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Mark Nichol: What the Hell Do You Do About Profanity?

fun with profanity filters

fun with profanity filters (Photo credit: skampy)

 

What place, if any, does profanity have in writing? There are as many different answers as there are types of writing.

 

Fiction

 

Novels that purport to reflect real life must include profanity if the life they reflect includes use of profanity. This is difficult to accept for many people of a certain age, dismayed by the ubiquity of swearwords in modern literature, who have the disadvantage of having grown up during an era when books and movies were censored. (But let’s get real: In the Old West, cantankerous cowboys did not refer to each other as “You no-good so-and-so,” and in combat, to paraphrase a well-known expression, there are no decorous speakers in foxholes.) Popular entertainment often admittedly goes overboard in drenching dialogue in profanity, but that is merely an exaggeration, not a fabrication, of reality.

 

Continue reading on DailyWritingTips…

 

Nidhi Thakur: #Is that really you?

Brunch

Brunch (Photo credit: shareski)

It is really ironic that the moment I read this topic in  Brunch, I didn’t turn to the 50 people sitting around me at work. Instead, I logged onto my Twitter account and posted a tweet asking a bunch of strangers for their valuable inputs and bounced ideas and theories off them. What is funny is that discussing it with people didn’t even occur to me. Also, before posting the tweet, I didn’t spend a second to decide whether I agreed with the viewpoint or not. But the response I received just endorsed my subconscious decision.

Today we live in an age where a city-wide distance from our loved ones doesn’t hurt us as much as the detachment we feel when we charge our phone and it’s inaccessible. So important has virtual acceptance become, that we do not realise how and when it takes over our real existence.

Continue reading on Brunch…

Hannah Brencher: Love letters to strangers

 

5 Things That Really Smart People Do

Learning the Hard Way

Learning the Hard Way (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Don’t get in the way of your own learning. Here are five ways to step aside and continue to increase your smarts.

 

Most people don’t really think much about how they learn. Generally you assume learning comes naturally. You listen to someone speak either in conversation or in a lecture and you simply absorb what they are saying, right? Not really. In fact, I find as I get older that real learning takes more work. The more I fill my brain with facts, figures, and experience, the less room I have for new ideas and new thoughts. Plus, now I have all sorts of opinions that may refute the ideas being pushed at me. Like many people I consider myself a lifelong learner, but more and more I have to work hard to stay open minded.

But the need for learning never ends, so your desire to do so should always outweigh your desire to be right. The world is changing and new ideas pop up everyday; incorporating them into your life will keep you engaged and relevant. The following are the methods I use to stay open and impressionable. They’ll work for you too. No matter how old you get.

Continue reading on Inc.com…

Doing Away With Stupid Rules

The Wall Street Journal at 1701 Page Mill Road...

The Wall Street Journal at 1701 Page Mill Road in Palo Alto, California. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Right now, somewhere in your company, one of your employees is rolling his eyes. Make no mistake, it’s because of a policy or rule that leadership created.

The eye-roll—and its cousin, the defeated shrug—are the silent protests of people in every area of your company.

If you want to know the true source and depth of their frustration, there’s only one surefire way: Invite them to a brainstorming meeting.

Once you have gathered your teams together, provide blank sticky notes and ask everyone to pair up. Then present this question: If you could kill or change all the stupid rules that get in the way of doing your work or better servicing our clients, what would they be?

If they stare back at you in stunned silence, you might want to add: “You have 10 minutes! Go!” After 10 minutes, people will likely ask for more time—not because they’re stumped, but because there are that many stupid rules. Don’t interrupt their catharsis. After all, how often do you see your employees so engaged? Do remind them, however, that government regulations are “red rules”—illegal to change—but everything else is a “green rule” and thus, fair game.

Continue reading on Wall Street Journal…