a story (thank you Forbes Magazine). We want people to enjoy reading about our journey through work and life.  Note: Don’t forget to periodically check your links to ensure they work.


esthetician & budding HERBALIST…

For more than 13 years, I have informally studied the areas of wellness, skin care, beauty and fitness. My more recent, professional interest in the field grew from tragedy. In early 2016, my husband was instantly killed in a car accident.

To cope with my grief and heal myself, I decided to dig deeper and formally educate myself about physical and emotional wellness.

Beginning July 2016, I began my journey to become a licensed esthetician and herbalist.  I enrolled in the School of Botanical & Medical Aesthetics as well as Herbalism Roots (Denver’s only comprehensive herbalism program). During my year-long, intense studies, I gained a great amount of knowledge and I noticed my broken heart beginning to heal…Connecting with mother nature on a deeper level and receiving facial services every weekend will make a girl feel better.

To say the least, the lessons learned in school changed my life and I am extremely blessed and honored to have this knowledge and a different set of skills.

Status Quo: 52 weeks of affirmations

Status QuoPeace! I am so excited to announce ZIN’s new book, Status Quo: 52 weeks of affirmations.  Please read the foreword below. Thanks so much for your love and support!

Status Quo: 52 weeks of affirmations Foreword…
ZIN always strived to make ALL people feel important and valued. He was very active on social media, especially Facebook. Oftentimes, his posts were affirming messages to family and friends and his ‘status quo’ was to empower and encourage people to do great things. Status Quo: 52 weeks of affirmations, is a compilation of ZIN’s most positive and uplifting Facebook status updates. When used for good, social media definitely has the power to inspire, educate and yes, affirm… #ZinMemorialProject

Thanks to the Houston Chronicle for the lovely article.

Hidden Figures: When Computers Wore Skirts


Katherine Johnson was 90 on Tuesday, an apt date because it also was National Equality Day.  Not that she ever thought she wasn’t equal.

“I didn’t have time for that,” said Johnson in her Hampton home. “My dad taught us ‘you are as good as anybody in this town, but you’re no better.’ I don’t have a feeling of inferiority. Never had. I’m as good as anybody, but no better.”

But probably a lot smarter. She was a “computer” at Langley Research Center “when the computer wore a skirt,” said Johnson. More important, she was living out her life’s goal, though, when it became her goal, she wasn’t sure what it involved. Read More

Source: Jim Hodges – NASA Langley