Category Archives: Personal Communications

BAD IDEA Jeans…

During the time I lived in Switzerland, I was exposed to this hilarious BAD IDEA Jeans commercial from H&M (first video clip shown below).  The unexpected, hilarious setup and slogan became something of a mental ‘earworm’ for me and when I came back stateside soon thereafter I frequently added ‘jeans’ in expressing my opinion about any bad idea scenario.

(For example, someone named Jones from a suicidal religious cult hands you a plastic cup of grape Kool-Aide to drink = “BAD IDEA Jeans”)

So here’s the commercial I knew:  H&M’s Rocky Jeans: BAD IDEA Jeans (early-to-mid 1990s)

So fast forward about a decade…It wasn’t until my second husband (of immense TV and comedy knowledge) caught on to my bad idea…JEANS!… expressions and asked if I was referring to the SNL skit, one of his favorites that featured the star cast of Phil Hartman, Bob Odenkirk, Kevin Nealon, David Spade and Mike Myers.

Here’s the commercial he was referring to:  Saturday Night Live – Bad Idea Jeans (Season 16)  [Due to copyright isssues, I can only refer you to a separate URL address rather than embedding it directly in this post.]

However, I was completely unaware of any similarities between my awesome H&M commercial and this alleged SNL skit and responded hotly that it must have been a parody of the original European commercial.  (The cartoon bubble above my head probably read: “like, I like totally saw it in Europe and -like – you know, it’s just, like, way cooler over there..”)

But after some deep Wiki research (LOL), we concluded that the SNL skit appeared during the 1990-1991 Season 16 of Saturday Night Live and that….helas, my ueber-cool Euro commercial could not have debuted in the movie theaters there for me to see before the summer of 1991. Given that it appears that they were both conceived independently at around the same time – no inferiority short straw findings turned up in my investigation of their originality and coolness.

But which one do you find funnier?  Please let me know in your comments as an unofficial poll to determine which commercial is: 1) funnier, 2) more memorable?  Thanks in advance and enjoy these two cultural takes on humor in branding!!

Advertisements

Why smart women read romance novels

Originally posted: 07/12/2012 1:09 pm on the Huffington Post by Anne Browning Walker.

When I first started reading romance novels as a teenager, I squirreled them away. I hid the covers behind book jackets or splayed my hands artfully across them so that no one would know what I was reading. I felt ashamed. But why?

Smart girls don’t read romance novels, I heard.

Well, I grew up and discovered that someone lied. This stereotype may have resulted from the enduring misconceptions about romance novels thanks to tropes that went out of style nearly 30 years ago. In these “bodice-rippers,” heroes captured heroines against their will. The women succumbed to heroes in barely-disguised rape scenes. But just as the role of women in society has changed over the past 30 years, so have romance novels. These types of romances went out of fashion along with leisure suits and acid-washed jeans. Now, I’ll admit this trope sometimes creeps back in (ahem, 50 Shades of Grey), but most romances today feature strong, smart, savvy women. And smart romance characters attract smart romance readers.

Take The Cinderella Deal by one of my favorite authors, Jennifer Crusie. In this novel, based on the well-known marriage-of-convenience plot, Daisy initially conforms to Linc’s rigid expectations; however, she breaks free and grows as an artist as the two resolve their problems. Meanwhile, Linc, too, opens up to the world around him and learns how to compromise. It pulls from the classic fairy tale, but Daisy acts as her own fairy godmother, transforming herself into someone more beautiful on the inside. And, like the glass slipper, the things she leaves behind (her paintings, her warmth, her neighborliness) make Linc realize her talent and how she has changed his life for the better. Ultimately, the love Daisy and Linc attain comes as a result of personal achievement and growth.

In Loretta Chase’s Mr. Impossible, which takes place in 1821, hieroglyphics expert Daphne comes into her own and learns that female intelligence and sexual desire are, in fact, normal–not wrong. Daphne does not fall in love with Rupert because of his looks (that’s why she lusts after him), but rather because of his acceptance of and enthusiasm for her prodigious intellect and healthy sexuality.

