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Blogtip #1 - Random Wisdom

Anyone who has ever made a resolution discovers that the strength of their determination fades with time. The important thing is not that your resolve never wavers, but that you don’t get down on yourself when it does and throw in the towel.

If you have nothing to post, post a quote!

Prepostitions Should Not Be Capitalized

You learn new things all the time. One thing I've learned today, is that prepositions should not be capitalized. Have I known this before? Maybe it's slipped my memory as time passed. If you read the blog (you are now, so maybe you do, but then again maybe it's your first visit; if it is I'd urge you to frequent because sometimes I rarely post) you'll notice that all titles have uppercase letters for all words included, prepositions too. Out of habit I had all words capitalized in a title I'd written, no big err. For the course, of course I'll oblige my teacher and change it to the recommended format, but I doubt I'll be changing my blog title structure any time soon.

How do other blogs do? What's right and wrong? Are you free to choose or does the uppercase 'Of' in 'Wings Of Uncertainty' really make it seem structurally wrong? That's my title btw. I can't tell, because that's how I've always written titles as far back as I remember. If the little middle word is not capitalized, it feels like you don't pay attention to it. You read Wings of Uncertainty differently than you do Wings Of Uncertainty, don't you? Of course; of course the 'of' in the title really isn't very important, and doesn't deserve added attention, but still... hmm... how do other blogs do?

I checked Technorati's top 100 blogs to find out. Well, that was what I planned on doing but it started getting boring after a while so I settled for just 50. Just the first page of each one, a quick overview. I noticed that the overwhelming majority either do as my teacher recommended, capitalizing all words but the prepositions, or capitalize only the first word and other highlights, such as names, brands, places, topics, among other things. Four blogs do as I do; use uppercase on all words, and an additional four user lowercase for all words except the first one (which I don't like at all btw). One blog had uppercase words on everything, not just the starting letter. I know this is rather common, and it eradicates the problem of having to chose which words to highlight or case completely. All words can be automatically uppercased or lowercased by script btw, it's a simple fix for all formating errors on any one site. Anyway, here's q quick overview of the blogs I checked, arranged by number:

Lowercase on prepositions only: 24
Lowercase on all words except highlights: 15
Lowercase on everything except first letter on first word: 4
Uppercase on all new words: 4 (like this site)
Uppercase on all letters: 1
???: 1

It certainly seems that lowercasing prepositions in titles is the most common approach. Also, that ??? represents one blog that didn't seem to have any defined rule for titles, capitalizations were a big jumble there. Some lowercase, some uppercase, some whatever. I wonder how many blogs actually have title structure in mind? How many have a scheme worked out for this sort of thing? I've thought about it earlier, but I've never had a standard. Not until now at least, not it's Uppercase For All New Words. That's the way it'll stay OK.

Oh btw, another thing I learned: there is no lowercase ok... it's supposed to be OK or okay. OK? Good day.

Say It With A Simile

I thought I use a lot of metaphors, but I just became aware that maybe I never use metaphors. What I do use are similes. I tend to add a 'like' between the object being compared and the end-result, and apparently that's not a metaphor any longer. Strange huh?

I wonder how many people who speak of metaphors actually use them? I know I've heard the word occasionally used in lyrics, and I'm not so sure it's used correctly any longer. I think it was through the lyrics I took my own definition of the word metaphor for granted. Anyway. Say it with a simile (smile, get it? yeah?)... that's my new motto. Also, the words Metonymy or Synecdoche just won't stick in my mind... at least not the spelling. Writing similes is a lot easier.

Mortgage

This word just doesn't spell right.

Google Better Than Spellcheck

It's not a new realization I've made, but I felt like it's one I need to post. The revelization that should have been revealed already by the title is that Google is way better at checking my spelling than any other spellchecker I've tried. When I write posts like this one, I use a FireFox spellcheck plugin to rinse through common typos. It commonly highlights words that it doesn't recognize in red, some of them completely valid words, such as the word banderoles. There are also words that are apparently not valid, such as as FireFox, spellcheck & plugin. Then, most importantly, it highlights words with a typo in them, or words that I just can't spell, such as aquintense. If I right click aquintense for a list of verbular alternatives I get quintessence and insensate... not really what I was looking for.

If, however, I type the word in a Google search, the small notification: "Did you mean acquaintance?" pops up above the results, along with a couple of other similar alternatives (aquinese and acquittance, also completely new alternatives). If I click the correctly spelled version of the word I meant I even get a definition of the word, short and simple. Like this:

  1. A person's knowledge or experience of something.
  2. One's slight knowledge of or friendship with someone.

So far Google has recognized everything the spellcheck plugin has failed at. I've tried the 'After the Deadline' plugin developed by WordPress staff as well, and a few standalone spellcheckers, but none of them do a really good job. A last resort that does work, and manages to find not only typographical but also grammatical errors, is Microsoft Word. Open Office? Star Office? Yadda yadda? Nope, they don't do the job at all. Wish Google could stuff all their amazing spellchecking functionality into an easy to use plugin for the browser, but wait, maybe that already exists with Chrome?

If it does, that might mean I finally found a reason to switch. If not, I'll keep hoping, maybe someday this dream will become a reality!

Numbers In Numbers

Don't you just hate it when people type twenty-three instead of 23? And even worse, how about when you yourself have to type twenty-three instead of 23? What a chore, that's a ten letter increase in both writing and reading. I haven't thought about it much earlier, but recently when skimming through some regulations for something (not important) I was immensely annoyed by the fact that all numbers where lettered, and therefore not easy to spot within the context.

I was searching specifically for a '2 hour limit', and I just couldn't find it! Eventually I fought away my impatience and read through the whole text a little more thoroughly, and there it was, lettered, invisible to the naked eye when not read directly. So there's another (if you need any other) reason for you to type numbers when typing numbers, no matter what anyone else tells you. Cyberdevil with big opinions, over and out.

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