Why is Canadian English unique?

Why is Canadian English neither US or UK English? Even the Canadian language version of WordPress seems to be just a modified UK English – it gets Canadian English wrong.

Canadians understand not being included in many versions of languages but… it does seem sloppy to create a Canadian version as if we spell words the same as people in the UK. We don’t.

BBC – Culture – Why is Canadian English unique?

BBC – Culture – Why is Canadian English unique?.

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.

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

Grammarly has a Typo

Maybe the people at Grammarly were trying to stick to the proper rules but, the correct spelling for WordPress is ‘WordPress’. There’s just a small gap between proper and correct in this case. Do you choose to stick to the proper rules for words or do you use the correct spelling of a name? Your choice may depend on who your readers are and their standards and expectations for what is proper and correct. spelling countsSource: Grammarly

Could you Get Paid to Write?

It’s a bit dramatic to pick up your first ever copy of The Writer’s Market, which ever year you buy your first one. Suddenly you have taken a step into the world where people write and make money from it. This brings the responsibility of expectations. Paid writers should know how to write: spelling, grammar and punctuation. Paid writers should be professional and have a real office (for one thing). What a lot of pressure to perform!

In spite of all that… let this be the year you take that step. It’s kind of scary but exciting too. Make a plan to be a paid writer by the end of 2014. Set that as your goal. You may have been paid small amounts as commissions on Squidoo and other writing networks but take a big step and get paid directly, get paid more and work with an editor at a publication which will judge your writing, possibly make changes and then pay you for it (not a percentage or commission but a real pay cheque for you!)

This deluxe Writer’s Market includes online markets – a great thing for writers who have already had some of their writing published online. Posting to your own site counts too, even if you have been the only one proofreading and editing your work, it is still published (self publishing).

  • Start by getting someone professional (someone who does know grammar, spelling and punctuation) to review your writing work. Get feedback on the common mistakes you make so you can learn from them, be aware of your flaws and watch for them as they come up with you work. Making mistakes is not a bad thing as long as you work on learning from them. Like a word you have trouble spelling, just train yourself to remember the right spelling.
  • Don’t procrastinate. Jump in by looking for a writing market you would like to get into. It might be something you know about from your own personal or professional experience – like a travel agent writing about travel for travel magazines. Take time to plan your method of attack for the market you pick. Choose more than one so you have more options if you get a rejection from your first pick.
  • Decide what you have to offer your chosen market. What does the publication need that you can provide? Study the publication if you have not read it a few times before. Each publication will have topics which are over done and some which just aren’t relevant or timely enough. Find writer’s guidelines for the publication – there are almost always guidelines so keep looking if you don’t find them right away. Or, send a note to the publication and ask for their writer’s guidelines.
  • Craft (and yes, it is a craft) a query letter. Direct it to one publication, one editor (get a name) and give your idea an extra push in some way. Read more about query letters – there have been some spectacular successes and just as many spectacular disasters.
  • Depending on what the publication expected (when you read the writer’s guidelines) you may now begin writing or you may have already written the article/ book/ etc and submitted a sample of it with your query letter.
  • Don’t get scared off or intimidated now. The writing is the part you know, remember?
Writing for children is an extra opportunity if you can illustrate it yourself too.

Pick your Writing Genre and the Markets Too

Just as there are other types of writers – there are other types of writer’s markets and guides to those markets. Look also for photography and graphic artist guides to markets.

Most of all – Best wishes and good luck! I wish you every success in your freelance endeavours.

Don’t forget poets. It may be harder to get paid for poetry but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.

Time Management Matters

Don’t spend too much time getting advice and suggestions. Time management is an important part of working as a freelance writer. You can’t add more hours to your day so use them well.

How to Stop Finding Language Arts Class Boring

Become Active in Language Arts

Change your way of learning language arts. Instead of sticking your nose in a book, get out there and find yourself new challenges, active challenges.

Get into storytelling. You’re not just writing a story, focus on how to tell the story.

Find spelling competitions at your school or groups competing in the schools in your area.

Join a book club where everyone reads the same book and then talks about it. What fresh insight could you bring to the group?

Read out loud. Have you ever read aloud before? It brings a new perspective to whatever you read if you say it rather than just read it to yourself.

Learn a new word every day. Keep a note of any new words you come across and don’t already know. Look up words you have a feeling you know what they are about but you never really checked to be sure exactly what they mean before.

Try word games like Scrabble, crossword puzzles and even the simpler word circle puzzles. Hangman is one of my favourite word games but you will need a friend to play with.

Does it all Seem too Complicated?

Really listen and break it down into steps. If you were giving instructions on the topic where would you start? Think of writing it out like a recipe, or telling a younger school kid about it. Peel apart the main steps from the extra information and work on that until you begin to see how it works, how it all makes sense.

