Words of Sylvia Plath

“Should I be worried about my penchant for enjoying and relating to Sylvia Plath?”

Though I have never read any of her work (that is soon to change), I am always struck by the beauty and accuracy of Plath’s words. Here are a few of my favorite.

 

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The following quotes often get stuck in my head at various points throughout my day:

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Now excuse me as I look into purchasing the works of Sylvia Plath who, despite (or perhaps because of) her tragic death and  history of depression, wrote words of such significance and beauty that I can’t help but be struck by her genius.

 

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“We gave the Future to the winds…”

I just wanted to take a quick moment to share one of my favorite sentences in the entire existence of the human language.

It’s from Edgar Allan Poe’s The Mystery of Marie Roget (I went on a bit of a Poe kick this past summer. No regrets.).

“We gave the Future to the winds, and slumbered tranquilly in the Present, weaving the dull world around us into dreams.”

When I came across this sentence during my reading, I immediately stopped to write it down. Something about it caught my attention– possibly a mix of the meaning (of serenely living in the present) and the way the words felt on my tongue. Go ahead, say it out loud to yourself.

Okay, so I have officially sealed my reputation as a geek with that last bit, but as I’ve mentioned in the past: I absolutely love quotes. They hold a lot of meaning for me and I collect them like one might collect baseball cards.

So, I have to ask: What are some of your favorite quotes? Care to share?

Saving ‘Snollygoster’

Snollygoster

[snol-ee-gos-ter] n. Slang

One, especially a politician, who is guided by personal advantage rather than by consistent, respectable principles.

Origin:
1855–60;  origin uncertain; Perhaps alteration of snallygaster, a mythical beast said to prey on poultry and children

It’s a silly sounding word, certainly, but it’s my silly sounding word. Let me back track a bit and explain.

Today I came across a website called Save the Words. The site, powered by Oxford Dictionaries, states its mission as such:

Each year, hundreds of words are dropped the English language.

Old words, wise words, hard-working words. Words that once led meaningful lives but now lie unused, unloved and unwanted.

Today, 90% of what we write is communicated by only 7,000 words!

If not for yourself, then for generations yet to come. Now, you may ask, “What have future generations done for us lately?”

Well, not much. But one day they’ll be grateful. You never know, they may even have a word or two to say about you.

If you love words as much as we do, find room for them again in conversations and written communication. Each time you use one of these words, you are keeping it alive in the English language.

And so I went on the website, clicked around, and found this magnificent sounding word: Snollygoster. Not only is it fun to say, but I’ve already thought of plenty applications in relation to our ever-flawed government (but that’s a discussion for another day).

I highly encourage others to go and adopt a word. With plenty to pick from, I love the idea of helping to keep a word “alive.” The English language is so rich; it’s a shame we don’t take fool advantage of it. They even email you a adoption certificate and offer the chance to purchase your very own word-shirt. I mean, how more official can it get?

Blog Happy Tips

My previous post provided blogging tips from an article I had discovered. My enjoyment in writing about it, as well as analyzing my own blog in the process, has led me to my latest post: How to Enjoy Blogging.

While I’m no blog expert, and I certainly wouldn’t be qualified to dole out advice on how to have a successful blog, I can admit to enjoying my blogging. As I thought more about it, I decided to make my own list that might prove informational for readers and recreational for myself. So here it is, my very own Advice Blog Post:

How to Enjoy Blogging

1. Make it interesting…to YOU!

  • As I mentioned, my primary motivation for writing this very post is my own self-interest. In fact, EVERY post I write is out of pure selfishness. I write about things that I enjoy or show an interest in, thereby reflecting the enthusiasm in my posts. Life is too short to blog about things that bore you.

2. Mix it up.

  • While many people try to keep their blog pertaining to one particular topic, I find it much more interesting to show a little variation. If it’s a professional blog, that doesn’t mean that you need to post goofy pictures or silly YouTube videos. My blog, for instance, relates primarily to Public Relations and Social Media. However, I can’t resist the urge to share new discoveries. I usually post these under the category of “Stumbled Upon.” Sometimes, however, it’s an old tune that I just need to share, or a favorite quote. Mix it up, keep it fun for yourself and others.

