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Showing posts from October, 2013

Buzzwords that irk me

Community
Awareness
Opportunity
Explore
Bring together
Initiative
Participating
Networking

...of these, "community" takes the cake. What do you even mean when you say "providing the community with this opportunity"? Do you mean you're going to let the 5-year-olds that live in your town have their share of the grant funding? What about the owner of the old barbershop that could use the money, but isn't actually eligible because it's not really open to business entities? Where or who exactly is your "community"?

It's such a broadly used word that it requires further definition - but that definition is rarely, if ever, spelled out. I see this all the time in print journalism, and I'm left wondering what common characteristic or interest is defining the "community" under consideration.

Maybe everybody should just re-read George Orwell's Politics and the English Language.

Evolution of an outfit

I sewed my own reenacting dress again this year -- so now I have two to carry me through a whole weekend.


It started as a roll of beautiful plaid fabric very similar to the Black Watch plaid. I cut out pieces, sewed 'em together, and before long I had the resemblance of a dress. All it needed was hand-sewing and some hand-hemming.

I was extremely pleased with it.



But there was a key ingredient missing... if you know me, you understand this.


But a plain hat was just unacceptable, right?


The black ribbon made all the difference.

I loved the black ribbon so much, I went back the next day and bought two more yards (for a measly $1.20) to tie around my hiked-up waist.


Then following the period-correct fashion counsel from my well-researched cousin, I bought a large silk handkerchief to top it all off.


All that to say... the accessories may have cost as much as the dress itself. But it's all worth it. Or, it will be when I pull off a Jane Austen living history presentation in a coup…

I don't care about cursive.

There's a lot of buzz going on in Indiana -- or has been over the past few months, anyway -- about schools possibly doing away with teaching cursive.

In fact, I didn't realize kids still had to learn cursive writing that looks like this:


See, I learned to write in italics:


Sure, I connect my letters, but the letterforms of the print and cursive versions are essentially the same (which can hardly be said of traditional cursive). Learning, and using, handwriting is faster that way and it's still legible. When I learned cursive, I didn't have to start all over. Now that I use it, I can write legibly without having to lift my pen at the end of every letter.


(I took no trouble over that little scrap, but just wrote how I normally would. That's probably obvious on my terminal Hs and Ns -- I'm terrible at writing those properly unless I think about it.)

Cursive is not a script which alone promotes legibility and ease of use; nor is it the only way to write which can b…