Tag Archives: grammar

Monday’s Link Roundup.

Monday's Link Roundup

If you’re new to Monday’s Link Roundup, welcome! My collection of links is very idiosyncratic.  I find articles that “tickle my fancy” and that I hope will interest others with a passion for personal and family histories, life stories, memoirs, writing, or genealogy. Enjoy your visit!

  • The Art of Obituaries.[KQED radio interview]“Some people think of obituaries as sad. Not obit writers, though. It’s been said that the best obits are actually about life and that death is just the footnote. We discuss the craft of obituary writing, what kind of life warrants an obit and the effect of the Internet and social media on how we remember the dead.” [Thanks to Wendy Ledger VoType Transcription Services for alerting me to this item.]
  • The Ethical Implications of Parents Writing About Their Kids. “The ubiquity of confessional writing has spilled over into confessions that implicate not so much the author as the author’s still-underage offspring. Readers are meant to celebrate confessional parenting-writing for its courage, perhaps also because it is a rare creative (sometimes lucrative) outlet for women who identify primarily as mothers. Yet these parents’ “courage” involves telling stories not theirs to tell. Confessional writing is about risk. An author telling of her own troubles risks her own reputation and relationships. But an author doing the same about her kid risks primarily his, not hers.”
  • America’s First Man in Orbit Recording. “From a mail-order placed in September 1962 the original recording of ‘America’s First Man in Orbit’ was sold on 33 1/3 vinyl to relive the exciting new territory from the comfort of your living room. Listen to the full recording digitized here:”
  • What is a biography of a poet for? ” Whom is it for? In the time it takes to read John Keats: A New Life, you could read all of Keats’s poems. If you stick to the major poems, you could read them several times. But unlike a biography, great poems can be hard to read; they demand that you read very slowly, not dispensing with the language in favor of its extractible information, as one might when reading a biography, but rather lingering over the language in spite of a dearth of information…Even the most seasoned reader has more experience with the intricacies of people than the intricacies of poems, so a good book about a poet can focus our experience of reading, returning us to the language of the poems with a renewed vigor, with an appetite for varieties of difficulty that may have eluded or even repulsed us in the past.”
  • How to Format the Interior of Your Book. “If you’re interested in putting together a print version of your book, then it’s especially important to make sure your book’s interior looks as professional as possible. You might have written the next Moby-Dick, but if customers are so used to the way that big publishing houses format their books that they might be put off by yours if it’s not similar! First, here are some things you need to think about:”

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Monday’s Link Roundup.

Monday's Link Roundup

On the eve of a new year, my wish is that 2013 brings you much happiness and peace.

This is the last of Monday’s Link Roundup for 2012. Don’t miss A vested interest in palimpsest. I must confess I didn’t know what palimpsest meant. Now I can’t wait to use it. ;-) For another wonderful word to add to your vocabulary, check out 19 Regional Words All Americans Should Adopt Immediately. There you’ll find out  what whoopensocker means.

  • Biographies That Defy Expectations. “This year brought us some brilliant biographies of world-famous leaders .., but this list focuses on books that chronicle the lives of some true originals from many different walks of life…the subjects of these biographies spent most of their lives well off the beaten path and gained fame for their stubborn refusal to conform to other people’s expectations. You could say the same thing about the biographers. These books are written with extraordinary style and originality, by masters of the craft who can spin a tale as adroitly and memorably as any novelist out there.”
  • 12 communication basics everyone should know. “You know that saying about not getting a second chance to make a good first impression when you meet someone? Well, when you’re communicating with someone, especially if it’s electronically or by phone, you get even less slack—particularly when it’s for work. That’s when lost opportunities can have bottom-line consequences. If you want the prospect to open your email, the client to return your call, or the journalist to read your pitch, you’ve got to communicate impeccably. Here are some of my favorite basics:”
  • 19 Regional Words All Americans Should Adopt Immediately. “When traveling across the United States, it sometimes feels like the locals are speaking a whole different language. That’s where the Dictionary of American Regional English comes to the rescue. The last installment of this staggering five-volume tome, edited by Joan Houston Hall, was published last month, and let me tell you, it’s a whoopensocker. In celebration of slang, here’s a list of 19 delightful obscure words from around the U.S. that you’ll want to start working into conversation.”
  • I Won’t Hire People Who Use Poor Grammar. Here’s Why. “If you think an apostrophe was one of the 12 disciples of Jesus, you will never work for me. If you think a semicolon is a regular colon with an identity crisis, I will not hire you. If you scatter commas into a sentence with all the discrimination of a shotgun, you might make it to the foyer before we politely escort you from the building.”
  • Reading Habits by Place. “The latest survey from The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project focuses on how residents of different communities (ie: urban, suburban, rural) read and use reading-related technology and institutions.”
  • A vested interest in palimpsest. “The English language contains certain meaning-rich words that command attention and stir controversy. “Paradigm,” for instance: When Thomas Kuhn used it in 1966 to describe accepted scientific theories, and gave us the phrase “paradigm shift,” he launched a thousand articles, several hundred books and quite a few careers, some just distantly related to science.That kind of word raises curiosity and pries open the imagination, encouraging us to think about what we might otherwise ignore. My favourite is “palimpsest.”