In JD Robb’s futuristic In Death series, murder cop Eve Dallas and reformed criminal now owner of the world Roarke battle personal demons from the past; however, each helps the other heal the emotional scars of childhood (while teaming up to solve murders).

In my new book The Booby Trap, both Bambi Benson and Trip Whitley make rash assumptions about each other. Yet when forces compel them to spend time together, not only do they discover these first impressions were wrong, but they also advance professionally thanks to their growing love and respect for each other.

Rather than ignoring the existence of love in our lives, these romances celebrate how the best love helps us to grow. Modern romance novels (for the most part) insist that the love between two people be to both of their benefit. In my own relationships, I don’t want to gain my power at the expense of my partner. Working together ought to enhance our power. I see this paradigm echoed back to me in high-profile relationships: celebrity couples like Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt and Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith, seem to choose work schedules that balance family and career duties between partners. Bill Clinton, after his presidency, has vociferously supported his wife’s run for the Senate, President, and her tenure as Secretary of State. Closer to home, friends have alternated years doing legal clerkships or pursuing advanced degrees. And I see that paradigm echoed back to me in the modern romance novels that I read and write.
Another reason given to avoid the genre is that they don’t challenge your brain. Romance novels feature archetypal characters, occasionally contrived plots, and predictable endings. But, wait…bookstores are full of sci-fi novels, fantasy novels, and mystery novels that check each one of these boxes. Yet other genre fiction readers, instead of being characterized as simpleminded or unwilling to challenge themselves, are often stereotyped as smart. So what gives?

Oh yeah! It’s the sex.

A talk radio show host essentially called women who use birth control “sluts.” State Legislatures suspended people for saying “vagina” on the floor. Current legislation proposes to deny expectant mothers access to testing that would help ensure their health and the health of their fetuses. Our society feels threatened by women having sex.

Romance novels present the opposite view. Authors use sex scenes to present a healthy activity shared by two consenting adults who (in the end, if not at the moment) fall in love with each other. Heroines are sexually satisfied during each encounter. There’s a safe space to explore your fantasies and figure out what turns you on. Nothing dumb about that.

By the way, smart girls not only read romance novels, they write them! Two of my favorite authors, Jennifer Crusie and Lauren Willig, hold PhDs. Carly Phillips practiced law. They’ve attended the best schools in the world, including Harvard, Princeton, Oxford, and Duke (that’s me!).

So go ahead. If you’re still feeling a little embarrassed, download a romance onto your e-reader. Aside from your blushing, you might discover a passion for a whole new genre. As it turns out, smart women read romance, too.

Anne Browning Walker is the author of the upcoming romance novel, The Booby Trap[Pixel Entertainment, September 2012].

Another Gem from TED Talks, “Susan Cain: The power of introverts”

In a culture where being social and outgoing are prized above all else, it can be difficult, even shameful, to be an introvert. But, as Susan Cain argues in this passionate talk, introverts bring extraordinary talents and abilities to the world, and should be encouraged and celebrated.

Our world prizes extroverts — but Susan Cain makes a case for the quiet and contemplative.

Can humor help relationships? “Humor Styles, Marriage, and Divorce”

 

Yes, I mean in academic and practical capacity: over the long-term, can humor help relationships?  Are there certain types of humor that benefit one spouse over the other?  
Philosophy, caricature, exaggeration, comedy-mirrors-reality – does humor help and how do we measure it?

This was brought to mind when I came across this study from Europe’s Journal of Psychology: Bad Humor, Bad Marriage: Humor Styles in Divorced and Married Couples

 

Is humor, as often believed, an important ingredient for quality in romantic relationships, especially among married couples? Previous research has investigated this question but often done so treating humor as a global trait without distinguishing between different humor styles. More intriguing: do specific humor styles contribute to marital stability and, consequently – by their absence or because of their quality – to relationship dissolution and divorce?

