Tag Archives: grammar

Monday’s Link Roundup.

In this week’s Monday’s Link Roundup, I was particularly touched by Bowl full of memories. Involved as I am at the moment in sorting through my late mother’s possessions, I’m acutely aware of the power of the stories evoked by even the simplest of objects. And for you wordsmiths, don’t pass up I like words. It’s one tasty treat!

  • Wikipedia Didn’t Kill Britannica. Windows Did. “Print will survive. Books will survive even longer. It’s print as a marker of prestige that’s dying. Historian Yoni Appelbaum notes that from the beginning, Britannica‘s cultural project as a print artifact was as much about the appearance of knowledge as knowledge itself. Britannica “sold $250 worth of books for $1500 to middle class parents buying an edge for their kids,” Appelbaum told me, citing Shane Greenstein and Michelle Devereux’s study “The Crisis at Encyclopædia Britannica.”
  • How the art of eavesdropping is fuelling boom in oral history. “Last week the British Library announced it is to work with local BBC radio stations to set up The Listening Project, a Radio 4 programme that will create an oral survey of the nation by putting together thousands of recorded conversations from across Britain. Selected daily excerpts will be broadcast on Radio 4 before news bulletins from the end of this month and an omnibus edition will be aired at the weekends.”
  • Man Who Learned to Read at 91, Writes a Book at 98. “For 91 years, James Henry, a lifelong fisherman, did not know how to read and write and carried the shame of not being able to order from a menu. It had been his life’s ambition to read. Now 98, the Connecticut captain has achieved that, and more, penning a memoir of short stories about his life at sea.” [Thanks to Paula Stahel of Breath & Shadows Productions for alerting me to this item.]
  • ‘Your Playlist Can Change Your Life’: Can music boost your brain? “Anyone who’s had a bad day, then flipped the car radio on and caught the first notes of a favorite song knows how quickly music can lift the spirits. But can that momentary burst of musical power be tapped more strategically to make you a better, happier, more productive person?”
  • 15 Books That Should Be On Every Grammar Geek’s Bookshelf. “People writing “your” when they mean “you’re” makes you cringe. The song “The Way I Are” makes your hair stand on end. You can’t read user comments on websites anymore because you can feel brain cells dying off just trying to make sense of them. You, dear friend, are a grammar geek. As such, there are books that constitute required reading for those of your ilk. After you’re done editing this article, proceed to your nearest bookstore and purchase these must-have titles for rolling in the depths of grammar.”
  • I like words. “When copywriter Robert Pirosh landed in Hollywood in 1934, eager to become a screenwriter, he wrote and sent the following letter to all the directors, producers, and studio executives he could think of. The approach worked, and after securing three interviews he took a job as a junior writer with MGM. Pirosh went on to write for the Marx Brothers, and in 1949 won an Academy Award for his Battleground script.”
  • Bowl full of memories. “…we are defined by so much more than our possessions, despite our rampant consumerism. Yet I believe that for each of us, there are one or two objects that resonate so much, they indeed cut to the heart of who we are.”

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Monday’s Link Roundup.

This Monday’s Link Roundup has a couple of useful articles that’ll improve your website. After reading Are You Making These 7 Mistakes with Your About Page?,  I realized that I’ve got some work to do on my About Page. And How to Write is a pithy 10-point list that all bloggers need to take to heart. If you’re a personal historian and unfamiliar with Cowbird, you owe it to yourself to read Cowbird Debuts New Saga on Valentine’s Day. It’s another innovative way of collecting stories.