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Encore! 9 Great Links to Help With “Pesky” Grammatical Stuff.

grammar

I’ve a confession to make. I’ve never been great with  grammar. Maybe that’s why I work primarily in video ;-)  I’m sure some of you more keen- eyed grammarians have spotted the odd blunder or two in my posts. However, when I do write major pieces I always rely on a good editor to polish my work. For those of you who prefer to work on your own, here’s a great list…Read more.

Monday’s Link Roundup.

This Monday’s Link Roundup article Grammar Freaks Really Are Strange  bears out what I’ve always suspected. ;-) For those of you who blog professionally, be sure to check out 9 Keys to Blogging Success from A-List Bloggers.  And for some really useful marketing advice from Seth Godin’s blog, don’t miss The circles of marketing.

  • Immigration, The Gold Mountain And A Wedding Photo. [NPR] “Deep inside the National Archives in Washington, D.C., old case files tell the stories of hundreds of thousands of hopeful immigrants to the U.S. between 1880 and the end of World War II. Between 1910 and 1940, thousands of immigrants came to the U.S. through California’s Angel Island. For University of Minnesota history professor Erika Lee, one of these attachments turned out to be very special.”
  • The 10 Best Family History iPad Apps. “So, you’re the family historian. You have only one question: What are the top ten, can’t-live-without, killer applications for the Apple iPad?”
  • The circles of marketing. “Most amateurs and citizens believe that marketing is the outer circle.Marketing = advertising, it seems. The job of marketing in this circle is to take what the factory/system/boss gives you and hype it, promote it and yell about it. This is what so many charities, politicians, insurance companies, financial advisors, computer makers and well, just about everyone does.”
  • 9 Keys to Blogging Success from A-List Bloggers. “In the years I’ve been blogging, I’ve built my site into a trusted resource for thousands of writers, designers, publishers, and authors. The following are some of the basic lessons that have guided me on my journey. I hope some of them will inspire you, too.”
  • Simplify. “Simplify everything. That might sound hard, but with practice it’s actually fairly easy, and leads to a quiet, content, lovely life full of space, with only the things in it that matter to me: my family, my writing, with some reading and workouts thrown in. So how do you simplify? As simply as possible.Here are a few ways:”
  • Do our lives need a narrative? “It may seem obvious that the story of our life to date is just what it is, and that we can only change it in flights of fancy. But the idea that the Lego bricks of our daily lives may be arranged into different buildings is not fanciful. If you re-examine how you make sense of past events, it will almost certainly turn out that your dominant narrative can be challenged by alternative stories.”
  • Grammar Freaks Really Are Strange. “It used to be we thought that people who went around correcting other people’s grammar were just plain annoying. Now there’s evidence they are actually ill, suffering from a type of obsessive-compulsive disorder/oppositional defiant disorder (OCD/ODD). Researchers are calling it Grammatical Pedantry Syndrome, or GPS.” [Thanks to APH member Francie King of History Keep for alerting me to this item.]

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Monday’s Link Roundup.

My favorite item in this Monday’s Link Roundup is 500,000 Strangers’ Secrets: PostSecret Founder Frank Warren at TED. It’s funny, sad, and poignant. Not to be missed. And if you’re infatuated with periods, commas, and the like, you won’t want to miss Semicolons: A Love Story.