3. Look around.

  • I’m not sure which came first, the chicken or the egg, my looking through media news or my looking for a post topic. Either way, I try to stay up to date with media and PR trends. While I look around some of my favorite websites (i.e. Mashable), I often come across an idea for a blog post. Sometimes I’m just stuck and, as I mentioned, I’m not going to write about something that I don’t find interesting. In these cases, I go to random websites that have no bearing on media at all. Sometimes I even turn to what I did that day. Look around you, both on the internet and in your life in general. There are plenty of topics waiting to be written about.

4. Be proud.

  • While you may feel like your blog is barely a plankton in the Blog Sea, you are still taking the initiative to get your voice heard. Even if your hits total 5 or 6 a day (been there, done that, still doing that in fact), be proud that those 5 or 6 people chose to view YOUR blog. Don’t get discouraged.

5. Don’t let your blog be a cause of guilt.

  • Okay, this one I’m admittedly still trying to deal with. Just because you haven’t posted for awhile, or don’t quite feel like going on one day, it doesn’t mean you’ve skipped out on some responsibility. Your blog is just that, YOUR BLOG. Don’t let it dictate what you do or else you’ll stop enjoying. Don’t let an inability or disinterest in posting make you feel guilty. Don’t be afraid to take a weekend, or a week, off from posting. It should be on your time.

6. EMBRACE THE BLOGOSPHERE.

  • This is the most important piece of advice yet– don’t just stay put in your nice little corner of the internet, go explore the blogs of others. You’ll find it to be a pleasant and relatively friendly community filled with well-wishers (and the occasional nay-sayer). Embrace the feedback you get and give. Embrace the blogosphere!

Fashion Police turn Grammar Police

I hate to admit it, but I am that obnoxious person who corrects your grammar.

You are doing well not good (unless you’re out volunteering). End of story.

While I am far from perfect (go ahead, search through all my posts, you’re sure to find several mistakes), I try my best to use proper grammar and I understand it’s importance especially in presenting yourself. The way you speak and write are valuable reflections of yourself. I think people can generally agree that this is true, right?

Okay, that being said, who on earth would by this shirt from Wet Seal:

Is this a fashion statement or the result of outsourcing clothing design to non-English speaking countries?

While I could take this moment to comment on fashion’s fondness for t-shirts with distasteful and tacky messages, I would rather concentrate on this whole new level of offensiveness. Wet Seal’s primary customers are young (and impressionable?)  girls and women. In a day in age where teachers complain that kids use “texting lingo” in school essays, do we really need another reminder of our society’s grammatical failures?

So was this spelling error intentional or a careless mistake? The company has been a bit unclear about the truth behind the t-shirt. In response to the publicity, Wet Seal’s official Twitter page tweeted:
“It’s a fashion statement … I am jealous for you’re [sic] keen eye for grammatical errors though.”

We can assume this second mix up of the proper “your/you’re”s was a joke and I applaud them for their wit, however I simply cannot get over the t-shirt. I don’t know, am I over-reacting or is this disregard for proper grammar especially annoying? Weigh in and let me hear what you think!

In the meantime, I think I’ll carry a sharpie around with me so I can add an ‘e’ and apostrophe to anyone I see wearing this shirt.

To Tweet or Not to Tweet

Today I got into a discussion with some of my co-workers about the purpose and benefits of Twitter (Note: These are co-workers in a field completely unrelated to public relations and, as women primarily in their mid to late 40s, they had limited knowledge of this mysterious thing called “twitter”). In the midst of explaining WHAT twitter was, I mentioned that I myself have a twitter page. I was met with a similar reaction that I often get from my very own peers– “why?”

Often I’m asked what possibly advantages Twitter has over Facebook. The error here is that people are so quick to compare the two social networking sites. Sure, they have similarities (for instance, I’ll often dumb down my Twitter explanation by comparing it to Facebook status updates), but they are also vastly different. I use Facebook to stay in touch with friends from home, friends from school, friends from abroad, and even the occasional soft-core stalking of people I haven’t seen since high school. While I do “follow” some of these same people on twitter, I look at twitter as a much different platform from which to conduct and access networking and communication.

