Does language make a difference when we address serious health issues such as Alzheimer’s and other diseases? Absolutely, according to researchers at Penn State College of Medicine.
Avoid the “war” metaphors, advises Daniel R. George, an assistant professor of medical humanities at the college. While such terminology is common in the medical community and the media, such language can backfire by creating fear and stigma, turning patients into victims and even diverting resources from preventive care. Continue reading
I have yet to find a writer who hasn’t looked back on a story and found something that they could have done better – or worse: something wrong. Sometimes readers or critics do that for you.
For Christine Grimaldi, feedback after what should have been a routine piece for Slate led the Washington, D.C.-based freelancer’s eyes to question assumptions she had made about gender, sexuality and pronouns. Her mistakes led to what she called “one of the worst days of my professional career.” But she managed to turn it around into a primer for other journalists. Continue reading
Photo: National Cancer Institute
The public radio show “On the Media” recently devoted its entire hour to an insightful and poignant episode on cancer and how we talk about it, simply and appropriately named “The Cancer Show.”
It actually first aired in March as the first of a two-part series (part two is here), but I missed it, so I’m grateful for the October rerun.
Unlike most episodes, this one did not focus on a particular recent story or even on several recent stories in the news. Rather, producers took a big picture approach that every journalist who might ever write about cancer should listen to. Continue reading
A study published in the Annals of Neurology indicates that cognitive decline may slow down when people speak two or more languages — even if they learned their second language in adulthood.
While it’s been known for some time that speaking more than one language benefits cognitive function, across the lifespan, scientists could not conclusively determine whether people improve their cognitive functions through learning new languages or whether those with better baseline cognitive functions are more likely to become bilingual.
“Our study is the first to examine whether learning a second language impacts cognitive performance later in life while controlling for childhood intelligence,” said lead author Dr. Thomas Bak, of the Centre for Cognitive Aging and Cognitive Epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh, in a statement. Continue reading
Public speaking, especially in an unforgiving fast format, gave me new insights into my own writing. It was a nail-biting adrenalin-pumping thrill ride. But I recommend it to everyone who writes.
Many of you have watched videos from the very popular organization – TED. Their motto is “ideas worth spreading.” Imagine you had to perform one of those speeches, standing on the red rug.
Here are a few things I learned from speaking in a cousin of TED, on my own red rug: Continue reading