  • 10 Marketing Secrets You Already Know. “Many people think of marketing as a mystery, something that is hard to figure out and even harder to implement. Everyone wants to know what to do when and how to do it for maximum results. Well, I have good news for you. Most of the so-called marketing secrets, you already know. Perhaps because they’re so obvious, you don’t realize how important they are. If you remember and practice these secrets, you’ll have about 90% of what you need for marketing success.”
  • E M Ginger on Digitizing the Art of the Book. “At this weekend’s meeting of the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association (BAIPA), guest speaker E M Ginger of 42-line.com gave a remarkable presentation about the work she has been involved with over the past 20 years digitizing fine and rare books.”
  • Preventing goof-ups: 10 proofreading tips. “I was born an editor, not a proofreader. And I’m convinced that good proofreaders are thrust into this world with a special and delicate piece of DNA that the rest of us are missing. It’s kind of like the math gene or the team sports gene, both of which I lack. As a result, when time and budget permit, I always hire a professional proofreader. When I can’t, I use the following tricks to help me (and my readers) survive.”
  • Virginia Woman, Discovers Lost Family Photos At Antique Shop (Video). “Cathy Tyree was on the hunt for an old couch when she stumbled across something incredible at an antique shop in Richmond, Va. Tyree had been in the store for only 15 minutes when she discovered a lost picture of her deceased father among the glassware, furniture and old books.”
  • Semicolons: A Love Story. “When I was a teenager, newly fixated on becoming a writer, I came across a piece of advice from Kurt Vonnegut that affected me like an ice cube down the back of my shirt. “Do not use semicolons,” he said. “They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you’ve been to college.”
  • 500,000 Strangers’ Secrets: PostSecret Founder Frank Warren at TED. “Since January 1, 2005, strangers have been writing, drawing, collaging, doodling, and otherwise revealing their most tightly guarded secrets on anonymous postcards and mailing them to Frank Warren’s PostSecret project. Last month, Warren took the TED stage to share the remarkable story of this collective exercise in compassion and crack open the shell of the human condition.”

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Monday’s Link Roundup.

In this Monday’s Link Roundup don’t miss Why Killing Time Isn’t a Sin. It’s by Leo Babauta at Zen Habits, a favorite of mine. His wise words are worth reflecting on. And if you get high on grammar and enjoy a good chuckle, then you’ll want to check out The 9 Best Funny and Helpful Blogs About Grammar.

  • 7 Things You’re Doing Wrong on LinkedIn. “Today, LinkedIn is the No. 1 social media platform for professionals. Estimates of professional participation in LinkedIn are as high as 83%…social media expert Alexandra Gibson…told me that she sees too many professionals making a lot of mistakes. Here are the seven she sees most often.”
  • What multitasking does to our brains. “We all know this and have heard it hundreds of times. To work efficiently we have to single task. No multitasking.And yet, we let it slip…Why the heck is it so hard to focus on just one thing then? To understand what actually goes on in our brains and see if it all makes sense, I went ahead and found some stunning research and answers to these questions.”
  • Why Stories Sell: Transportation Leads to Persuasion. “Research suggests that trying to persuade people by telling them stories does indeed work (Green & Brock, 2000). The question is why? Because if we know why, we can make the stories we tell more persuasive.”
  • Epilogue: Book-Lovers on the Future of Print. “Epilogue is a lyrical student documentary about the future of books by Hannah Ryu Chung, featuring a number of interviews with independent bookstore owners, magazine art directors, printers, bookbinders, letterpress artists, and other champions of bibliophilia.”
  • Why Killing Time Isn’t a Sin. “I have no objections to reading books, learning languages, or writing to friends. It’s the idea that downtime must be put to efficient use that I disagree with. While I used to agree with it completely, these days I take a completely different approach.Life is for living, not productivity.”
  • eBooks 101: Standard Vs. Fixed Layout. “One of the most frequent questions we get asked here at BookBaby is, “What’s the difference between a fixed layout eBook and a regular eBook?”
  • The 9 Best Funny and Helpful Blogs About Grammar. “There are numerous blogs about grammar available if you poke around. They can be instructive, amusing, helpful, or hysterically funny. I prefer the latter, since I find a little laughter makes learning a whole lot easier.Here then are blogs for your entertainment, education, and enjoyment, all on the subject of grammar.”

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Monday’s Link Roundup.

