About Louis Biggie

Louis Biggie is the interim Director of Talent Management and Organization Development at The Johns Hopkins University. His first job at Hopkins was as a senior analyst at the university's Applied Physics Laboratory. From 1997 to 1998, he worked for Jhpiego, where he helped form a team that developed e-learning. He left the university in 1998 to co-found an e-learning development company called LearnWare. He spends his free time fiddling with electronics, drinking wine, wearing white trousers, and listening to opera. He has too many annoying habits to mention, but his favorite is developing new ways to pronounce the word "beer."

Posts by Louis Biggie:

Norooz — The Persian New Year

Norooz — The Persian New Year

Once known as Persia, the Islamic Republic of Iran is the 18th largest country in the world. The country is about the size of the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Spain combined. The population is about 70 million. The country’s official language is Farsi, but almost half the population speaks another language. Most people (90%) belong to(…)

More

Shakespeare in the Language of Bureaucracy

Shakespeare in the Language of Bureaucracy

The Plain English Foundation has some terrific examples that show what plain language looks like. It also has information that explains what plain language isn’t. Here are some of the characteristics of bureaucratic government language listed on their web site: Long, complex words Long, unwieldy sentences Impenetrable jargon Passive voice Unnecessary verbiage Padding and pointless detail It(…)

More

Converting Celsius to Fahrenheit — The Quick and Dirty Way

Converting Celsius to Fahrenheit — The Quick and Dirty Way

When you’re on vacation, it’s often important to know what the weather is going to be like. International travelers from the United States often become confused because in almost any other country (apart from the USA), weather forecasts are given using Celsius rather than the Fahrenheit scale that is so familiar to us. We are almost conditioned to understand(…)

More

False Friends. The Enormity of the Problem.

False Friends. The Enormity of the Problem.

Maria was spending a semester in Washington with her husband. The newly married Spanish couple had decided that they could greatly improve their career prospects if they improved their English. They arrived in Washington and registered for language classes and settled happily in an apartment in the pleasant Foggy Bottom area. One day Maria asked(…)

More

Redundant Words

Redundant Words

You can tighten up your writing by getting rid of unneeded words. Here are a few examples: Advance planning. Just say planning. Isn’t all planning done in advance? Past experience. Past adds nothing to your sentence. Absolutely essential. It’s either essential or it isn’t. What’s the difference between essential and absolutely essential? Predict in advance.(…)

More