  • My Memoir Helped Me Reconnect With My Family. “The writing of Man Shoes was a legacy exercise for my sons that turned into a therapeutic exercise for myself. The healing and understanding that has come about through the writing of Man Shoes is miraculous. At fifty years of age, I am now a much stronger, more secure, happier, and more productive individual than I have ever been. Hopefully Man Shoes continues to inspire others in the coming months and years–just as it did me as I wrote it.”
  • Graphic Atlas. “…a new online resource that brings sophisticated print identification and characteristic exploration tools to archivists, curators, historians, collectors, conservators, educators, and general public.”
  • Cowbird Debuts New Saga on Valentine’s Day. “Email and text messaging have left many of us accustomed to instant gratification when it comes to communication, though impulsive tweets and status updates often lead to regret. Our methods of communication have evolved so rapidly, many of us can now tweet about anything (or nothing) within a few seconds. In the era of 140-character updates, when the lingo has become so foreign that you may need a translator to follow Twitter conversations, have our messages lost their depth? Jonathan Harris thinks so – and says his new project, Cowbird, houses personal, searchable storytelling – and may someday be the one-stop shop for an inclusive public library of human experience.”
  • How to Write. “On September 7th of 1982, advertising legend David Ogilvy sent an internal memo to all employees of his advertising agency, Ogilvy & Mather. The memo was entitled “How to Write,” and consisted of the following list of advice.”
  • A Way with Words. “Public radio’s lively language show.” [Thanks top Wendy Ledger of VoType for alerting me to this item.]
  • Best of the Blogs: Old School and New Skills. “Don’t have time to keep up with design and photography blogs? Keep calm and read on. In this blog round-up you’ll find the most popular fonts of 2011, an amazing type book from 1912, a Herb Lubalin video from the 1980s, and a Photoshop cooking demonstration from 2007. Plus, there are plenty of Photoshop how-tos, digital photography tips, and design ideas.”
  • Are You Making These 7 Mistakes with Your About Page? “…lots of website owners have an easier time proposing marriage than they do writing a solid About Page. If that’s you, you’re probably overcomplicating things. A good About Page is simple, straightforward, and it communicates just a few key things.”

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Monday’s Link Roundup.

This Monday’s Link Roundup has a site that will thrill the Über Grammarian. If that’s you, don’t miss The Online Dictionary of Language Terminology.   If you’re a Joan Didion fan, you’ll want to watch Joan Didion Reads From New Memoir, Blue Nights, in Short Film Directed by Griffin Dunne.  My favorite this week is How Friends Ruin Memory: The Social Conformity Effect. For personal historians it’s another reminder that the stories we record may have little to do with what actually took place.

  • 6 Ways to Sell Without Selling Your Soul. “Sure, you want to build a successful business, but not if it means losing who you are. Somehow, someway, you have to figure out how to make money without abandoning your values, and yet a part of you wonders … Is that really possible? The answer: Yes.”
  • The World Memory Project.The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has gathered millions of historical documents containing details about survivors and victims of the Holocaust and Nazi persecution during World War II. Ancestry.com has spent more than a decade creating advanced technological tools that have allowed billions of historical documents to become searchable online. Together, the two organizations have created the World Memory Project to allow the public to help make the records from the Museum searchable by name online for free.”
  • Joan Didion Reads From New Memoir, Blue Nights, in Short Film Directed by Griffin Dunne. “A mere twenty months after Joan Didion’s husband, John Gregory Dunne, died of a heart attack, Didion’s only child, Quintana Roo Dunne, contracted pneumonia, lapsed into septic shock and passed away. She was only 39 years old. Didion grappled with the first death in her 2005 bestseller, The Year of Magical Thinking. Now, with her new memoir Blue Nights, she turns to her child’s passing, to a parent’s worst fear realized.”
  • Framing a Creative Elevator Pitch. “The aim of an elevator pitch should not be to make a sale, get a job, or nab a sack full of money from a venture capitalist. Rather, it is to start a conversation. The ideal outcome of an elevator pitch is for the other person to look at her watch and say, “I’ve got a free hour. Let’s go have a coffee and talk about this.”
  • A Woman Of Photos And Firsts, Ruth Gruber At 100. “At the age of 100, Ruth Gruber is responsible for a lot of firsts. When she was just 20, she became the youngest Ph.D. ever at the University of Cologne in Germany. She was the first photojournalist, much less female journalist, to travel to and cover both the Soviet Arctic and Siberian gulag. She documented Holocaust survivors and the plight of the ship, the Exodus 1947.” [Thanks to Pat McNees of Writers and Editors for alerting me to this item.]
  • How Friends Ruin Memory: The Social Conformity Effect. “Humans are storytelling machines. We don’t passively perceive the world – we tell stories about it, translating the helter-skelter of events into tidy narratives… But our love of stories comes with a serious side-effect: like all good narrators, we tend to forsake the facts when they interfere with the plot. We’re so addicted to the anecdote that we let the truth slip away until, eventually, those stories we tell again and again become exercises in pure fiction.”

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Monday’s Link Roundup.