This Monday’s Link Roundup has its usual eclectic mix. For the “shock of the old” take a look at Vintage Ad Sexism.  If you’re a Dorothy Parker fan, you’ll love  Dorothy Parker and the 5 Senses. Her clever use of the senses is a perfect jumping off point for memory prompts. And Seth Godin reminds us of the hard reality of marketing in The unforgiving arithmetic of the funnel.

  • Dorothy Parker and the 5 Senses. “I found three great Parker quotes that show her intriguing use of the five senses. The first two below are ones that I feature in my SheWrites post today…The third one, I selected to share with you here. Below it is a special writing prompt that it inspired.”
  • Why can smells unlock forgotten memories? “The toy cupboard at my grandmother’s house had a particular smell. I cannot tell you what it was, but sometimes now, as an adult, I will catch a whiff of it. The smell brings with it memories I thought were lost, memories of visits to my grandparents’ house, of my grandmother, and of playing with the toys from the toy cupboard. But why do smells have this power to unlock forgotten memories?”
  • 5 Steps to Turn Audiences into Clients. “Public speaking can be one of the most powerful methods for an independent professional to land new clients. But it doesn’t always work out that way. Before you book your next speaking engagement, ask yourself these five questions to make sure you’re on the right track to turn your audience into clients.”
  • The unforgiving arithmetic of the funnel. “One percent.That’s how many you get if you’re lucky. One percent of the subscribers to the Times read an article and take action. One percent of the visitors to a website click a button to find out more. sparked by an idea and go do something about it. And then!”
  • The myth of English as a global language. “English spelling is notoriously inconsistent, and some have gone further, calling it “the world’s most awesome mess” or “an insult to human intelligence” (both these from linguists, one American, one Austrian)…How did this unsystematic system come about? And is it really that bad? Some say that there are only a few hundred deeply irregular words, but the trouble is that most of them are common. Noam Chomsky and Morris Halle even went so far as to claim that we have “close to an optimal system”, though that takes a deal of argument to convince.”

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Monday’s Link Roundup.

This Monday’s Link Roundup can start your week off with a good chuckle. Check out Fumblerules of Grammar. Fans of William Safire won’t be disappointed. And for another delightful distraction, hop on over to Whimsical Photographic Abstractions of the Joy of Reading.

  • The Birth and Decline of a Book: Two Videos for Bibliophiles.”Why Do Old Books Smell? Produced by Abe’s Books, and drawing on research from chemists at University College, London, this video looks at the science behind the aroma of used books…When you’re done watching the video, you might want to spend time with a second clip that deals with another part of the lifecycle of the book — the birth of a book. Shot by Glen Milner at Smith-Settle Printers in Leeds, England, this short film lets you watch firsthand a book — Suzanne St Albans’ Mango and Mimosa – being made with old school printing methods. Enjoy.”
  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? “In the world of digital documents, you might ask do we really need brick and mortar museums? Not quite the same as man and machine, but it is a question of digital versus “the real thing” and a topic that must be discussed among archivists today.”
  • Whimsical Photographic Abstractions of the Joy of Reading. “As a lover of books and advocate for reading, I was instantly enthralled by photographic artist Joel Robinson’s whimsical visual abstractions of the reading experience and the joy of books that capture with equal parts imagination and reverence the familiar mesmerism of getting lost in a great book, the pleasure of curiosity tickled, and the explorer’s wonder of discovering new worlds.”
  • Nostalgia As A Drug. “Nostalgia is seductive. We yearn and yearn for bygone days, when life was simpler, or more creative, or more exciting, or more…whatever. Whatever we need at the moment. Are those good old days really that much better, or is it just easier to imagine they are because we can “remember” only what we choose to?”
  • How to Open a Memoir. “I’m honored to provide a guest post by multi-published author and writing instructor Sara Mansfield Taber, whose latest memoir, Born Under an Assumed Name: The Memoir of a Cold War Spy’s Daughter, has just been published by Potomac Books. I first met Sara when taking a workshop taught by her at The Writer’s Center, and I’m flattered she’s willing to share some of her wisdom here today, a post relevant to any creative writer.”
  • Fumblerules of Grammar. “Late-1979, New York Times columnist William Safire compiled a list of “Fumblerules of Grammar” — rules of writing, all of which are humorously self-contradictory — and published them in his popular column, “On Language.” Those 36 fumblerules can be seen below, along with another 18 that later featured in Safire’s book, Fumblerules: A Lighthearted Guide to Grammar and Good Usage.”

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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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