By its very nature, humor introduces something unique to human interactions that may contribute to, or even change, more stable emotional states.  Positive humor styles may stabilize marriage (e.g., by reducing tension or by communicating warm feelings) in the presence of disagreement, conflict, or relational insecurity, while negative humor styles may destabilize marriage (e.g., by introducing tension or by communicating criticism) even in the presence of secure attachment, agreement, and harmony.

Some fascinating findings from the study:

  • In stable long-term relationships, self-enhancement humor can thus be an efficient tool for increasing relationship satisfaction.
  • Women’s self-defeating humor seemed to contribute to men’s, but not women’s, marital satisfaction. This unexpected result, if not due to chance, could be interpreted as an indication of a traditional gender asymmetry in marriage. Women’s self-ridiculization through humor may please husbands and increase their marital satisfaction. This can be facilitated by the fact that self-defeating humor does not explicitly attest asymmetry: “it was only a joke”.
  • Men and women, especially in married couples, seemed to agree, consistently across judgments of self and the spouse, that men use humor – all styles except self-defeating – more than women.
  • In other words, spouses may differ on the use of general/social humor, but they are similar on the high or low use of humor styles that reflect respect or transgression of interpersonal and social values and norms such as aggressive and earthy humor.
  • Another issue that arises from the present findings is that both partners’ humor styles seem to have an impact on marital insatisfaction and dissolution, but, in several cases, this was in a way that paralleled gender differences on personality. Men are typically found to be less agreeable and more aggressive, whereas women more neurotic (Lippa, in press). It may then be that, to some point, the problem for marital satisfaction and stability comes from men’s excessive use of “masculine” humor (aggressive and earthy) and women’s excessive use of “feminine” humor (self-defeating).

Regardless of humor’s effects on marital stability or dissolution, though, this study closes with a reminder that the choice between maintaining a relationship or letting it collapse does come down to individual choice and/or ethical judgment.   So, from the Kramdens to the Lockharts to the Simpsons and the couples in these two sketches – one British, from the TV skit comedy Bruiser, the other French, from the sketch play “Ils S’Aiment!” – what priority should humor have in a relationship?  LMK your thoughts!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Active vs. Passive Voice : Great advice from the Grammar Girl!!

In many of my adult years, I’ve longed to find a soapbox and a speakers’ corner where I could make impassioned speeches about APPROPRIATELY using Active or Passive Voice!  My passion for language and grammar, in matters such as this “A vs P voice”  may sound dull/unimportant/weird to some, but this and other lessons are critically important to anyone desirous of improving their English!!

Former students of mine from Sulzer Turbo AG in Zurich will remember my particular passion for this subject in the  Pre-Int Courses (Murphys Blue Book) : Hans Baumgartner, Daniela Ferrari,  Hansueli Bruderer, Helen Ronner, Heinz Zehnder, to name but a few – you and so many of your colleagues were wonderful and patient students in this subject!!

So I was thrilled to find Grammar Girl’s explanation on this subject – it’s precise and tightly explained in the matter of Active vs. Passive Voice and I would like to share it with the rest of the students, US, Europe, Far East and beyond!

Active Voice Versus Passive Voice

Episode 232: July 22, 2010

by Mignon Fogarty

Today’s topic is active voice versus passive voice.

The podcast edition of this article was sponsored by GoToMeeting. With this meeting service, you can hold your meetings over the Internet and give presentations, product demos and training sessions right from your PC. For a free, 45 day trial, visit GoToMeeting.com/podcast.

Here’s a question from Brian in Iowa. He writes, “It drives me crazy when people write in passive voice. How can I teach people how to tell the difference between passive and active voice and to stay away from passive voice?”

Well, Brian is right, the first step is to help people understand the difference between active and passive voice, because many people believe they should avoid the passive voice, but fewer people can define it or recognize it.

