Category Archives: reading & writing

All is not what it seams

Answering a random call for SEO help - actually it turned out to be canonical URL help - I happened to notice that the site in question referred so something as a "seemless way" to do something. My inner autocorrect went, "hmm" and narrowed its (inner) eyes. Yep, should be "seamless" for sure. Yes, we've…
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Word of the Day: Cattywampus

When I first heard this word used - just last month - I thought it was spelled "kattywompous" perhaps in adjectival rhyme with "pompous."  Alternate spellings are many but catawampus appears to be a close second. As words of the days go, cattywampus was pretty elusive. Cattywampus is not the activity that your cat engages in between 3:30 and 4:15 every morning,…
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Out with Barley Risotto, in with Orzotto

I was making a barley risotto the other night when it dawned on me, doesn't "risotto" mean "rice" in Italian, or at least something rice related? Indeed, it does, making "barley risotto" nonsense, albeit an easy to make and delicious form of nonsense. Before we go any further and before anybody gets hurt, let me…
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The Callipygian Explosion of 1835

Let's not dwell on why I was looking up the word callipygian, or, for that matter, why I checked the Google books ngram graph for it. Let us instead wonder, who, or maybe what, a century and change before Minaj, before Kardashian, even before Mix-a-Lot, inspired such intense, short-lived, and concentrated use of the word callipygian in…
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Marketing New Years Resolutions: Content is not a Commodity

Welcome to an occasional series kicking off 2015 with some resolutions for marketing and marketers. I'll do my best to stick to them if you do. First up, I resolve not to treat content as a commodity. If content is critical to your strategy, and I'm going to assume that it is for most of…
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Looking a gift ereader in the mouth

Welcome to another whiny installment of, "why can't I buy..." brought to you by the infinite diversity of humanity and the hard reality of market forces. In other words, just because I think it's a great idea and would like to buy it, that doesn't mean anybody else - much less a critical market mass of…
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For Some, Software Engineering is a Matter of Principle

I've long been irritated when people mix up "principal" and "principle" in job titles and elsewhere. If you're unsure about this yourself, please read Grammar Girl's estimable explainer on the subject. Recently, while doing some prospecting on LinkedIn - and learning the ins and outs of advanced and Boolean searches - I thought to check…
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A gob in search of a smacking

From Welcome to Germany comes today's word of the day, Backpfeifengesicht. And what a welcome it would be: The word Backpfeife means "punch/slap" (on the cheek/face) and Gesicht means "face" So a Backpfeifengesicht is pretty much a face in search of a fist. I'm sure we all know such a face. I recommend restraint. Try repeating "Backpfeifengesicht" under…
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Guru Ninja Evangelist Rock Paper Scissors

If you've been hitting the networking circuit or just generally hanging around it, you've no doubt been handed your share of business cards with wacky titles on them. The fad probably peaked in the late aughts, but it's not totally gone, especially in tech and startup circles. For every Customer Service Manager there's at least…
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Book murder, ebook oversharing

Think of it as the book singularity. Casting off their physical shells, books are achieving a sort of immortality by becoming ebooks. Well, they're not necessarily freer or even longer lasting, I guess, but they sure are easier to move from place to place. Linda Grant writes at length in the Guardian and at even more length…
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The Sad Paucity of Nope

Do you know what my favorite word is? No? That's right! Huge amounts of time, money, and emotional energy are wasted because some people can't or won't just say NO when they really should. NO is critical to good time management and avoiding spending your valuable time on Other Peoples Problems. It's not a free…
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