Words You Didn’t Know Had Opposites

A chance to learn some new words. I like the opposite of deja vu, jamais vu. When would you ever use it in conversation? But, it is interesting to know.

What’s the opposite of disgruntled? Chances are you’re thinking the answer should rightly be gruntled—but is that really a word you recognize? The problem here is that disgruntled, alongside the likes of uncouth, disheveled, distraught, inert, and intrepid, is an example of an unpaired word, namely one that looks like it should have an apparently straightforward opposite, but in practice really doesn’t.
Words like these tend to come about either when a prefixed or suffixed form of a word is adopted into the language while its root is not, or when the inflected or affixed form of a word survives, while its uninflected root form falls out of use. This was the case with disgruntled, which derives from an ancient Middle English word, gruntel, meaning “to grumble” or “complain,” which has long since fallen from use—although the gap left by disgruntled has led some dictionaries to list gruntled as a modern-day back-formation.

Anonymous literally means “without a name.” Its opposite is onymous, which is typically used to refer to books, legal papers, artworks, musical compositions, and similar documents the authorship of which is known without doubt.
If an automaton is a machine capable of moving itself, then the opposite is called a heteromaton—a device that relies solely on external forces for movement.
If a catastrophe is a sudden, unpredictable, and devastating event, then an equally sudden or unexpected event of sheer joy or good fortune is a eucatastrophe. This term was coined by Lord of the Rings author JRR Tolkien in 1944, who originally used it to describe a sudden or fortuitous event in the plot of a story that turns around the protagonist’s chances or prospects, and brings about the resolution of the narrative.
Over the years, psychologists have identified a number of different phenomena similar to déjà vu (literally “already seen” in French). Among them is presque vu (“almost seen”), the tip-of-the-tongue feeling that you’re about to remember something you’ve forgotten; déjà vécu (“already experienced”), a particularly intense form of déjà vu that makes it almost impossible to discern the present from the past; and déjà visité (“already visited”), which describes a person’s surprising foreknowledge of a place they’ve never actually been to before—like unthinkingly knowing your way around a foreign town or city while on holiday. The opposite of déjà vu, however, is usually said to be jamais vu (“never seen”): so if déjà vu describes the eerie sensation that something new has actually taken place before, in the case of jamais vu a person believes that a situation that is actually very familiar and has happened before is entirely new.
If a euphemism involves the use of a politer word or phrase in place of a more distasteful or objectionable one, a dysphemism is the deliberate use of an impolite or unpleasant term in place of a perfectly inoffensive one. Dysphemism is often used for rhetorical effect, in order to shock or shake up an audience, or simply for comic effect.
To bring a date forward in time rather than postponing it is to prepone it.

See the full list at the source: 11 Words and Phrases You Didn’t Know Had Opposites | Mental Floss

The Danger of Trigger Warnings

I think of trigger warnings as the peanut allergy campaign. Out of all the allergies people have (I’m allergic to animal hair for instance) why was the peanut allergy given such high priority? How did one allergy cause so much change in how food is served or allowed to be served?

With trigger warnings it is the same story. There are endless lists of items/ situations which could cause issues for people. Enough to shut down communication. Where does it begin and end?

For generations, people have been responsible for their own health, making sure to avoid or be careful when something could cause them to have an allergic attack. People need to self moderate. It really is the only way for everyone to manage communication. Emotional triggers in particular, are very personal and individual. Second guessing what will bother any one person in a group, or the public as a whole, is fruitless. Like a bottomless pit. Moderating everything to that extent would make communication impossible and/ or meaningless.

Over sensitivity and hyper awareness is not going to work for communication and education.

We treat an allergy with exposure, allergy shots are a little of the substance given to the immune system to deal with. When it works, the immune system will lose its sensitivity to the substance. We deal with fear in the same way. Pushing our emotions to endure and gradually understand the problem. Trigger warnings will never work because they put the fear, emotions on a pedestal, making them bigger and more important. Focusing on anything will only make it grow stronger, and more prevalent.

Trigger warnings will only silence communication.

Oxford University law students have asked to be protected from distressing material that may crop up in their studies of the criminal law. Lecturers have been told that they must issue “trigger warnings” before lecturing on subjects that may – it is claimed – lead vulnerable students into depressive episodes or even suicide. Students thus forewarned can either steel themselves to what follows, or, as some are now doing, skip the lecture altogether. The directive is primarily aimed at students studying criminal law.