What Is Active Voice?

I’ll start with active voice because it’s simpler. In an active sentence, the subject is doing the action. A straightforward example is the sentence “Steve loves Amy.” Steve is the subject, and he is doing the action: he loves Amy, the object of the sentence.

Another example is the title of the Marvin Gaye song “I Heard It through the Grapevine.” “I” is the subject, the one who is doing the action. “I” is hearing “it,” the object of the sentence.

What Is Passive Voice?

In passive voice, the target of the action gets promoted to the subject position. Instead of saying, “Steve loves Amy,” I would say, “Amy is loved by Steve.” The subject of the sentence becomes Amy, but she isn’t doing anything. Rather, she is just the recipient of Steve’s love. The focus of the sentence has changed from Steve to Amy.

If you wanted to make the title of the Marvin Gaye song passive, you would say “It was heard by me through the grapevine,” not such a catchy title anymore.

Is “To Be” a Sign of a Passive Sentence?

A lot of people think all sentences that contain a form of the verb “to be” are in passive voice, but that isn’t true. For example, the sentence “I am holding a pen” is in active voice, but it uses the verb “am,” which is a form of “to be.” The passive form of that sentence is “The pen is being held by me.”

Notice that the subject, the pen, isn’t doing anything in that sentence. It’s not taking an action; it’s passive. One clue that your sentence is passive is that the subject isn’t taking a direct action.

Is Passive Voice Always Wrong?

Passive voice isn’t wrong, but it’s often a poor way to present your thoughts.

Another important point is that passive sentences aren’t incorrect; it’s just that they often aren’t the best way to phrase your thoughts. Sometimes passive voice is awkward and other times it’s vague. Also, passive voice is usually wordy, so you can tighten your writing if you replace passive sentences with active sentence.

When you put sentences in passive voice, it’s easy to leave out the person or thing doing the action. For example, “Amy is loved,” is passive. The problem with that sentence is that you don’t know who loves Amy.

Politicians often use passive voice to intentionally obscure the idea of who is taking the action. Ronald Reagan famously said, “Mistakes were made,” when referring to the Iran-Contra scandal. Other examples of passive voice for political reasons could include “Bombs were dropped,” and “Shots were fired.” Pay attention to the news and listen for examples of passive voice.

Also, a reader named Matthew commented that businesses sometimes use passive voice. He notes that it sounds better to write, “Your electricity will be shut off,” than “We, the electric company, will be shutting off your power.”

Is Passive Voice Hard to Understand?

A recent study suggests that less educated people–those who dropped out of school when they were 16–have a harder time understanding sentences written in the passive voice than those written in active voice. I only had access to the press release, not the original study, but the results made it seem as if you should stick with active voice if you’re writing for the general population.

Is Passive Voice OK in Crime Reports?

On the other hand, sometimes passive voice does have advantages. For example, if you truly don’t know who is taking the action, then you can’t name the person. This is especially common with crime reports. For example, a security guard might write “The store was robbed,” because nobody knows who the robber was.

Can Passive Voice Work in Fiction Writing?

Passive voice is also sometimes useful in fiction writing. For example, if you were writing a mystery novel and you wanted to highlight missing cookies because they are central to the story, passive voice is the best option. It would make more sense to write, “The cookies were stolen,” instead of “Somebody stole the cookies.”

The difference is subtle, but in the passive sentence “The cookies were stolen,” the focus is on the cookies. In “Somebody stole the cookies,” the focus would be on the unknown somebody.

Passive voice can be helpful if you want to create a sense of mystery in your sentence, which is also a reason that it’s not usually a good choice when you’re writing nonfiction and you want your writing to be clear.

Why Is Passive Voice Recommended for Science Writing?

//

An exception is that scientists are often encouraged to write in passive voice to lend their writing a sense of objectivity–to take themselves and their actions and opinions out of the experimental results. I used to be a scientist and I always found that odd. It felt as if we were trying to hide that real people did the experiments.

