Bird in a Cage on a Box across the Road

Bird in a Cage on a Box across the Road

While on an evening grocery run walk I spotted this fine specimen of street art across the road.

I say specimen because I seem to have some trouble spelling “graffiti” and it just proved easier until I could get going.

This reminded me I haven’t talked about graffiti in so long I might not remember what it is exactly anymore. So before I could get going on my quest to highlight said specimen I had to Google “graffiti” to remind myself.

Definition hasn’t changed. It’s still drawings scribbled, scratched, or sprayed illicitly in a public place.

Then I looked up illicitly just to make sure it meant what I thought it meant. Yup, forbidden by law.

So I suppose I can’t exactly claim this bird in a cage spray painting on the electrical box (?) was in fact graffiti since I don’t know if it was illicitly painted or not, but I would say it’s a safe bet.

Right.

Anyway, I guess there’s nothing more to say. I don’t think a bird in a cage can have too many deeper meanings. Well, unless it’s a statement against all the condos surrounding the piece. Then we’re getting crazy-deep and I just don’t have the time to go there.

Cause I still have to get groceries.

Interrobang!?

I always knew it wasn’t proper punctuation to use both a question mark and an exclamation mark when writing out a shocked question.

However, I use it frequently. Because I love to. I don’t know why, it’s just one of those things.

Why this has anything to do with anything is because I learned there is actually a punctuational (?) equivalent to the old “!?” or “?!” expression (actually not old, pretty new). It’s called “interrobang.”

And yes, Grammar Girl did teach me this.

I enjoy listening to podcasts when I drive alone and right now I’m back on a Grammar Girl kick. Before this was Stuff You Should Know (does that kick ever really go away?) and before that I was listening to Under the Influence and Internet Marketing for Smart People.

Anyway, so the podcast was from about a year ago and was about punctuating questions. I didn’t really care for the podcast but I listened anyway and boy am I glad I did. At the very end she added the whole interrobang thing as an aside as she was wrapping up. I was so intrigued I looked up the episode when I got home so I could learn the html codes and use them ALWAYS on the blog‽

Neat, hey‽

Here they are for your coding pleasure.

Interrobang Codes

  • ‽  Unicode decimal value
  • ‽  Unicode hexidecimal value

Wikipedia says this word can also be spelled (and I guess pronounced) “interabang.” Both of which are not in my computer dictionary.

Of course this is a nonstandard punctuation mark, which also means it’s not to be used outside informal writing.

Also in my surfing (just kidding…no one surfs anymore) I also stumbled upon another interesting and extremely awesome nonstandard punctuation mark—the irony mark. No joke.

Apparently in the 19th century this was proposed as the next level of communication so people would understand when someone was being ironic or sarcastic. Now wouldn’t that have been useful to learn in an email etiquette course‽

Unfortunately I can’t get it to work but it’s a backwards question mark. Now, isn’t that ironic? (except backwards)

My Beef With Bullet Points

Top Five

Don’t get me wrong, if you know anything about this blog, you know I love a good list.

However, I’ve noticed a trend in the blogging world. Bloggers are straying from ye olde paragraph (or even complete sentence) in favour of…bullet points.

I complained about this on Twitter once, to which I received an immediate response from a blogger simply saying (I don’t know the tone but I’m going to go with a bit defensive) it’s because no one reads blogs anymore. They scan.

Fair enough. I scan most blogs, it’s true. However. If it’s excellent writing, I stick around and read. So please for the love of God write complete sentences. And paragraphs.

Actually, though, lists are an excellent tool and knowing how to use them properly is a great skill. But this little blogging trend to use bullets instead of paragraphs is not actually utilizing the list function of said bullet points. It’s merely demonstrating laziness.

For, what I’m noticing is rambling points, which could have easily been turned into paragraphs but weren’t cause, you know, “I’m busy.”

We’re all busy.

Unless you’re writing a list, write your paragraphs and don’t shortchange your readers.

And if you want a quick rundown on how to format a list properly, go to Grammar Girl. She’s the best.

Shut the Front Door!

I don’t know if I should admit this (because then you’ll know I’m old) but up until I looked it up just now, I had no CLUE what the phrase “Shut the front door” meant. No clue.

And it riddled me. In a way that I would think of it periodically and wonder whatever could this weird phrase mean?

It’s a thing now. I don’t know who brought it here or why, but it’s a catch phrase. But don’t use it near me cause I’ll stare at you blankly. I won’t laugh. Cause I won’t get it.

To learn what this weird phrase meant I went to the only logical place I could think of: Urban Dictionary.

Eeek! It takes the place of a swear! I should have known.

And yet, I’m still confused. Because the first time I heard this phrase it wasn’t used in this way. Actually, that’s probably 100 per cent of the reason why I don’t understand this phrase at all. I’ll show you the video clip of where I first heard “Shut the front door.”

So…what’s she saying?

This video reminded me of how much I like Kristin Chenoweth and miss Pushing Daisies and how much I’m enjoying the new TV show GCB, mostly because of her.

Conclusion: I now know what the phrase means and I do not think I’ll be incorporating it into my vocabulary.

Auto Correct Grace

Ever since I’ve been a radio broadcast editor/producer (oh yeah, it’s my day job) I’ve headed down to Nashville for an annual religious broadcasters convention. Yee Haw.

Here’s one time I went. And another.

It always comes during cold and flu season and—without fail—I get sick and lose my voice when I’m in Nashville.

It’s uncanny.

So uncanny, in fact, I seriously suspect I’m allergic.

This year I fought back and brought some super-powered anti-histamines with me. I was doing really well until they ran out.

Then I got sick and lost my voice.

NASHVILLE!


Anyway, one of my little games while I was there was to post a random photo of me and ask people where they thought I was. However.

I don’t know what happened when I posted but I seriously suspect auto correct was involved and I ended up saying “Guess were I am?” on Instagram…Facebook…Twitter…basically everywhere.

And since I was in a massive hotel with sketchy wireless (and I was roaming so I couldn’t go on 3G or Internet, which actually worked) I could never seem to DELETE the post, nor leave a comment CORRECTING my error.

This, my friends, is ultimate shame for a writer.

But apparently my entire friend list was willing to overlook this error as no one corrected me and, actually, I don’t even think anyone cared to notice.

My theory is everyone is developing “auto correct grace.” What do you think?

I mean, my error was pretty much obvious to a third grader so why didn’t anyone say anything? They knew what I meant? Well, maybe. They thought I couldn’t spell? Doubtful. So what else is there? Auto Correct Grace. ACG.

It’s a thing. I’m basically sure of it.