Alternatives to the word “mysterious”: A short guide to writing archaeology headlines for media editors

In these slow news days between Christmas and New Year, archaeology often finds itself highlighted in media. This morning, I saw yet another headline for an archaeology story that couldn’t manage to stay away from the word “mysterious”. A mysterious wooden structure, like an apparition at low tide, beckoning us to the deep, just off…

Addressing pseudoarchaeology without being a know-it-all, and other important career skills: Oak Island edition

A commenter on my recent Oak Island update notes: “Nitpicking is a sport for “know it alls” and hubris is the reason this sport exists. Your claims are frankly useless because you are not privy to the actual data.” While another commenter below the first one kindly absolves me of the charge of know-it-all-ism, it…

From the Orwellian management-speak files: A rant on the origin and history of “game changer”

I’ve been in academic administration in one capacity or another for about a dozen years now. In that time, I’ve heard my share of ed consultant flim-flam, trendy admin buzzwords, and Orwellian management-speak. For some reason, in all that time, in all those well-attended meetings, and in all those broadly consulted, fully benchmarked, uniquely tailored-for-our-context…