January 20, 2017
What I’m reading
Ever wondered how to climb a rope? Well, I haven’t—at least, not until this week. I’m kind of hooked on these Visual Guides from The Art of Manliness. Check out How to Climb a Rope. If you write fiction, your characters may desperately need these instructions. On second thought, you may need these instructions to make a desperate escape from the zombie horde. To climb a rope, there are three basic techniques: Gym Class, Marines, and Navy Seals. Now you know.
Amid the many start-of-year reflective essays this month, this one caught my eye. It’s a thoughtful account by Leslie Harris of how she’s growing into the person she wants to be. The themes are learning mindfulness, letting go of worry, and practicing self-honesty.
Not long ago, I wrote about why we should stop apologizing for our work. In this article, reprinted by Fast Company, Kat Boogaard writes about what happened when she stopped saying ‘sorry’ at work for a week. The best takeaways: change your ‘sorry’ into a ‘thank you’.
Some happy dancing please
This is a video about Yolanda ‘Yo Yo’ Baker, a 70-something woman from Louisville Kentucky who has been making mirror balls for almost 50 years. Yes, 50! What’s more, she loves her job at Omega National Products and doesn’t see any reason to stop now. Even though the disco ball market is flooded with cheap imitations from Asia, Yo Yo shimmies on. This is a great little story about doing what you love and doing it well.
I got a new book on punctuation for my birthday: Between You & Me, Confessions of a Comma Queen, by Mary Norris, senior query proofreader at the New Yorker. I’m so happy! I first wrote about the Comma Queen in Dear Ellipsis, I love you… and I’ve been hooked ever since.
On the serial comma:
I feel my hackles rise, however, when I hear people refer to the serial comma as the Oxford comma. Why does Oxford get all the credit?”
The Oxford comma refers to the Oxford University Press, whose house style is to use the serial comma. (The public-relations department at Oxford doesn’t use it, however. Presumably, PR people see it as a waste of time and space. The business end of these operations is always in a hurry and does not approve of clutter. The serial comma is a pawn in the war between town and gown.)”
That is all.
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