Miscommunication?

I don’t think this is sending the message they really want the public to receive.

It almost made me laugh. I come from a background of small business owners, often working on call seven days a week. I myself have mainly been in customer service or freelancing which has few days off, lots of being on call and I only get paid if I show up and keep working. So, I was surprised and then almost laughed out loud when I saw this come up on a website for a union. unionjobSource: The Media Union of BC

Kill Them All

Extremists, terrorists… kill them all…. Where does that end and which group are terrorists and which are we supposed to believe are not? Kill them all is never going to work. History is the only way to look back and be told who the good guys were. The good guys aren’t even those who tell or publish the stories. The good guys are the people reading the stories, just ask them.

killthemall

The Media has Become the Emperor

We live in the days of the Emperor’s New Clothes. The media is our Emperor, the leader, the trend setter, commander, ruler and most of all the judge. How did it change from the days when the media reported the news and kept judgement and opinions out of it?

When I studied writing in college, not so many years ago, I was taught the importance of the media reporting from an unbiased point of view. But, even then, we talked about how psychology, marketing and peer pressure could be used to slant the facts.

What do you think?

What do you really think when no one is listening, tattling on you or judging you? What do you think when you strip away political correctness and public expectations? Do you even know what your real, sincere and genuine opinions are any more? Can you still admit to yourself that some of your opinions aren’t popular in today’s world? Are you intimidated by peer pressure, popular opinion and the media or can you allow yourself to disagree, even just a little?

I think we live in a world where the media is the Emperor and we all tell it how wonderful it’s clothes are, even though we can plainly see the media isn’t wearing anything at all. The problem is the media is the best tool of everyone who wants to start a witch hunt and witch hunts are a great way to become famous, in the media.

Add in Google for social media online and even without offline resources a witch hunter can do quite well for at least a short time. Fame and fortune for the small sacrifice of people having a mind of their own.

The media Emperor thrives on it all. The Internet may shake the print publishing industry but the media itself is thriving on gossip, scandal and witch hunting.

emperor

You can read The Emperor’s New Clothes online if you’ve never heard the story or forget how it goes.

Settling for Less in Print

Words are beautiful but they need rulesThis is about typos and publishing. How many typos did you find in the last print book you read? What about the newspaper? Compare that to web publications, blogs included? Do you see a trend?

I can remember when finding a typo in a published book was rare. I wish they were still rare. These days I usually find at least one in each book I read. Often they are obvious typos not just something spell check software could catch but something a human proofreader would have (or should have) noticed and fixed.

On the web there have always been typos, outright spelling and grammar mistakes. On the web we are writers without editors, proofreaders or back up staff. Most of us still write our own sites. We publish, maintain and do our own public relations and marketing too. We are our own tech support and once we leave the keyboard the whole operation leaves with us. So, there are uncaught typos, at the very least.

But the standards overall are slipping. Ignorance is part of it. You don’t need to be hired or pass a test to start publishing on the web. I think this has begun to infect the print publishers too. Why be so careful, so particular if you can get away with a casual typo or a relaxed style of punctuation, spelling and grammar? Why spend all that money hiring proofreaders to maintain a standard which seems to be disappearing?

I don’t like settling for less.

As a reader of print books the errors in print have begun to make me feel cheated. Once I felt I could rely on print publications to learn correct forms of writing. Now, I feel annoyed to pay full price for a book when publishers seem to have abandoned that diligence.

Words are beautiful but they need rules to work well with others.

International Typewriter Day (June 23rd)

Tuesday, June 23, the anniversary date of the U.S. patent filed by Christopher Latham Sholes and company for an “Improvement in type-writing machines” which is a good enough reason to throw a type-party at the midpoint of the year.

Source: Welcome to the Typosphere: International Typewriter Day 2015

What is #ACanadianThing ?

How many people use their regional spelling on their sites? That is a Canadian thing for me. I’ve had to (or been expected to) adapt my spelling for other sites and schools. I never like doing so. I prefer to keep Canadian spelling, to promote and maintain my culture, history and communication rules.

It’s all English (unless your site isn’t in English, of course) but there are small differences in spelling for each country. Canadian spelling

#ACanadianThing

Source: #ACanadianThing hashtag on Twitter

Do you Speak Esperanto?

I first heard about Esperanto ten years ago when I was writing at a site called BackWash. One of the other writers was learning to speak the language and writing about it. I read some of the history, how the language was developed. I even wrote a post about Esperanto, as a resource for anyone else interested in finding out more. Then, I heard very little about it again, until finding this post today (see below). Esperanto is still around, still has all the potential to grow and become important… but it hasn’t yet.

