Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A Word to the Wise

A poem I heard recently that I really liked and wanted to share. It seems that it was first published in November, 1906, in St. Nicholas Illustrated Magazine for Young Folk. It appears right between a comic strip and an article entitled "How Knives Cut."

A Word to the Wise
By Louise M. Laughton

Little owlet in the glen
I'm ashamed of you;
You are ungrammatical
In speaking as you do,
You should say, "To whom! To whom!"
Not, "To who! To who!"

Your small friend, Miss Katy-did,
May be green, 't is true,
But you never hear her say
"Kay do! She do!"

Friday, February 14, 2014

True to Words in 2014

This blog is boring and it's all my fault.

Normally this time of year, I would have published a post along the lines of "top posts for 2013," but considering I wrote a total of 13 blog posts for True to Words last year, that's not going to happen (incidentally, the top post from last year was "What Your Technology 'Body Language' Conveys").

I would have written a post about writing resolutions for 2014, but that's not going to happen, either. Breaking these self-imposed rules made me feel uncomfortable. I even missed writing a post to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the founding of this blog (A belated Happy Birthday, True to Words!).

By all accounts, I would not be surprised if people thought this blog was abandoned. But it's not. I was so busy last year finding a new work after unexpectedly being laid off, and then I settled into the new job, much of it is spent writing content for the Blog at Smartpress.com. Writing so much, it makes it hard to then come home and write for my personal blog. Suddenly, it was December, the year was over, and I'd written one post here in nine months..

All the time, topics would pop up in my head to write about - but most of them didn't really fit here. I thought about starting a new blog, but I didn't like that idea either. It didn't feel right to give up or start from scratch.

So I'm reformatting the blog a bit. The posts may be more personal or stream of thought, some posts might be a lot shorter than the long form posts found here, but they'll still be informative, thoughtful, creative and focused on communication or language in some way. But I'm not going to be as strict in my criteria for what I publish here, being too rigid on the "rules" of what I write is half the reason this blog has been on pause for so long. And feeling obligated to post? I don't want that either.

It's my blog, I can do what I want, right?

Why I didn't do this sooner, I'm not sure. Probably because I've been busy and only had time to think about my blog in the same way I had always thought of it: A place to showcase my work and writing skills. After all, that's the whole reason I started this blog so long ago. But I don't need that anymore, I can point to examples of my work in many corners of the internet now. This can be more of a place to roam around the rooms of my brain.

Expect some new posts in the future. Also, expect a redesign. A new start deserves a new design!

Hope to see you soon and I wish you a Happy, Healthy, Wealthy and Wise 2014!

Monday, September 30, 2013

September Article Roundup: Minneapolis Pet News Examiner

I've sort-of adopted another blog for a while (more on that later) and still work as a freelancer on other people's blogs (probably not so much on that later), so poor True to Words has appeared to be abandoned. It's always in the back of my mind, though, and now the itch to clean out the tumble-weeds on this blog has struck. So here we go.

As much as I haven't been keeping up with this blog, I have been sort-of keeping up with my Examiner.com articles. I missed my June article roundup article, so there are more in this post than previously expected!

Exercising safely with your dog. When there's no snow on the ground during the spring, summer and fall months, Minnesotans engage in more outdoor exercise and many times that includes their dogs. It's good for pets to exercise, as up to 40 percent of dogs in the United States are overweight or obese, but just like people, there are some exercises that are better for them than others. Learn more about fun activities that both people and canines can do to stay fit while staying safe.

Minneapolis ranked a Top 10 dog-friendly city. Estately ranked the top 17 Best U.S. Cities for Dogs. Minneapolis ranked No. 10 for dog loving cities. The evaluation included several factors to determine the rankings, including weather, Walk Score, yard size, dog activities, Meetup groups, and the availability of dog sitters on Rover.com. Minneapolis scored well in several categories, with the only thing that seem to factor against Minneapolis being the harsh winters that keep people and their pups indoors for months on end.