Will lecturers be expected to anticipate every case in which a trigger warning must be issued? Are law lecturers to become amateur psychologists and predict in advance the topics that may conceivably cause trauma to their students?

The whole point of a university is that it is an institution in which students and academics can engage in free and uninhibited discussion. Nowhere is this more important than in the subject of legal education, which involves much more than being told what the law is.

Source: Trigger warnings are an insidious threat to academic freedom – BarristerBlogger

What Can Writers Offer as a Live Performance?

There are few options for writers, artists and musicians when it comes to protecting your work in the days of the computer and Internet. It seems there is not much to be done once you fire off the initial legal mouth piece paperwork. Then sit back and wish you could hire someone to really do something.

All that work and in the end it can’t pay the bills, created for art, not money.

I was thinking about that this afternoon. I came to the conclusion that musicians have the best chance at still making money from their art. Musicians have live performances which they can sell tickets to and collect a profit. They can use the event to sell music too. Not to mention the gadgets and accessories like T-shirts which they make something on from the work of others.

What can writers and artists do as a live performance? I can’t think of anything really useful or reliable as a way to make money from your art in the modern world. Yes, writers can read their poetry or fiction and hope to sell a few books. Live readings don’t make the money a live music performance can, no T-shirts either.

I’ve seen artists as street painters – temporary work which people watch and may chip in a dollar or other spare change while they stand around and watch the artist at work. No rent money on that plan.

So, what can writers and artists offer as a live performance with the plan of making money from their work without the problem of having their work ripped off and sold by someone else?

Are Writing Networks Not Worth it?

I’ve decided to gradually pull my content off HubPages. With so many posts being no-indexed (by HubPages) it seems I could make more money hosting them myself running Adsense/ Amazon and keeping 100% of the revenue. I already have the blogs up and in need of content. In trying to write for the networks and have some active presence in their communities I have spread myself thin.

You may think there is no point to ever writing for a network. But, I have liked being part of the writing networks for the community, the networking and the sharing of ideas. Also, for the writing discipline of knowing I’m sticking to a schedule and meeting goals not entirely of my own making. Being our own boss is only good when you have a fairly pushy boss.

At HubPages though, the content scraping was pretty much the last straw.  I found two of my posts stolen and even though I sent a DMCA it is just a joke, a waste of time. It’s too easy to ignore an email which the writer can’t afford to back up with legal fees.

It would be nice if HubPages gave us some support with content scraping/ theft. At the very least, find a way to prevent it. But, they don’t seem to be working on anything like that. In the forum they have said it is our content and our problem. However, the way I see it, it is their network and thus they should be offering some support to the writers who write and bring traffic which HubPages profits from.

Anyway, I’ve been feeling discouraged and decided it was time for a change.

How will writing networks like HubPages, Suite101, About.com and the others fare over the next few years? There have been many changes in the past ten or so years since writing networks began. Some call them content farms.


What Do Happy Pills Look Like?

Do you write better when you are light headed and starving? I think not. Yet, here I am, writing on a day (so far) of fasting. I’m not cleansing. I’m just being a bit lazy about making anything edible. Later I need to get out, catch the bus and get coffee. I’ve been putting off the trip since this morning. Not so much a lack of energy as a lack of bother. Some days I really could just be a happy, little hermit.

New legal anabolic steroid now available in the US– Yes that’s a paid link. Although I do take steroids (in my asthma inhaler) I really don’t know anything about them. I don’t read about the side effects and I really don’t want to know too much about long term effects. I’m not much of a health nut.

I don’t read much about nutrition either the technical details about things like proteins, amino acids, carbohydrates and so on. Sometimes I read about making better choices with food and things like hidden salt and sugar and types of fat. Not a lot. I think I don’t really want to know too much.

I do take vitamins. I have multi-vitamins which I tend to forget until I realize they’re about to expire in another month. Then I try to put them in a spot where I will see them and remember to take them. I still don’t remember. Usually I’m just busy with something else at the time I think about them and then, I don’t remember them later when I could take a break and grab a vitamin. But, I do sporadically take Apple Cider Vinegar as an antioxidant and Wild Salmon Fish Oil for Omega3. Mainly, I hope the fish oil will help my skin. I’ve always had dry skin. it does seem to help, but I’m not really sure how much.

