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Disruptions: Texting Your Feelings, Symbol by Symbol

Being a word-oriented thinker, I don’t have much interest in emoji icons. I dislike it when an autocorrect turns a traditional sideways smiley into an icon. My daughter, who at age 11 is too young for a Facebook account, sometimes uses my Facebook account to chat with her slightly-older teen friends, which means that when I am using Facebook on another device, chat windows pop up and fill themselves with…

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How do I cite a tweet in MLA Style?

According to the Modern Language Association: Begin the entry in the works-cited list with the author’s real name and, in parentheses, user name, if both are known and they differ. If only the user name is known, give it alone. Next provide the entire text of the tweet in quotation marks, without changing the capitalization. Conclude the entry with the date and time of the message and the medium of…

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6 Creative Uses of Sentence Diagramming

My father was a little distressed to learn that diagramming sentences was not a big part of my education. Learning Latin in high school was the best grammar education I ever got. After that, nothing about English (or, later, German and Old/Middle English) ever worried me. Most kids hated it. But for the kids who loved it, it made language into an orderly puzzle, complicated but solvable, where words clicked…

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Korean News Station Pokes Fun at KTVU with Fake American Pilot Names After Southwest Airlines Landing Gear Failure

This is certainly a joke, but it’s funnier than the original: You probably remember KTVU’s royal eff up with reading obviously fake Asian names for the pilots of the Asiana crash. Names like “Wi To Lo” and “Ho Lee Fuk”. It looks like a Korean news agency is having some fun at KTVU’s expense. After the landing gear failure of the Southwest flight at LGA they showed this graphic with…

First Look: Textal, A Free SmartPhone App for Text Analysis

From Profhacker: If you’ve ever wanted to do sophisticated text analysis on your smartphone, you’re in luck. The University College of London Center for the Digital Humanities team made up of Melissa Terras (@melissaterras), Steven Gray (@frogo) and Rudolf Amman (@rkamman) has just released Textal, a free smartphone app currently available only on iOS that allows you to analyze websites, tweet streams and documents, spitting out an intuitive word cloud…

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In Defense Of Metaphors In Science Writing

We live in an elegant universe. The cosmos is like a string symphony. Genes are selfish. There is an endless battle between thermodynamics and gravity. Do you love these statements, or hate them? The reading world gets pretty divided over whether or not it’s okay to apply metaphors and similes to descriptive science writing. It even gets hot and bothered over the use of that most practical parent of metaphors…

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NAVY TO DROP ALL-CAPS COMMUNICATIONS

Caps off to the Navy’s plan to drop all-caps. OFFICIAL COMMUNICATIONS AND ORDERS HAVE BEEN IN ALL CAPS SINCE 19TH CENTURY. YOUNG SAILORS ACCUSTOMED TO TEXTING SEE ALL-CAPS ORDERS AS A FORM OF SHOUTING! NAVY WANTS ITS ORDERS AND OFFICIAL MESSAGES TO BE MORE READABLE AND LESS RUDE. “WHILE THIS DECISION WAS MADE TO SAVE MONEY AND GAIN EFFICIENCIES, IF AN ANCILLARY BENEFIT IS THAT SAILORS READING MESSAGE TRAFFIC NO…

The Milestones That Matter Most

[W]hen Japanese and American fourth and fifth grade children were asked why they shouldn’t hit, gossip or fight with other kids, 92 percent of the American kids answered “because they’d get caught or get in trouble.” Ninety percent of the Japanese kids asked the same question responded, “because it would be hurtful to someone else.” –via Christine Gross-Loh: The Milestones That Matter Most.