Monday, October 20, 2014

Top Ten Replaceable Words

An article jumped out at me while at work today. A link to it in our weekly newsletter lured me away, the title being "18 Common Words You Should Replace in Your Writing." So what do you think I did while reading this article? I mulled over each word and instinctively produced some fresh ideas of my own, not just replacement words. I'll summarize 10 of the suggestions given, then provide my own thoughts.

1. Good - superb, outstanding, or exceptional.

I agree with this one. If you want to say something was good or someone did well, try a little creative back story.

I hadn't had a meal like that since grandma made her chicken and dumplings and won first place at the Greenwich Country Cook Off.

2. New - latest or recent

If you're talking about a recent batch of donuts, wouldn't they be warm and sticky? Choose words which describe the properties of being new or recent. Maybe the smell of alcohol-based duplicating liquid would indicate the recent production of examination papers a teacher passes along in class.

Jackie lifted the paper and sniffed at the drying fumes on the exam sheet Miss Robinson placed on her desk.

Okay, so if you were born circa 1980, you won't get this. Just carry on.


3. Long - extended, lingering, or endless

If you tell me that it's been a long time since you last saw me, isn't that subjective? Maybe I didn't want to see you again, in which case it hadn't been long enough. Instead, be specific.

"Oh my goodness! It's been 10 years since I last saw you."  
"That many years, huh? Seems like yesterday to me."

4. Old - ancient, fossilized, decaying, or decrepit

The frayed laces and the unglued, rubber-tipped soles of his tennis shoes are a better way to describe something in a specific manner. Again, old is subjective here. To someone who grew up poor, that's just the half way point.


5. Right - exact, precise, or correct

It is the right thing to do! Oh yeah? Whose moral code are you following anyway?

She is right. Really? You mean what she said is based on fact? She spoke the truth, or otherwise didn't tell a lie.

I enjoy my coffee with 2 teaspoons of sugar in an 8 oz serving. Just right, for me.


6. Different - odd, uncommon, exotic, or striking

Instead of using the word different, I like to read descriptions which show contrast.

He flung the fair-skinned maiden onto the center stage in a room filled with Arabic bidders eager to make the purchase for her endowments. They yammered in quick, high pitched syllables, and the whites of their eyes bulged wildly from their sockets.

We can assume the lady is different in many ways, including race, community status, emotional state. So, when describing differences, think about why something or someone is different or odd. Let the reader enjoy the difference.


7. Small - microscopic, miniature, or tiny

Another subjective adjective. Babies are small, but baby rabbits are smaller. Here is another opportunity to show with contrast. What if you read about a tall man who had stubby, two-inch fingers and one-inch thumbs. Weird, huh?


8. Large - substantial, immense, enormous, or massive

I agree, large is boring. Huge is better! I like the word ginormous, shared by a fellow geek at an IBM conference once.

If you tell me a man palmed a regulation sized basketball, I will assume he has large hands. When describing mountains, it is not necessary to refer to them as massive. For real, is there a mountain out there which isn't massive?

The reception bill for my daughter's wedding would be considered large or substantial, but mentioning that it totalled $21,000.00 puts it in perspective a bit, doesn't it? Details are more substantive than mere adjectives.


9. Young - naive, youthful, or budding

Please be reminded that old people can be naive too. As a matter of fact, schemers tend to target elderly folk who are more naive in the ways of social engineering through technology and digital media.


10. Almost - nearly, practically, or verging on

Why even use these at all? I think this robs us of the fun in having things actually happen. So what if someone nearly fell off a chair? Wouldn't it be funnier if they fell off the chair?


Do you have any replaceable words to add to the list? 

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Making Progress is a Humbling Experience

I was so proud of my male ferret, Shogun, when he learned this new skill. Casting rollover is a difficult lesson to learn and it took two weeks of click training, but he finally got it down to perfection. I love this kiddo!








Wait a minute, this journey isn't over yet! Soon after he mastered this new skill, Shogun became confused and did not respond appropriately to new stimuli with which he came into contact. He tried to make sense of his newly acquired skill, but nothing happened when he cast the spell again and again. Even the introduction of a plastic cup duped him...three times!








Then it hit me. Shogun takes after my sister, the new magi. Listen closely, wait for it.







For all my tech friends out there, just because you learn a new skill does not mean you necessarily understand how to use it. You must research and practice. :)

Have you learned something new and techie?  Would you like more understanding about your newly acquired skills? Ask away in the comments below and we shall be certain to enlighten.



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Sunday, October 5, 2014

When There's a Lack of Progress

I've been thinking a lot about my career lately and what seems to be the progress I have NOT made. It appears whenever opportunity knocks and I decide to answer, the door gets swiftly shut in my face. But you know what? Life isn't over by a long shot. You can do things to make a more positive experience for yourself. One of those things is to list out the obstacles which keep you down. Share them with friends and family. Get some input and have a few laughs. Try not to let things get you down. Your day is coming!

Here is my list of 5 things that go wrong in the work place and how you can combat them to make your life bearable again.