To start off your week, why not peruse some of these lively articles in Monday’s Links Roundup? I recommend The Power of Color! for tips on how to use color to sell your products or services.  And for a really creative memoir idea, take a look at The Sidewalk Memoir Project.

  • From Scroll to Screen. “Something very important and very weird is happening to the book right now: It’s shedding its papery corpus and transmigrating into a bodiless digital form, right before our eyes. We’re witnessing the bibliographical equivalent of the rapture. If anything we may be lowballing the weirdness of it all. The last time a change of this magnitude occurred was circa 1450, when Johannes Gutenberg invented movable type.”
  • Five Ways to Improve Your Social Media Skills. “The sites you subscribe to and the thoughts you post define you: as a connection, a customer and even a thought leader. If you have a product or service and you are not using social media to reach out to the masses you are missing a huge opportunity.”
  • The Sidewalk Memoir Project. “I’m teaching an 8 a.m. session of Writing Rhetorically this semester, which is Bridgewater State’s equivalent on Writing I. You need to be a little innovative when you’re trying to hold a class’s attention that early in the morning, so here’s what we ended up doing Thursday. The exercise — which doubled as a lesson in brevity as well as audience — ended up going much better than I thought it was.”
  • National Punctuation Day. “This Saturday, September 24, is National Punctuation Day. Founded by Jeff Rubin, the holiday seems readymade for copyeditors. Rubin’s site offers a few ways to celebrate his holiday, but for word professionals, the best way is to correct punctuation in your editing every day—not just on Punctuation Day—and instruct your writers on better punctuation usage. Gently, of course. Here are a few resources for punctuation lessons:”

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Monday’s Link Roundup.

In this Monday’s Link Roundup I particularly enjoyed Toss Productivity Out.  It questions our usual notion of what it means to be productive.  And for the grammar challenged like myself, you’ll find More one-or-two-word confusables a handy reference.

  • The iPhone: a Scanner in Your Pocket. “The next time you read a document that contains information about your ancestors, wouldn’t it be nice to immediately scan an image of it and email the image to yourself? Even better, how about uploading the image immediately to Dropbox or to MobileMe iDisk?  If you own an iPhone, you can do that right now by installing a bit of low-cost software.”
  • How to survive the age of distraction. “In the 20th century, all the nightmare-novels of the future imagined that books would be burnt. In the 21st century, our dystopias imagine a world where books are forgotten. To pluck just one, Gary Steynghart’s novel Super Sad True Love Story describes a world where everybody is obsessed with their electronic Apparat – an even more omnivorous i-Phone with a flickering stream of shopping and reality shows and porn – and have somehow come to believe that the few remaining unread paper books let off a rank smell. The book on the book, it suggests, is closing.”
  • Confessions of a Typomaniac. “Of all the truly calamitous afflictions of the modern world, typomania is one of the most alarming and least understood. It was first diagnosed by the German designer Erik Spiekermann as a condition peculiar to the font-obsessed, and it has one common symptom: an inability to walk past a sign (or pick up a book or a menu) without needing to identify the typeface. Sometimes font freaks find this task easy, and they move on; and sometimes their entire day is wrecked until they nail it.”
  • Toss Productivity Out. “Toss productivity advice out the window. Most of it is well-meaning, but the advice is wrong for a simple reason: it’s meant to squeeze the most productivity out of every day, instead of making your days better.”
  • The typewriter lives on in India. “India’s typewriter culture survives the age of computers in offices where bureaucracy demands typed forms and in rural areas where many homes don’t have electricity.”
  • Teen volunteers to ghostwrite life tales for patients. “For some teen volunteers at Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center in Sun City West, they’re discovering more about many patients’ backgrounds — and themselves in the process — during one-on-one interviews through a program called Life Stories. Started in January, the program offers two volunteers — this summer it’s 18-year-old Zack Welch and 15-year-old Lauren Harrell — a chance to get to know patients of all ages by asking questions relating to life as a child, interesting vacations, their jobs and careers, and dating and marriage.”

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Monday’s Link Roundup.

For my grammarian friends, this Monday’s Link Roundup has an article you’ll love: Colonoscopy: It’s Time to Check Your Colons. Also, I was particularly moved by Hanishar, or What Remains, photographer Yuri Dojic’s poignant exhibition of Jewish books that survived the holocaust.