There are sites online where you can order all kinds of pills, vitamins and supplements, like Predator Nutrition. I’m always surprised by how much there is when I look down the vitamin and nutrition sort of pills in the drug store or the grocery store even. I’m sure it’s a growing industry when I see it all spread out down the length of the whole store aisle.

Still, there isn’t a magic cure for anything yet. No pill that will turn you from fat to fabulous in a day. I did see a movie where they had a machine like that. It’s the only part of the movie I actually do remember. But, it was a pretty bad movie.

If there were a magical pill that would give you whatever change you want, overnight… What would the pill look like? We all think about quick cures but when do we imagine what they would look like? 

Note: The happy pills in the photo come from KawaiiCloudShop on Etsy.

Are you Permissive with your Work?

For the A – Z Blogging Challenge… P is for Permission.

Someone emailed me today to ask if they could use one of my photos for commercial art they are going to sell. I have given permission for some of my photos to be used for art, for personal use. I really don’t think it is fair to use the work of someone else to make money which you keep for yourself. In that case you are just selling someone’s work and claiming it as your own. Basically. I think that’s asking too much. Some people do allow full use, give their permission for people to make use of their art, software, etc in any way. I’m not fully open source/ open content in that way. How do you feel about the issue of permission, commercial selling and open source content?

Creative Commons (Canada)

Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that develops, supports, and stewards legal and technical infrastructure that maximizes digital creativity, sharing, and innovation.

Revamping the Organized Clutter

I really need a day to turn off everything and just get organized again. Revamp my organized clutter. The clutter is taking over. I can see the dust bunnies peeking out from under my desk, waiting to make a grab for my toes. As messy as things are they are beginning to forget their place and lose their shyness. I’ve even got an old fashioned cobweb hanging down in one corner of the ceiling. When I run the ceiling fan I can see the cobweb blowing around. I keep meaning to get the broom and sweep it away, I just haven’t gotten that far yet.

I have a little filing cabinet. But it’s become a stash for things I need to sort through rather than a filing system for the things I need. I feel guilty. I feel like a hoarder in training. I feel like I’m going to find things I thought I had lost if I ever get this mountain sorted out and gone from the floor beside me.

I don’t know how people (some people) manage to stay tidy, organized and focused. It’s a skill I lack. I’m still trying to conquer the daily struggle to be self disciplined. I guess it’s part of that too. I need a fire sale, except I’m afraid I have too much to lose that I actually should be using. If all my ducks were in a row I’d be so much better, more effective, better organized and smarter too. My ducks just keep wandering around as if they will find a pond of water if they just keep looking.

I have enough common sense left to know the only way to tackle this is to actually get up to my elbows in it. To bring a garbage bag for expired coupons and other things past their due date. To pull out my file for clip art and snip those out from the morass. To type out the web sites that sounded interesting and see how many of them really are. To find anything personal, financial or legal in the stack of paper and put it aside before I dump the rest into the recycling box. There aren’t a lot of short cuts in tidying up your own clutter. Ignoring it for long periods of time just doesn’t work.

So much of this stuff is all part of some idea I had at some time. I get a lot of ideas. People who write (creative types in general) tend to get an onslaught of ideas or a trickle of inspiration. The problem is not to get yourself lost in the clutter that seems to build up so easily.

The Campaign for Plain English

Have you heard about Plain English Campaign or the Plain Language Network? The idea is to make communication simple and easy to understand. Going back to basics essentially. It has been used mainly as a guide for legal and government communications but should be a guide to everyone. What is the point of writing if you are not communicating? (Unless you plan to keep it all to yourself in which case you could come up with your own personal, weird form of shorthand and save a lot of paper).

Wikipedia has the following description: Plain English (sometimes referred to more broadly as plain language) is a generic term for communication styles that emphasize clarity, brevity and the avoidance of technical language.

Plain English is English written to be understood. It is written in a manner appropriate to the range of reading skill and knowledge of its audience. It is writing where there is no confusion about meaning, is free of cliché and unnecessary jargon and is presented in a way that builds understanding. Good Plain English writing has the characteristic that it communicates to an audience that is unfamiliar with the in-house language and knowledge of the writer.

Plain English Foundation

Plain Language.gov

Proper words in proper places make the true definition of style. – Swift.

What appears to be a sloppy or meaningless use of words may well be a completely correct use of words to express sloppy or meaningless ideas. – Anonymous Diplomat. Quoted in “The Complete Plain Words”  by Sir Ernest Gowers.