Tips for keeping pets safe on the Fourth of July. This was written with the Fourth of July in mind but could also be considered for other gatherings and events. Many of the same dangers present for July 4th are present during other parties, minus the fireworks. That could include lots of guests, alcoholic beverages and too much food available. If you're having a party soon and you have pets, take a few minutes to peruse this article.

Minneapolis pups have Pride (Photos). The 41st annual Pride celebration in Minneapolis was held this year in Loring Park from June 28th to June 30th. I attended the festival and the annual Pride parade on Sunday afternoon, which marched down Hennepin Avenue through downtown Minneapolis. I snapped a bunch of pics of pups pimping their pride, but I'm disappointed that I missed on particular pooch who had been dyed into a rainbow of colors. Next year, my pretty, I'll get a picture of that little dog, too!

Stop the Bleeding: An open letter to police on the shooting of pets. It makes me sad that this article ever had to be written. It makes me even more sad to know that it's one of my most popular posts, knowing that its being shared in sadness and outrage at the callous killing of our best friends at the hands of people who are supposed to be keeping them safe. Click through to read about the excuses that are being made and the problems this is causing to our communities.

Pet Memorial Day event to be held in Minneapolis. More pets these days are considered part of the family. When a loved pet dies, the loss felt by human companions is comparable to the death of a family member. Attending a pet memorial is a healthy way for humans to cope with the deaths of companion animals. Two organizations that work closely with pets and their human companions created the Twin Cities area’s first-ever Pet Memorial Day event on National Pet Memorial Day, September 8th. I didn't attend it, this was more of an announcement so other people who wanted to could.

The next article roundup will be in December, but my next blog post will most decidedly be sooner.

Monday, April 22, 2013

17 Quotes About Communication

Communication is the activity of conveying, receiving and exchanging information, as by speech, visuals, signals, writing or behavior.

We all think that we know how to communicate, and that we're always communicating effectively. But we so often forget that real communication between two parties - not just talking at a person or listening to someone - requires actually sharing information in such a way that both the message conveyor and the message receiver understand what is being said.

While that may seem simple, it's far too often easier said than done.

Let's face it, if I had a special secret for making sure you are instantly understood by others, or how to automatically understand everyone who communicates with you, I'd be a millionaire and this blog would have a more precise focus. But I don't, so instead, I have put together a collection of 17 inspirational quotes from some great minds that may have been on to something.

"First learn the meaning of what you say, and then speak." ~ Epictetus

"Grammar is the logic of speech, even as logic is the grammar of reason." ~ Richard Chenevix Trench

"Genius is the ability to put into effect what is on your mind." ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

"Good communication is just as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after." ~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh

"The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak." ~ Hans Hofmann

"There is only one rule for being a good talker - learn to listen." ~ Christopher Morley

"A word to the wise is infuriating." ~ Hunter S. Thompson

"The liberty of speaking and writing guards our other liberties." ~ Thomas Jefferson

"The most important things are the hardest to say, because words diminish them." ~ Stephen King

"Music . . . can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable." ~ Leonard Bernstein

"The tongue is the only instrument that gets sharper with use." ~ Washington Irving

"Speak when you are angry - and you'll make the best speech you'll ever regret." ~ Dr. Laurence J. Peter

"The less people know, the more they yell." ~ Seth Godin

"If I am to speak ten minutes, I need a week for preparation; if fifteen minutes, three days; if half an hour, two days; if an hour, I am ready now." ~ Woodrow Wilson

"The mouth is made for communication, and nothing is more articulate than a kiss." ~ Jarod Kintz

"The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." ~ George Bernard Shaw 

"If you have nothing to say, say nothing." ~ Mark Twain

Monday, April 8, 2013

Haiku News - April 8, 2013

Should cursive writing
still be taught in schools? Or was
it a passing fad?

Whistling language
faces extinction because
texts are easier.

If a baby calls
a baby "a baby," is
it still a baby?

Text-speak is either
a whole new language to learn
or pure laziness.

"LOL" is three
decades old, but "OMG"
is near one hundred.