Some scientific style guides do allow for a limited use of active voice (1). For example, it may be OK to write, “We sequenced the DNA,” instead of “The DNA was sequenced,” but it’s still considered bad for scientists to insert themselves into conclusions. For example, it would be bad scientific form to write “We believe the mutation causes cancer.” But you still don’t need passive voice to achieve your goals. For example, the active sentence “We believe the mutation causes cancer,” could be changed to “The data suggests that the mutation causes cancer.” That’s still active, but it eliminates the sense of subjectivity.

Did Strunk & White Get Passive Voice Wrong?

Finally, I have to include a note about Strunk & White’s treatment of passive voice. In their classic book, The Elements of Style, three of their four examples of passive voice aren’t actually passive voice sentences. I’ve included two links below that explain the problems, but if you rely on The Elements of Style, as so many people do, be aware that this is a problem with that book.

50 Years of Stupid Grammar Advice (The Chronicle of Higher Education)
English Passive Voice (Wikipedia)

Web Bonus: Watson & Crick

Watson and Crick’s famous paper about the discovery of the structure of DNA, written in 1953, contains both active and passive sentences;

We wish to suggest a structure for the salt of deoxyribose nucleic acid (D.N.A.). (active)

We have made the usual chemical assumptions, namely, that each chain consists of phosphate diester groups joining beta-D-deoxyribofuranose residues with 3′,5′ linkages. (active)

If it is assumed that the bases only occur in the structure in the most plausible tautomeric forms (that is, with the keto rather than the enol configurations) it is found that only specific pairs of bases can bond together. (passive)

It has been found experimentally that the ratio of the amounts of adenine to thymine, and the ratio of guanine to cytosine, are always very close to unity for deoxyribose nucleic acid. (passive)

References

1. “Writing in the Sciences,” The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/sciences.html (accessed July 23, 2010)

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A Personal Letter From Steve Martin

From Letters of Note (thanks, Shaun Usher!): “Until very recently I’d heard numerous tales of Steve Martin‘s humorous responses to fan mail, but frustratingly had never seen such a letter; thankfully that situation was remedied the other week when I chanced upon the following note, apparently sent by Martin in the early-80s, post-Jerk (ahem), when he was at the top of his game. Written on his production company‘s letterhead to a fan named Jerry, this personalised form letter – in particular the post-script – is further confirmation that almost everything Steve Martin produced during that era was incredibly funny.

Transcript follows. Discovered via Letters of Note at Chattering Teeth.

Transcript

The Aspen Companies
Aspen Film Society
Aspen Recording Society
Aspen Merchandising
Aspen Artist Management

A PERSONAL LETTER FROM STEVE MARTIN

DEAR Jerry ,

WHAT A PLEASURE IT WAS TO RECEIVE A LETTER FROM YOU. ALTHOUGH MY SCHEDULE IS VERY BUSY, I DECIDED TO TAKE TIME OUT TO WRITE YOU A PERSONAL REPLY.

TOO OFTEN PERFORMERS LOSE CONTACT WITH THEIR AUDIENCE AND BEGIN TO TAKE THEM FOR GRANTED, BUT I DON’T THINK THAT WILL EVER HAPPEN TO ME, WILL IT Jerry? I DON’T KNOW WHEN I’LL BE APPEARING CLOSE TO YOU, BUT KEEP THAT EXTRA BUNK MADE UP IN CASE I GET TO Flint.

SINCERELY,

(Signed, ‘Steve Martin’)

STEVE MARTIN

P.S. I’LL ALWAYS CHERISH THAT AFTERNOON WE SPENT TOGETHER IN RIO, WALKING ALONG THE BEACH, LOOKING AT rocks.

A Personal Letter From Steve Martin.”

Tagged , ,

“The Girls of Gen X Say Goodbye to Favorite Angel”

This was a beautifully crafted tribute letter to Farrah Fawcett that I wanted to share with you.