Lack of Motivation



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Don't give up! Find new things to occupy your mind while others around you are attempting to drown out your enthusiasm. Why? Because when you find new things that spark your interest, you're likely to find others who will follow. There IS a difference between controlling the status quo and paving a path to a brighter future. Be that change you want to see. Don't just let things happen to you.




Lack of Experience



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Are you watching the same mistakes being made from afar? You know what's wrong, but you don't have the authority to step in and give a helping hand, right? Do it anyway. Point out the obvious. You are more likely to get a thank you than an angry outburst for your meddling behavior.




Lack of Supervision



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You've seen it, too? Those irresponsible twits who get away with everything they're doing wrong, never to be held accountable for their actions. Yeah, annoying as hell. If something is getting ready to land on your ass, you need to say something. If you don't say anything, you're just as guilty when something goes wrong.




Lack of Proper Coaching



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When relying on teamwork, it's very painful when you make the right move and the other player is not focused on the task at hand. Makes for a big disappointment, one which overshadows your wonderful skills and desire to perform well. Be patient. If you have a coach, remember, they don't like to lose either. Some adjustments might need to be tweaked. Give it some time. The team will come together if the right coach is in place.




Lack of Professionalism



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No need to explain this one. We all know too well those at work who seem to throw things in your face whenever the opportunity presents itself. They love to remind you how great they are and how not so great you are. Sure, they don't know how transparent they are, they just think they're too cool to deal with you on a professional level.






I think for now, I'm done. Let this be a lesson to you all. Play nice, and remember…always know, life is too short to let these things bother you.

I'm good, you're good, and life's good. Peace out!

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Do you find these things in your life or at work? If you have a situation to add, please do so in the comments!



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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Real Ultimate Power - Ninja Style

I have decided to share the REAL Ultimate Power: The Official Ninja Book. Have you been feeling shut out, left behind, even made to feel like you have no skills because you are not super haXor material? Well, this book is for you! I'm not lying.

I've gone up against these folks myself. They are out there, everywhere! You can't hide. Well you can. Sort of, but not forever. The other side will eventually find you lurking.

Please get it, read it, live it. Be your own ninja, and don't ever let anyone tell you any different. It is in the code, folks. The code. It is only shared by those who have already mastered the skills and are not just posing.

If you read the book and still don't understand, use my contact form and send me your questions. Ninja power, folks! Ninja power. Get the book, learn some skills. And remember to always be happy and play nice.

;)


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Saturday, September 27, 2014

Ferret Flash Fiction - A Furry Tale

A Furry Tale, get it? Hahahaha!!

Once upon a time, there was a ferret named Shogun. He was the master of all ferret sages. Shogun carried with him the wisdom of several weeks training, learning the rollover skill. He carried himself with great pride and dignity, and whenever put to task, he accepted the challenge with great poise and inner pleasure a mere human could never fathom.


I accept your challenge, you
weak human!


No challenge ever phased Shogun, and so the master human placed before the mighty Shogun a new task. Extract the pink astral sphere from the domain of The Ninja Spirit.




The hell?! Did you say
The Ninja Spirit?



Before the master of all ferrets approached the domain of The Ninja Spirit, the flying weasel sprung from her abode and pounced on the mighty sage, leaving him stunned. The Shogun, dazed and confused, leaped from the ground and gained his composure.



That's me, bitch! Let's do this...


The Ninja Spirit was half the size of Shogun, and so they each fought their battles in their own unique style. Shogun with brute force, The Ninja Spirit, light and quick. They both fought valiantly and neither waned in their determination to win. The Ninja Spirit, defending that which was rightly hers...Shogun, driven by ambition and pride while seeking the glory in the acquisition of the pink astral sphere.


It's ON now!


When the battle was over, The Ninja Spirit paused with caution, taking in shallow breaths. Still shocked at her loss, she watched on as the ferret sage extracted the pink astral sphere from her branded domain. Without her sphere, she would have to find another place to practice her skills and build on her talents.



Mine! All MINE!!


With yet another challenge mastered, Shogun's desire to return with the sphere to share his success with the master human diminished. It no longer felt like success to simply take what belonged to another. He didn't get any real satisfaction after the acquisition. In fact, he bored quickly by the knowledge he did not actually use any of his skills to achieve this goal.



I will use the transform spell
and create!!


The Shogun, via the creative mind of the writer, mastered the transform spell in only five minutes. He felt better about learning new things, but he knew it would take lots of practice to master this newly acquired skill. But, he was impatient as all hell!



"Transform into a whole bag of
chicken flavored treats!"


Being the newbie that he was at transforming, Shogun made a very shameful mistake. The first incantation of the transform spell usually backfires when seeking objects inspired by one's own greed. Instead of a bag of chicken flavored treats he'd attempted to produce, Shogun had managed to transform the pink astral sphere into a new abode for The Ninja Spirit. A very nice one, too!



The Ninja Spirit learned the transform spell
many years ago, sucker! But thanks.


THE END


The moral of this story? You can take away my spirit, but you can't replace my knowledge. Please read more ferret fun on my blog. If you enjoy my ferrets, Shogun and Ninja, as much as I enjoy sharing, leave a comment and let me know to produce more! They ask that you please like them on Facebook. :)



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