Like its vastly more successful digital cousins — C++, HTML, Python — Esperanto is an artificial language, designed to have perfectly regular grammar, with none of the messy exceptions of natural tongues. Out loud, all that regularity creates strange cadences, like someone speaking Italian slowly while chewing gum. William Auld, the Modernist Scottish poet who wrote his greatest work in Esperanto, was nominated for the Nobel Prize multiple times, but never won. But it is supremely easy to learn, like a puzzle piece formed to fit into the human brain.

Invented at the end of the 19th century, in many ways it presaged the early online society that the web would bring to life at the end of the 20th. It’s only ever been spoken by an assortment of fans and true believers spread across the globe, but to speak Esperanto is to become an automatic citizen in the most welcoming non-nation on Earth.

Source: How an artificial language from 1887 is finding new life online | The Verge

Beware The Phantom of the Opera

I will never forget seeing The Phantom of the Opera in live theatre downtown Toronto years ago with my family. I loved it. The rest of them…. they mocked it and continued to mock the show for weeks afterward. Doesn’t it really bug you when someone else just doesn’t get (understand) something you love? Anyway, that was years ago.

Phantom of the Opera Live on Stage or Creepy on Film?

I don’t think anyone, having heard the music from Phantom of the Opera, will ever really get it out of their head again. The story is one which has been told and retold in endless versions and twists since Beauty and the Beast (likely there was an earlier version before then but we don’t know it).

Does anyone remember the Phantom of the Paradise which starred Paul Williams back in 1974? For me that was far creepier than the Phantom of the Opera performed live at the theatre. But, the theatre was meant to be for all ages. The movie was not. It had all the weirdness of a movie made in the 1970′s and then some. I still remember the feeling of being creeped out more than the movie itself.

I’d like to read the original book by Gaston Leroux.

The sad thing about reading books which were not originally written in English is having to trust the translator not to edit anything while they re-write the book for an English reading audience. No one should buy a book which has been translated without finding out about who did the work and how it was done. So much can be changed depending on standards and ethics at the time. I’d like to read the book as close to the vintage version (with all the signs of the times) left intact.

I’m adding Phantom of the Opera to my list of classic books to be read. It’s a long list but I’m getting there, one book at a time.

The Everyday Sexism Project

The Everyday Sexism Project exists to catalogue instances of sexism experienced by women on a day to day basis. They might be serious or minor, outrageously offensive or so niggling and normalised that you don’t even feel able to protest. Say as much or as little as you like, use your real name or a pseudonym – it’s up to you. By sharing your story you’re showing the world that sexism does exist, it is faced by women everyday and it is a valid problem to discuss.

everyday sexism project
via the everyday sexism project.

What story would you add? Think over your day (today or yesterday) don’t go beyond that into the past and dig up big issues and events. Sexism creeps in to so many little things every day.

I don’t mean things like a man holding a door open for a woman. That is still a courtesy, unless he lets it swing shut on the next woman who isn’t as young or pretty. Don’t take common courtesy and good manners as sexism. Manners are a form of respect in our culture.

Today I read a Twitter post about a woman who gets asked “Where’s your boyfriend?” when she carries boxes herself. That is sexism for both men and women. However, I don’t think it’s sexism to offer to help her. I’m a woman and I might help someone carry something. On the other hand, I’m glad when my brother helps me carry groceries up the steps and into the house. I don’t ask for the help. I know I’m hoping he will.

I don’t see that as sexist, especially when I see how much easier he carries everything than I would have done. Plus, he feels manly helping me. I’m happy to make him feel good. If he stays I offer to make coffee and he likes to sit back and be fussed over a bit. I like doing it, for him. I wouldn’t feel the same if it were someone else.

On the other hand… he thinks I’m over reacting when I feel threatened by a man who touches me too much, gets too close, etc. His attitude is everyday sexism but it comes from not knowing how I feel as a woman: vulnerable to a bigger, stronger person who can react in ways I can’t predict or control.

The issue of everyday sexism is interesting because there is so much more to it than it seems on the surface.

Don’t Apologize for Reading

Jade Walker posted a quote I really liked today:

“[D]on’t ever apologize to an author for buying something in paperback, or taking it out from a library (that’s what they’re there for. Use your library). Don’t apologize to this author for buying books second hand, or getting them from bookcrossing or borrowing a friend’s copy. What’s important to me is that people read the books and enjoy them, and that, at some point in there, the book was bought by someone. And that people who like things, tell other people. The most important thing is that people read…” –Neil Gaiman