Farrah_Fawcett_iconic_pinup_1976

(AP) Dear Farrah Fawcett,

I’m sure you understand why Michael Jackson’s death has taken over the airwaves and blogosphere, but the folks you’ve touched remember you, too. You might not be on the front page, but people are still talking.

People are talking about The Poster. People are talking about The Hair. People are saying you were a pretty face, but more than that, too. They’re praising your battle with the disease that finally killed you. And they’re talking about The Poster some more.

One swath of your adoring public is isn’t talking about The Poster so much. Gen-X women are talking about Jill Munroe, the character you played on “Charlie’s Angels,” and how you taught us to kick butt.

For an entire generation of girls, that was your legacy. And even some of the girls born later who are fans of Sigourney Weaver in the “Aliens” franchise, Carrie-Anne Moss in “The Matrix” and even “Xena,” know that Jill Munroe & Co. were the first soldiers on the female action hero front line.

The grown-up critics at the time derisively called the show “jiggle TV,” and maybe it was, but that was lost on us. To us girls, “Charlie’s Angels” was an exciting fantasyland where cool ladies in sweet outfits got to pack heat and run down the bad guys.

Charlie's Angels

The feminist elders at the time dismissed the show as sexploitation, and it certainly may have been, but that went way over our heads. All we cared about was that now we had this fun game to play with each other after school. Some kids escaped into cops and robbers, but the girls of the ’70s played “Charlie’s Angels.”

It went down like this: Everyone would pick which Angel they wanted to be. Farrah, I hope you know that everyone fought over who got to be Jill Munroe. And then, we’d run around together, our fingers twisted into pistols, acting out all sorts of scenarios where we’d outsmart the criminals while flipping our hair.

It felt like true liberation to find this funnel for our energy: to run, jump, roll on the ground and have purpose in our play. We fed off of each other the way we saw the Angels do it: friends before all with a little sass for everyone else. It wasn’t lost on us how the Angels often used their feminine wiles to entrap clueless men. So who was being sexploited again?

Farrah, you only stayed on the show for one season, but your gift of Jill Munroe still lives on with the grown-up girls of the 1970s. They took to Twitter to offer homage, and they loved you even if they couldn’t spell your character’s name correctly.

“I was a Charlie’s Angels gal. In the neighborhood, I was Jill until Kris Monroe came along. I had the silk jacket,” said one. And another: “RIP Farrah! My 5th grade hair do was the Farrah and Jill Monroe taught me girls could be beautiful AND kick butt! Best hair toss ever!” And this one, too: “So sad that Farrah Fawcett lost her battle with cancer. Rest in peace Jill Monroe (I was totally her when we played Charlies Angels).”

Know that there are lots more just like it out there, Farrah. It’s not wrong to be remembered for The Poster, The Hair or The Battle, as long as it’s not forgotten that you’ve left a lasting legacy for something very different among a bunch of women who used to be little girls.

Yours forever,

Girls of the ’70s

Tagged , , ,

Pioneering Presentations: Creating Art Through Technology

On the subject of public speaking and innovations to the mediums of presentation, a lot of focus has been given to David Byrne’s creative genius and artistry with the Microsoft application, PowerPoint. Envisioning Emotional Epistemological Information, as he calls it, has been featured in many art exhibits since its debut several years ago and has now been reproduced in a DVD and companion book for purchase. His PowerPoint creations are particularly inventive for creating, in Jungian terms, a new neural pathway for our collective conscious…contriving a liaison between creating pure, specious art executed through a rational Microsoft application.  It’s so brilliant and unexpected, it’s almost an oxymoron in and of itself — creating abstruse, ethereal concepts within the boundaries of a defined executable script!!

eeei-cover21

Wow, breaking barriers in conceptual thought…I hope he rewarded himself with an afternoon off for having single-handedly reset the thresholds of Cartesian philosophy!  This is, of course, above and beyond his tremendous musical legacy, mind you. [In sharp contrast, sometimes I feel pleased with myself just if I make it over to Costco…or finish all of my laundry!]