  • A Digital Archive of Vintage Television Commercials. “AdViews is a digital archive of thousands of vintage television commercials dating from the 1950s to the 1980s. These commercials were created or collected by the ad agency Benton & Bowles or its successor, D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles (DMB&B).”
  • Through the Middle: Barber vs. Impermanence. “Last year, we featured 7 short films about near-obsolete occupations, which went on to become one of our most enjoyed pickings all year. Today, we add to that collection Through the Middle — a beautiful observational documentary about an aging barber named Mr. S and the slow decline of his business. The film follows his profound reflections as he confronts his retirement, the loss of his patrons, and the ever-changing face of the city.”
  • 109 Ways to Make Your Business Irresistible to the Media. “Getting a mainstream media outlet to pay attention to your business seems like an impossible-to-solve mystery…After 10 years as a journalist, I’ve seen just about every bad pitch you can imagine. And I’ve also come up with 109 foolproof ways to entice the media in your city to highlight your business — approaches that make the mainstream media unable to resist you.”
  • Hanishar, or What Remains. “For the past fourteen years, the photographer Yuri Dojc, who was born in what is now Slovakia, has been scouring his homeland for Jewish books that survived the Holocaust. When he recently showed one of the photographs to the Israeli scholar Moshe Halbertal, though, Halbertal assumed it had been digitally altered. In this particular photo, just one Hebrew word, Hanishar, was legible, written on a page in a prayer book. Dojc doesn’t speak Hebrew, and so it was up to Halbertal to translate. Hanishar, he told Dojc, means “what remains.” [To see the video What Remains click here.]
  • The Art of Handling Criticism Gracefully. “If you’re going to do anything interesting in the world, criticism is an unavoidable fact…The trick to navigating the icebergs of criticism is to figure out which are helpful, and steer clear of those that aren’t.”
  • WhatWasThere: See How Cities and Towns Looked In The Past. “One web site should interest any genealogist or historian. WhatWasThere.com has a simple purpose: provide a platform where anyone can easily upload a photograph with two straightforward tags to provide context: Location and Year. If enough people upload enough photographs in enough places, together we will weave together a photographic history of the world.”

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Monday’s Link Roundup.

In this Monday’s Link Roundup be sure to check out find stillness to cure the illness.  It’s about taking time to stop and be mindful. Altogether now… breathing in slowly… and breathing out slowly… Don’t you feel better already? ;)

Top 5 Most Unique Family Trees. “While I love any well-designed Family Tree, I especially adore the more modern versions that add a little uniqueness to the time-tested keepsake. So whether you’re looking for a way to visually express your family ties or for a special gift (like for a new baby, perhaps!), here are some beautiful and unique Family Trees.”

Highlights from the World of Visual Storytelling, Part 1. “…if visual storytelling in graphic novels is growing, it is also growing in numerous other manifestations and venues. Here’s a partial sampling from the last several months; look for Part 2 of this post on Oct. 10.”

Graphics Atlas. “…a new online resource that brings sophisticated print identification and characteristic exploration tools to archivists, curators, historians, collectors, conservators, educators, and the general public.”

Goodbye, cruel words: English. It’s dead to me.“The English language, which arose from humble Anglo-Saxon roots to become the lingua franca of 600 million people worldwide and the dominant lexicon of international discourse, is dead. It succumbed last month at the age of 1,617 after a long illness. It is survived by an ignominiously diminished form of itself.” [Thanks to Paula Stahel of  Breath and Shadows Productions for alerting me to this item.]

Ancestorville. “… a genealogy web site with more than 4,000 lost family photographs, antique paper, and identified genealogy antiques for sale. The site has identified more than 10,000 surnames amongst the items available for sale.”

Important Slavery Collection Goes Online. “The New-York Historical Society  has announced the launch of a new online portal to nearly 12,000 pages of source materials documenting the history of slavery in the United States, the Atlantic slave trade and the abolitionist movement. Made readily accessible to the general public for the first time at www.nyhistory.org/slaverycollections,  these documents from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries represent fourteen of the most important collections in the library’s Manuscript Department.”

find stillness to cure the illness. “It’s a busy day, and you’re inundated by non-stop emails, text messages, phone calls, instant message requests, notifications, interruptions of all kinds.”