As I explained to my coworkers today, Twitter is beneficial for companies who want a way to send a quick message to employees or consumers. They can have multiple accounts– perhaps one for Customer support, another for internal communications, and still another with job opening postings. Having done a lot of work on twitter for a recent internship, I realized that most of the Fortune 500 companies are on twitter and have employed it in some of the ways I mentioned above.

But there is much more to twitter than finding out the latest in news from Microsoft or big name car companies. Often the immediate appeal, especially for the youth or starstruck, are the celebrities that use twitter. I will admit that I was similarity drawn to twitter when I found out that I could be following these idolized individuals who we, the masses, usually view as so far away from ourselves, so separate. Twitter gives you a behind-the-scenes sort of view of celebrities– their thoughts, perhaps picture and video posts, what they’re up to, and usually all this goes public without the censorship of their badgering publicists. These sort of things have led to a number of fun scandals for the public (i.e. John Mayer, he was practically asking for it). I myself am a big movie and television buff. I like to see the behind the scenes footage, know what’s happening on set, and even catch up on my spoilers. For this reason, I follow a number of entertainment and film sites on twitter. Their 140 character headlines are sometimes enough, or else I’ll click a link or photo they may provide. I also follow my own brand of celebrities, including directors (such as Jon Favreau) who are always eager to give their most loyal audiences some sneak peeks.

Of course, there are still other reasons to follow people on twitter, such as keep up with friends or getting the latest headlines, but the question often is– Why tweet?

Honestly, I enjoy it. I enjoy coming up with 140 character witticisms that I hope my (few) followers enjoy. It also does come in handy for keeping in touch with my few friends who also tweet. I admit, I’m horrible at keeping in touch, even with all of the modern day advances in communication. And yet, despite my inability to sit down and send an email, I will ALWAYS check my twitter, where I find out that so-and-so got accepted to law school, or so-and-so really enjoyed some movie. These little tidbits are often trivial, but still help me stay connected– to friends, family, websites, news, and even the occasional celebrity.

For companies, the “why tweet?” is obvious– for your business. While studies show that the majority of twitter users are under the age of 30, they are also usually the most technologically advanced. For certain companies, this is exactly the market they are looking for. For other companies, a twitter account still keeps them in touch with this particular target audience. No business needs to completely devote themselves to their twitter account, but it certainly is a good way to keep clients and consumers updated. In crisis communication situations, a twitter account is also beneficial in maintaining a clear and open position. Sure, you could write a whole blog entry (like this one), or you could give multiple updates, as you get them, keeping your audience informed and up to date.

Most recently, I heard that a heart surgeon has decided to employ twitter to give live updates as she performs open heart surgery. At first, I imagined some Scrubs-esque scene where a doctor tweets in between every task– that’s ridiculous, I thought. Then I realized that obviously the surgeon themselves was not tweeting (duh!). It eventually dawned on me that if I had a family member undergoing a difficult and life-threatening procedure, I would want constant updates on their progress. Imagine the countless hours people wait to hear the news, pacing back and forth, unable to settle down until they know the news. What if they could follow the surgery on twitter? Would that reduce their anxiety? Sure, there are probably several problems and possibly even ethical situations there. A few bugs to work out. But what an extraordinary idea.

So if you use twitter for fun, for the news, for the business, or for whatever reason– enjoy it. It’s not Facebook. It’s not a blog. It’s its own site, with its own unique features to be explored and expanded on. Or perhaps it is the very simplicity of twitter that attracts so many of us. As I once tweeted: Twitter is perfect for people like me whose wit rarely reaches anything above 140 characters.

(oh, and P.S. to enjoy some more of my writing, but in a 140 character limit sort of way, feel free to follow me: trickart262)

“Life is infinitely stranger…”

Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent. We would not dare to conceive the things which are really mere commonplaces of existence. If we could fly out of that window hand in hand, hover over this great city, gently remove the roofs, and peep in at the queer things which are going on, the strange coincidences, the plannings, the cross-purposes, the wonderful chains of events, working through generations, and leading to the most outre results, it would make all fiction with its conventionalities and foreseen conclusions most stale and unprofitable.”

(Sherlock Holmes, [Sir] Arthur Conan Doyle)