But just as almost every new conceptual thought is constructed on the shoulders of our philosophical forefathers, David Byrne’s radical art nouveau opened a critical path to re-thinking the presentation of ideas and concepts through the platforms and applications of pc technology.  Enter Gapminder.org, founded in 2005, a Swedish organization that has re-engineered the presentation of statistics into beautiful, moving pictures. This powerful translation of statistics into an evolving story – right before your very eyes – not only translates statistics into language-based concepts, but imparts the lay spectator with access and a sense of ownership to the concepts and  – the story!

Let me phrase this in a different way: cast your mind back to high school, the English Literature class in your Senior year…what was the most difficult book you read? The one that was so hard for you to grasp…do you remember? The words, sentences, syntax and chapters were there, but it was just so hard to see the meaning behind it all!  Was is The Stranger by Camus, The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Kundera or Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky?  Then (Heavenly Father be praised), your teacher let you watch part of the movie adaptation – and all of a sudden, the emotions, the motivations, the sequence of events – i.e. the story – came flooding out of the TV and straight into your brain!  A bolt of lightning blazed through your mind and – presto!  The cerebellum processed all of the details in the novel, linked them to the center of your limbic system and emotional comprehension and…. you finally just GOT it!!

That’s what Gapminder’s proprietary technology does with statistical data, in almost the reverse-but-same method of David Byrne’s art-through-technology creation — the Gapminder group makes technology translate into moving art!  By taking the measured, defined data, inserting it into an executable technological application and revealing the art and story behind the statistics they have found a way to “unveil the beauty of statistics for a fact based world view” !

Here is a paragraph from their mission statement: Gapminder is a non-profit venture promoting sustainable global development and achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals by increased use and understanding of statistics and other information about social, economic and environmental development at local, national and global levels. We are a modern “museum” that helps making the world understandable, using the Internet.

This video presentation by co-founder Hans Rosling is a must-see and it will completely transform your thoughts on effectively presenting statistical data.  Set aside several minutes and watch his video, entitled “Debunking Myths About the Third World.” Enjoy!

Vodpod videos no longer available.
more about “Debunking myths about the “third worl…”, posted with vodpod

Condense Your Love Into Six Words

High school English classes have familiarized us with the oft-cited quote, “Brevity is the soul of wit.”  But when it comes to communicating degrees of emotional intensity and experience in relationships – it can be tough to limit your words.  We can all admit to watching at least a few episodes of Donahue, Geraldo, or Jerry Springer, right? The ENTIRE premise of shows such as these is to encourage people to vent, up to 43mn (+ commercial time), on the disgruntled state of their relationships!  Anytime people probe into potentially emotional subjects (they look more like emotional minefields on those shows), brevity – not to mention wit –  is nowhere near the studio!!

So we can all agree that it’s a challenge to express your relationship in a mere six words.  What could you express about your own love/marriage/relationship in just six words? Think of it as a relationship ‘brand’ that you’re advertising. Would you emphasize…perfection, as in “pure goodness to the last drop” ? Endurance, as in “still going after all these years”? Malcontent, as in “sucks the life out of me”? Or with a hackneyed phrase, such as “always the bridesmaid, never the bride”?

This new book review, Love Boiled Down to Just Six Words, in USA Today amused me to no end with its infinite possibilities for relationship branding, using sincerity and humor! I’ve included it to encourage you, the reader, to contribute your condensed love stories in the comments area below!  And in the spirit of encouraging you to share, I’ll go first:

  • “True love doesn’t depend on drama.”

(And I’ll also share the one my husband wrote about how we first met – an unusual, but extremely memorable gift that he brought to my office: “A couch brought me true love.”)

Happy writing!!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,