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Words that make me cringe
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Words that make me cringe

I’ve told you the story about the contest reporters held in San Diego: “I Can Alienate That Reader in X Words” and how the winner was “Otay Water District.” Who wouldn’t want to flee to the hockey scores? But hackneyed, cliched and corporate-speak words can be just as bad. You can alienate that reader in […]

Weird Al Yankovic takes on business lingo in latest video
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Weird Al Yankovic takes on business lingo in latest video

Wrapping up a series of eight videos in eight days, Weird Al Yankovic parodies business language. With a tune that sounds very much like Crosby, Stills & Nash’s “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes,” the song – “Mission Statement” features Yankovic harmonizing with himself on lyrics full of corporate jargon. As he sings, an artist illustrates the […]

Covering hospitals: Core concepts and terms
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Covering hospitals: Core concepts and terms

U.S. hospitals generally have three kinds of financial structures. We’ll dive into each below. Nonprofits, the traditional variety, are the most common, accounting for 58 percent of all hospitals. The term nonprofit -  the same as “not-for-profit” – doesn’t mean they are no profits. Many nonprofit hospitals make big bucks. Nonprofit means that they are […]

Covering Real Estate: Glossary of terms
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Covering Real Estate: Glossary of terms

By Jonathan Lansner Like any other industry, real estate has its own lingo. Here’s a brief slice of the vocabulary needed to succeed in covering this beat. Adjustable-rate mortgage: Interest rate and the resulting monthly house payments of these “ARM” home loans vary over time. Some ARMs offer teaser rates with initial, discounted payments. It […]

Investigative reporting: Glossary of key terms
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Investigative reporting: Glossary of key terms

Given the range of possible investigative projects, there isn’t really any particular glossary of terms to cover the area.  However, here are some terms that could come in handy at times. 10K: A company’s annual report filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission. 8K:  Term to describe an SEC filing in which a public company […]

Covering sustainability: Glossary of terms, concepts
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Covering sustainability: Glossary of terms, concepts

Business has its own language. So, too, does sustainability. Navigating through the specialized maze of carbon and sustainability terms can be confounding. Anytime your subject uses a specialized term, ask for a definition. Here are a few terms to get you started: Corporate social responsibility (CSR): In 2010, the International Organization for Standardization released the […]

Covering agriculture: Glossary of terms, concepts
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Covering agriculture: Glossary of terms, concepts

Understanding the basic terms associated with agriculture-related topics will give you the knowledge base to conduct solid interviews and identify key trends. To get you started, here’s a list of keywords to familiarize yourself with: Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933: This set up the system of price supports. Agriculture Census: A treasure chest of information from the […]

Covering banking: Glossary of terms, concepts
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Covering banking: Glossary of terms, concepts

Banking surely is a beat with a language all its own.  This is a list of some of the key terms you’ll need to know and will come across frequently. The three sites I consulted in the arrangement of this glossary, are named below. Asset—Anything on the balance sheet with value to the company. In […]

Covering energy, utilities and mining: Glossary
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Covering energy, utilities and mining: Glossary

Oil producers: These are the companies that extract crude oil and gas from the ground. The largest are integrated—that is, they extract the oil, and they refine it into usable fuels. But most are so-called independent – like Chesapeake Energy Corp. Refineries: These facilities take crude oil and convert it into gasoline, diesel, heating oil, […]

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