Typo (4): (no) Standard English

[The task of documenting all the words in the English lanuguage] no longer seems finite. Lexicographers are accepting the languages boundlessness. They know by heart Murray’s famous remark: “The circle of the English language had a well defined centre but no discernable circumference.” In the centre are the words everyone knows. At the edges, where Murray placed slang and cant…

Seth Godin on fear and reassurance

The way [of handling fear] that doesn’t work is reassurance. Reassurance doesn’t work because you need an infinite amount of it. Someone can give you reassurance for five minutes and then ten minutes later you go “Ooohh no no no.” So the number of times that you need to be told by someone you trust and respect that you’re going…

Typo (3): the myth of correct spelling

Ironically – considering the frequency with which school children use it for exactly this purpose – the Oxford English Dictionary never set out to specify “correct” spelling. For “mackerel”, the second edition in 1989 listed 19 alternative spellings. The unearthing of sources never ends, though, so the third edition revised entry in 2002 listed no fewer than thirty: maccarel, mackaral,…

Social media: the Ruby principle

Don’t talk so much. Instead be so good that for your clients …there’s nothing at all Except the space in-between Finding out what you’re called And repeating your name Kaiser Chiefs: Ruby

Typo (2): error rate

The other thing about typos is how few we actually make relative to the attention we pay to them. A single spelling or grammar mistake in a thousand words leaps off the page – is embarrassing – but makes no difference to our understanding. We pay errors far more attention than they deserve as signals of the quality of a…

Typo (1)

I was reading an article – a thoughtful, well researched, nicely structured, neatly expressed piece of writing about something important – when I came across the typo. “Ha!” ran my interior monologue. “This person is an idiot. I am smarter than they are.” Of course, it’s better if a text is error-free. But typos and spelling mistakes are probably the…

On a friend’s fridge it said

Remember that you’re raising children, not solving problems. We do better when we think first about the people involved in all of the problems we’re busy solving.

Sprinkler system

Using a garden sprinkler system is a type of outsourcing – to technology, instead of people. The time saved is almost certainly worth the money spent. Whether it’s abdication/dumbing down/opting out/wanton destruction of a perfectly good job or creates the opportunity to improve the garden with new and better work (finding better grass, planting new roses, adding a home-made sundial)…

Friction (3): when friction helps

Friction in the wrong places slows us down and drains our energy, but it has its uses: Friction in processes or emotional friction it’s often a sign that we have work to do Friction is our friend when we need to be slowed down – it makes us pause, think, look before we leap and check that things are right.…