Posted By P & L Blog

Professional writers craft their messages with a specific target audience in mind. The characteristics of each audience can vary by age, interests, gender, location, and education, to name just a few. Did you know that you can check to see if your writing is appropriate for a particular educational level?

The Readability Calculator is a free online tool that measures the number of years of school a person needs to be able to understand your text. Short sentences and simple diction score better than long, complicated sentences. The tool also offers suggestions on how you can improve the readability of complex phrases.

Check it out and let us know if you would recommend the tool to other writers.



Posted By P & L Blog

Pat Summitt's announcement that she has early onset dementia is already focusing more attention on the disease. Summitt, who has won more college basketball games than any other coach in history, says she will continue to coach as long as she is able. Meanwhile, many of us are wondering what we can do to avoid dementia as we get older.

Did you know that learning another language can help you? Research shows that people who are bilingual report the onset of symptoms 5 years later than people who are monolingual. Switching between languages stimulates the brain and although the effect is more pronounced in people who are using the languages every day, even practicing a new language you are learning can help.

Read more about being bilingual and Alzheimer's here.

Posted By P & L Blog

Source: Los Angeles Times


Bonjour, privyet, and nihhao! Calling from Gmail, the service that allows Gmail users to call friends, family and work colleagues from a computer directly to a mobile phone and landlines is now available in 38 languages.

Take that, Skype!

Gchat users have long been able to talk over their computers and video chat, but the ability to use one's computer to call directly to a landline or mobile phone was a development the online giant rolled out last August.

This recent update, as explained on the Official Google Blog, has more international language support -- including Portuguese, Turkish, Vietnamese and Serbian. Also, it allows users to pay for the phone credit in four different currencies -- euros, British pounds, Canadian dollars or U.S. dollars.

The company has also lowered its calling rates. For example, if you want to call England, France or Germany you'll pay 10 cents a minute to be connected to a cellphone, and 2 cents a minute if you call a landline.  To call Mexico it will cost you 6 cents a minute if you call a landline, and 15 cents a minute to call a cellphone. You can see the full list on Google's rates page


See: Los Angeles Times

Posted By P & L Blog

Here are some language-related blog posts that we thought our fellow word nerds would enjoy as much as we did.


Some foreign languages offer more employment possibilities and economic benefits than others. If you are planning to learn a new language this summer, learn which ones are the most lucrative.


Are you planning a trip to the UK this summer? Refresh your knowledge of Brit Speak before you leave.


Do you have friends or family who are ailurophiles? Do you have an inglenook in your home? Would you like to vist a seraglio? These are just three of the 100 Most Beautiful Words in the English Language.  Let us know if you have a favorite word you think should be on this list in the comments section below.


Happy reading!




Posted By P & L Blog

The Newspaper Map does exactly what it promises to do: It maps 10,000-plus newspapers all over the world and lets you browse through, and read, every one of them.

You can search by specific location, zoom in on any given area, filter the news outlets by language, or translate foreign papers into English. And if your news fixation’s accompanied by a history fetish, you’ll want to click the “Historial!” button, which links you to the archives of forgotten (but fascinating) papers like the Diario de la Marina (published in Havana from 1899 to 1959), Le Petit Journal (published in Paris from 1863 to 1940), and the Louisiana Capitolian (published in Baton Rouge for just a few years, starting in 1879).

Curious? Check it out here.





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