Please humor me while I play with the WordPress block for accepting donations from website visitors.
If you happened to see a version of this test that I accidentally published a little while ago, I apologize for that unnecessary notification. (Not that this one is really necessary, but it seems to happen when we post something, right?)
While we’re here, if you’ve used the WP block or something similar yourself and found it worthwhile, I would appreciate hearing about it. Also while we’re here, I thought I’d share an image I put together with Inkscape just now and a new arrangement of words I published just the other day on my nearby Rhyme & verse page.
Let us suppose you like your first name, your “given” name.
It’s yours. You respond to it.
You feel good when you hear it, except maybe when a parent says “Bernard Joseph Smith, you’re going to be sorry…!” for whatever you just did.
Even then you might not mind the tone so much if your first name is pronounced correctly. In my experience, you can count on parents getting it right.
Also in my experience, most people get Bernard wrong when talking to me, at least for the first time. They default to the common U.S. pronunciation, as if we’d all been named for a legendary breed of dog that rescues people in the Alps.
A tiny, tiny percentage of people who see my full first name in writing ask how to pronounce it. I smile, pronounce it for them, and thank them profusely for asking.
It’s understandable, of course. There is more than one way to pronounce many names. You can’t tell from the spelling if Bernard is BER-nerd or ber-NARD, but to me they are quite different. One is mine, the other is not.
If you don’t know for sure how to say someone’s name, just ask.
P.S. A man of many names and nicknames, I’ve been known to some as B.J. since U.S. Navy bootcamp in 1973 when one of our first chores was stenciling last name and initials on every shred of government-issued clothing, down to and including the white boxer shorts. Recruits on laundry detail would yell out names and initials so you’d get the right skivvies back.
This morning I returned home from a routine visit to the doctor determined to keep an open mind about his suggestion that I try some meditation. That he might recommend this at some point was no surprise; I caught a glimpse of the prayer flags in his office the first time I saw him a few years ago.
I decided to give it a try on my lunch break. As he said, guided meditations are easy to find on YouTube and elsewhere. I got down to business, found a short video, and decided I could easily spare five minutes.
Nearly every second of that time, one of the first few words the guy’s soothing voice said ran through my brain, again and again and again.
Thank you for gifting yourself these next few minutes.
This was not relaxing. I want those five minutes back, dammit.
I grudgingly admit that people have used “gift” as a verb for a long time, but I’m one of the people Merriam-Webster mentions here. It was good to see I’m not alone, but I do imagine I should probably go meditate some more.
The words “win” and “winning” are losing their meaning through overuse and misuse.
So is the notion of war. The idea that nations are fighting a war against a virus and can actually win is preposterous.
A well-prepared nation can limit the death and social and economic havoc that result from a pandemic. That is not winning. A nation certainly does not win anything by being so unprepared that thousands of people die before civic leaders accept their responsibilities and act. That is called failure.
The issue is survival, not winning or losing.
This nation and other nations can survive or not. Individuals will survive or not.
We can do either with honor and dignity. Our choice.
A documentarian is someone who makes documentaries, right?
That’s what I’ve always thought and my favorite dictionary agrees with me, which makes it an excellent dictionary.
Some time ago, however, I came across a group for writers called Write the Docs – a “global community of people who care about documentation.”
The people call themselves documentarians.
I get their monthly newsletter and that word bugs the hell out of me. (I know what Wiktionary says on the topic, but I don’t care and neither should you. It’s Wiktionary, for crying out loud.)
I’m sure WtD is an otherwise fine organization that meets the needs of some thousands of humans who write and edit documentation and so on. The website has lots of links that various types of writers will find valuable.
What I don’t see on the site under the “Job listings” heading are any jobs for documentarians. That use of the word may catch on more widely someday, and even land in my favorite dictionary, where you can already find documentalist.
My advice? Don’t use either of those words on your résumé if you want to find a job.