Tag Archives: language

Monday’s Link Roundup.

In this Monday’s Link Roundup I found PANTONE: A Color History of the 20th Century a reminder of the important role of color in our memories. The book looks gorgeous. It’s definitely on my Santa Claus list. Anyone want to play Santa? ;-)

  • The Terrible Word of the Year “Voltaire famously said that the Holy Roman Empire was “neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire.” Yesterday, Oxford University Press announced that, for the first time, their U.S. and U.K. lexicographers (along with “editorial, marketing, and publicity staff”) had chosen a “global word of the year.”
  • On the Future of Books: A Discussion with Seth Godin. “The industry of publishing ideas has been undergoing a revolution for more than a decade, and where it’s headed is still an open question…Today I share a conversation I had with best-selling author, blogger and publisher Seth Godin on the future of books, publishing and blogging. It was fascinating.”
  • Nile Rodgers’ top 10 music books. “From Beethoven’s letters to Bob Dylan’s Chronicles, the musician chooses books that reveal the private lives behind the public melodies.”
  • 16 Ways to Leave a Legacy. “You’ve spent years digging up data and stories to breathe life into the grandparents and great-grandparents who’ve made your existence — and your children’s — possible. But what are you doing to ensure your family’s legacy will be around after you’re gone?”
  • PANTONE: A Color History of the 20th Century. “… longtime PANTONE scholars Leatrice Eiseman and Keith Recker explore 100 years of the evolution of color’s sociocultural footprint through over 200 works of art, advertisements, industrial design products, fashion trends, and other aesthetic ephemera, thoughtfully examined in the context of their respective epoch.”
  • EyeWitness to History.com. “Your ringside seat to history – from the Ancient World to the present. History through the eyes of those who lived it.” [Thanks to Mim Eisenberg of WordCraft for alerting me to this item.]
  • The Legacy Project. “The Legacy Project began in 2004, when I started collecting the practical advice for living of America’s elders. Using a number of different methods, my research team systematically gathered nearly 1500 responses to the question: “What are the most important lessons you have learned over the course of your life?”

If you enjoyed this post, get free updates by email.

Personal Historians, Are You LGBT Language Sensitive?

The following article is reprinted with the kind permission of Personal Historian, Sally Goldin. She is a member of the Association of Personal Historians and can be contacted here. 

As a lesbian mother and personal historian, I’ve been thinking about the issue of LGBT invisibility in regards to preserving life stories.

Even though LGBT issues have become more visible and acceptable in this society, there are still situations where you can be fired, harassed, or physically attacked for being an LGBT person. I was clearly reminded of this because of the harassment and discrimination a teacher friend of mine experienced in the Houston Independent School District. In this YouTube presentation to the Board of the H. I. S. D. he describes the harassment he encountered.  (The picture clears up at 30seconds). This is a person who had previously been named Teacher of the Year twice in 5 years.

I wonder how many of us are aware of the language we use, both on an everyday basis, and in presentations about personal history? You cannot tell if someone is lesbian or gay by looking at them. (Well, maybe sometimes you can, but not always . . .) Therefore, we have to be conscious of the words we use in conversation, and make an effort to be inclusive in our communications.

For example, a simple question such as, “Are you married?” might be difficult for a lesbian or gay man to answer, depending on where they live.  I live in San Francisco. I would not be allowed to marry a romantic partner.

During an interview with a woman, without thinking, you might ask, “Do you remember your first date? What was he like?” It would be more appropriate to say, “Do you remember your first date? What was the person like?

If you are getting to know someone, ask about a “sweetheart” or “special someone” instead of a boyfriend (for a female) and girlfriend (for a male).

Do you offer a family tree as part of your services? If so, how do you incorporate into that tree a child who has 2 moms or 2 dads? My son is now 25 years old and his family tree would include his 2 moms, his donor father, a half sister and a half brother with the same “donor dad”, 3 other unknown half-siblings, my ex-partner’s wife who has known him since he was 10 years old, and 3 sets of grandparents (from his 2 moms and his
father). Whew!

When talking to a group about personal history, remember to use the term “family” or “parents” as opposed to “Mom and Dad”.

Don’t assume that if a family is Hispanic or African American (or some other non-white ethnicity), they would not have lesbian or gay family members.

I am grateful and proud to be a member of the Association of Personal Historians, an organization that strives to be inclusive and diverse, and where I do not have to hide all of who I am from the membership.

Photo by  Charlie Nguyen

If you enjoyed this post, get free updates by email.

Monday’s Link Roundup.

My favorite article in this week’s Monday’s Link Roundup is Belongings.  You won’t want to miss it! For an item that’s  quite wonderful in a strange sort of way take a look at The Happy Cemetery. And something we can all work on is covered in  Can You Say It In One Short Sentence?

  • Belongings. “There are three million immigrants in New York City. When they left home, knowing it could be forever, they packed what they could not bear to leave behind: necessities, luxuries, memories. Here is a look at what some of them brought.” [Thanks to Lettice Stuart of Portrait in Words for alerting me to this item.]
  • From research to story. “A bevy of biographers gathered in May in Washington, D.C., at the second annual Compleat Biographer Conference to discuss how to chase down subjects and make their lives into great stories…Today, we have highlights from the panel on “Turning Research into Narrative.” Speakers included Anne Heller, John Aloysius Farrell, Jane Leavy and moderator Amy Schapiro.”
  • The Happy Cemetery. “Originally begun by a peasant grave carver named Stan Petras in the 1930s, and carried on today by the Pop family, the cemetery has become one of the most popular tourism attractions in rural Romania, with tour buses pulling up and unloading foreigners hourly.”

If you enjoyed this post, get free updates by email.