Archive for the ‘Current-affairs’ Category

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and the millionth winner is …

June 10, 2009

wordsToday, the millionth English word has been unveiled. Suspense has been gathering all week – well ok for me it’s only been over the last couple of hours since I heard about this imminent announcement, but still 😉

To be honest, I’m a little disheartened to learn that it’s actually an American group who are going to make this decision.  Yes, American, those of the land of the free who regularly subject great injury & infliction upon our great English language.

Nonetheless, I did wonder what those powers that be would extol on us?  What would they deem to be a word worthy of being added to our potential vocabulary.  I say potential because apparently the average person actually only uses a vocab of about 3000 words!  Quite a waste considering the wealth of options which is seems are available.   Why say colourful when you can say iridescent? (I do like that word)  Why not use irascible instead of angry?  After all Shakespeare had a vocab of some 27,000 words and Victor Hugo, well he stretched his to some 45,000!

A few months ago I wrote about how it was now not pc to use Latin words in everyday life, that we are excluding people by doing so.  Are we not then pandering to those of a lower common denominator, not endeavouring to educate and inform and encourage them to extend their knowledge?  Hmm, if we carried on like that, we’d still be cavemen, using sticks & stones & dressed in rags.  No, I think it’s our duty to educate our children, to help them to become better than us, to increase their options & provide them with even better opportunities than we had.  Granted language might not be the only way to do this, but it’s a good place to start.

Anyway, back to the topic in hand.  That millionth word.  Are you wondering what it is yet? 😉

Well I’m pleased to announce that the newest word in the English language is …  wait for it  …

Web 2.0

Are you as underwhelmed as I am?

I must admit I was hoping for something a bit more original, something interesting, something which told a story.  But I guess this is very much a word of our times, isnt it?  In this techy age in which we live, we are constantly bombarded by new terminology and expressions, constantly seeing words introduced which illustrate the technology around us which we are learning to accept as everyday life.  After all, how many of us google? or surf? or even blog?  So I supposed – reluctantly- that Web 2.0 is another illustration of that world in which we live, of life today.

I’m passionate about words and language and all those things.  After all, they are the essence of communication, the very heart of our conversations.  I believe we should try to increase our personal vocabulary and learn more.  I would even go so far as to say we shouldnt just concentrate on English, but that we should learn other languages as well.  After all communication breaks down boundaries and what better way to communicate but to talk – but that’s a whole different post.

So go forth and talk and learn! 🙂

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barnyard behaviour

March 30, 2009

tearsI almost cried when I saw the photo.

They were scattered this way and that, all over the floor. Some were in heaps, others were  just strewn by the wayside. They were rejected, uncared for and unwanted. People were even clambering over them to get to the ones they wanted most of all. It was heartbreaking, truly heartbreaking.

I mean, how can people treat books like that?!

Ok, enough lightheartedness because I don’t mean to sound frivolous or crass.  I really was taken aback when I saw the pictures that accompanied the story of the book warehouse in Bristol.  Apparently the landlords had opened up their doors to let the public come in & clear the stock that had been left there.  In their rush to grab a bargain, these “book-lovers” – and I say that in the loosest sense of the word, had just gone in & seemingly completely disregarded the value of the actual books!  Unbelievably, they were walking on top of them.!  Books?!!  Come on people, have some degree of decorum.  Please.

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lessons from history

January 20, 2009

Ok, well I couldnt let today pass by without writing, could I? After all, today is another of those historic days that change the world, days when something important is happening, when we feel compelled to sit up & take note of what’s going on around us.

Today Barack Obama is being inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States of America. An auspicious position for anyone to hold but especially momentous when we look back on the past of that country and even on the world as a whole. Havent we moved on a long way in the past 40 years?

Yesterday our American cousins celebrated Martin Luther King Day and today, hot on the heels of that comes the Presidential Inauguration. I wonder if today would even be happening if it weren’t for Martin Luther King. If he hadn’t felt inspired and determined to stand up and speak for what he believed in, to risk his own life to better that of others, to bring about freedom to a whole generation and their descendants, then would we even be witnessing the historic events of today? Perhaps not.

So what does this teach us? It teaches us to never give in, to speak up for our beliefs, to not be intimidated by other people but to stand firm in those beliefs. Granted things might not changed immediately, they might not even change in our own lifetime, but who’s to know what influence we might have on the future, on making changes which will benefit our children, our grandchildren, our world?

Never give up on what’s right. If you believe in something, then stick to your guns, speak up for it, share those thoughts with other people. Who knows, perhaps we all have it in us to create historic, life-changing events. One thing’s for certain, we wont ever know if we don’t try.

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no news is good news

January 16, 2009

newspaperor is it?

I’m sure you’ve heard this phrase before but never has it been more true. No news nowadays is ever good news.

Think about it for a moment. When did you last hear about something good happening? Maybe good news just doesn’t sell newspapers. Maybe it doesn’t make people switch on to the nightly news bulletins. For whatever reason, the media seem to have decided that the whole world is in the midst of doom and gloom and no matter where you go or what you see, basically the news is bad. It’s like the end of the world is nigh!

Ok, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that there aren’t a lot of bad things happening. I’m not saying you should put on your rose-tinted glasses and see everything in a positive light, because in reality the world isn’t all happy without a care of its own. There are some terrible things going on out there and of course there is always worry & fear: worry about the economic future, worry about wars and terrorism, fear for jobs and for health and for tons of other things.

What I am saying is, wouldn’t it be nice just once, to open up a newspaper & read about something good? to switch on the television news and to hear about some happy things going on? Wouldn’t you feel inspired and motivated and be given a whole new lease of life if you heard about the good in the world? Because it really isn’t all bad you know, there are some good things to think about.

But until then, it seems that no, news really isn’t good news and I for one think that’s a shame 😦

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a day that changed the world

November 5, 2008

american flag

When you wake up some mornings, you just know that they’re more important than others, that they’re markers in time, days that you should remember & that one day you will look back on saying, “that was the day when …”

Well today, the 5th day of November in the year 2008, has been one of those days. Yesterday the Americans voted for their 44th President & the result is truely historic. Barack Obama has won the fight to the White House and in so doing has become the first black President of arguably the most powerful country in the world. An amazing achievement for a country where slavery was still in existance and people were still fighting for their civil rights a mere 40 years ago.

Martin Luther King’s dream was that people would be judged not by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character. Today, has Dr King’s dream finally been realised?

In a speech reminiscent of Martin Luther King, Obama voiced his passion for the future of his country, where a new era has begun.

“If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer”

“Because of what we did on this day, in this election, in this defining moment,
change has come to America.”

Barack Obama, 4-November-2008

The door to change is certainly wide open.

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Revolving skyscraper!

June 25, 2008

Revolving skyscraper in Dubai - BBC imageWow!

This looks amazing, quite the eye catcher, particular those simulated views at night.

80 floors of building that rotates, moves, and changes shape? It’s even going to be a self-sufficient building with its own turbines to generate energy.

I say it again, wow!
Yes, this is going to be an amazing feat of architecture and engineering and an incredible sight to see.

But what’s the point?

Can you imagine living there? Going home after a late night out & wondering “what does my house look like tonight?”

And do we really need it?
Surely there are better things we should be investing such huge amounts of time, skill & energy into? And as for the costs involved in such an ambitious projects, $700m to build it! :O Is that really justifiable for what will, in reality, just be a building, albeit a unique and impressive one?

Have we not lost sight of what’s really important somewhere along the line?
Hmm ?

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