If you really don’t understand ask questions, read more about the subject from different sources or ask a friend who seems to get it.

Think you Already Know it All?

Language is a skill we use every day. It could be easy to see it as something you already know. But, how much do you really know?

Test yourself.

Look for online language arts skills in spelling, grammar, punctuation and vocabulary. If you didn’t get perfect scores you still have something to learn. If you did get a perfect score you need a test for someone at a higher level. Don’t slack off and take a test for a kid unless you are a kid, at that reading and comprehension level.

What to do if You’re Bored in Class

If the class becomes boring because you already know the material being discussed or explained then you could skip ahead in the text book, or read parts of the text which the teacher skipped in order to speed through the lesson.

If you’re still in need of something interesting, ask a question. Put some thought into your question and make sure it is relevant to the topic.

If you’re too quiet for a question, take notes. Write down your thoughts about the topic the teacher is discussing. Write down the questions you could have asked. Then find the answers yourself.

Other than that, begin planning your next assignment for the class. If you get ahead now you will have more time for something else later.

Bored or Boring?

I’ve never forgotten the old saying about people who are bored. I believe it’s mostly true. You do have to be kind of boring in order to be bored. How can you not see something interesting to try, do or think in a world so full?

However, I have had times when I did feel bored with something. When I felt I had explored every facet, every inch and every possibility. I was sure I knew the subject so well there was nothing new for me to find and explore. But, there is always another twist on an old tale. You just have to perk up your interest in finding it.

In my experience people also become bored when they find the challenge too much for them. Instead of trying to work on it they back away from it and make it simpler. But, then it become too simple and this makes it less interesting – boring.

I think this is how people really get bored. They let things become too simple, without challenges. They stop putting a real effort into learning or understanding or creating new methods or new thoughts. When there isn’t something new or challenging about what you are doing, of course you will become less interested in it.

If you exercise your imagination, create a new challenge for yourself and don’t take the easy way out – you can’t possibly get bored with anything.

 How to Get Boring Homework Done – wikiHow

How to Keep from Getting Bored with Your Diary

diaryIf you’ve been keeping a journal. or diary, for awhile it can become a little stale just talking to yourself, the same monologue. Here are some ways to perk your journal writing back up and make it something you can look forward to again.

Start with a diary you like. Shop for a pretty or interesting blank book or make a cover (and even pages) of your own. Or, you might use an online diary and begin on a site like Open Diary, LiveJournal or Blogger.

If you really want to write every day, do it. Keeping a writing schedule is a great way to boost your creativity and discipline yourself to write.

If you don’t want to be a disciplined writer versus a creative writer then don’t push yourself to write ever day.

Whether you write daily or not, don’t always write a long post. Give yourself quick days so you don’t feel chained to your diary. Then, when you have something to say and really do want to write about your feelings, thoughts, ideas and happenings in your life, do so. Give yourself all the space you want to explore your own self.

Have fun with your journal. Draw in it, sketch, stick souvenirs or stickers inside the pages, Turn each fresh page into something uniquely you and don’t be too timid about trying something new. This is your diary, your journal, all the rules are your own to set, or even ignore when you choose to.

Be emotional. In life we are told to be nice, not to be too sensitive and not to get so angry. However, in your diary you can vent, you can pour out sadness, grief, envy, anger, bitterness, jealousy, loneliness, hopeless feelings – any and all feelings can leak out from your fingers, into your pen or your keyboard and onto the fresh white page. This is your place to be emotional and not be judged or told what you should feel.

Always remember this is your adventure on paper. Write it your way.

Don’t always write in the same place or at the same time. Take your diary on the road. Go out to the coffee shop, the mall food court, anywhere you can find a decent place to write. Don’t always look for quiet and solitude. There’s something kind of special, romantic and even mysterious about being a writer right out there where everyone can see you.

You don’t have to use your best penmanship. As long as you can understand our own grammar, spelling and punctuation, that’s all that really matters. (Maybe some day your diary will become a big, best seller) but right now it’s all just your own message in a bottle to yourself. Make mistakes, get messy and don’t go back and fix everything.

If you write with paper and pen take some time to try a few different kinds of pens. Experiment with ink colours, thick or thin nibs and different kind of grips on the pen itself. It’s really nice to have a pen that completely suits your writing style.

Write with pencil if you find yourself wanting to sketch or go back and fix your spelling.

Not everything in your diary has to come from your own brain. If you come across a quote by someone else stick it in the pages too. Write about why you like it, what was special about it for you.

Inspiration, Prompts and Articles for Diary Writers

Diary Groups and Projects