Category Archives: Language

Business clichés visual find-it poster

In case you missed it, last month we sent out our 2009/2010 holiday greeting. Actually, it was more “greeting” than “holiday” — and maybe more “beating” than “greeting!” Why? because we went ahead and poked some fun at a lot of those empty business clichés that get thrown around in meetings, emails and corporate conversations.

So go ahead and download it, hang it up by the water cooler, leave it on someone’s desk… ;-)

Later this month we’ll be sending out an interactive PDF with all of the clichés identified and defined. Sign up for our email newsletter if you’d like to get a copy.

Happy new year, everyone!

“Marks and Meaning” a new book by XPLANE founder Dave Gray

“Marks and meaning is a work in progress; an evolving exploration of visual language, visual thinking and visual work practices by the founder and Chairman of XPLANE, the visual thinking company. An unfinished work, it’s a hybrid: part sketchbook, part textbook, part workbook, and continuously updated by the author, based on feedback and conversations with readers. This is version zero: the first version available to the public.”

Gene Weingarten – Yanks Thump Sox

“If you are like I, you are pretty sick of reading articles about how the financially-troubled newspaper industry is making desperation budget cutting moves: Downsizing its products, laying off staff, buying prostitutes for advertisers, and so forth. But believe me, you’d be even sicker of it if you were INSIDE a typical American newsroom these days, where it’s sometimes hard to hear over the 200 decibel background drone of human whining.

One frequent newsroom complaint is that they are cutting back drastically in the use of copyeditors. It’s true, but I for one am not complaining. I say good riddance.”

Goodbye, cruel Word: A personal history of electronic writing

“For the first time, I no longer have a copy of Microsoft Word installed on either of my computers. That\'s some change. I wrote my first two books, and many hundreds of articles, in Word. But I\'m writing my third book in an inexpensive yet wonderful piece of Mac-only software written by a single person instead of a “business unit” at Redmond. Scoured of Word, my computers feel clean, refreshed, relieved of a hideous and malign burden. How did it come to this?”

How to Say Nothing in 500 Words

“Paul McHenry Roberts (1917-1967) taught college English for over twenty years, first at San Jose State College and later at Cornell University. He wrote numerous books on linguistics, including Understanding Grammar (1954), Patterns of English (1956), and Understanding English (1958).”

English Pronunciation!?!

“If you can pronounce correctly every word in this poem, you will be speaking English better than 90% of the native English speakers in the world. After trying the verses, a Frenchman said he’d prefer six months of hard labour to reading six lines aloud. Try them yourself.”

Yahoo! Design Innovation Team: I. you. he. she.

“This application example uses live questions from Yahoo! Answers to generate an overall, up-to-the-minute impression of people’s raw feelings and thoughts on the network. Typically such language visualization applications screen out common words, such as our Answers Cloud. When we look at such pronoun words and see how often they are used on Yahoo! Answers, an overall pattern of common meaning and usage emerges.”

XPLANE reprints Robert Horn’s classic book, “Visual Language”

This week, the newly formed XPLANE Press achieved its first milestone: The reprinting of Bob Horn\'s classic book Visual Language. Horn\'s book makes the case that visual language is truly an emerging international language, and – like all languages – it has an inherent order, syntax, and grammar that can be learned and applied. While the world of information design has come a long way in the 10 years since Visual Language was first published, the book\'s core message remains relevant today.

Visual Language has been out of print for the last few years, but is now back on the market via the XPLANE store. We will soon be offering it on Amazon as well, where used copies have been selling for upwards of $100. Here’s more from XPLANE founder Dave Gray.