Wednesday, April 29, 2009

4 Limericks

For some reason, I was just inundated this year with requests for writing book chapters. I find them hard to write because you have to please the book editors and then the company editors, whereas for an article you just need to please yourself and the editors. I also find them tough because they usually involve a background of the subject, along with a comprehensive review, while with an article you can take a particular slant on your passion.

Therefore, I took the liberty of writing limericks for each chapter, trying to make my mark on them and to make them a bit fun. Surprisingly, all 3 editors (1 editor had requested 2 chapters) were thrilled with the limericks. In one the editor had wanted to change the limerick a bit, and I said I'd just delete it (her changes were awful), and she said, "Oh no! Keep it. Never mind; I won't touch it!" Here are the 4 limericks:

1) chapter on the approval of nursing programs:

An approval at state boards of nursing
Takes a careful review and conversing
On the health of the school
And meeting each rule.
And that's what this chapter's rehearsing!

2) chapter on interprofessional collaboration:

Since nursing's a teamwork vocation
With science and art its foundation,
Is it too much to ask
In this admirable task
That we focus on collaboration?

3) chapter on regulatory perspective on nursing education:

While planning for course innovation,
Our mantra for nurse education
Is, "Please be aware
That face-to-face care
Is vital for nurses' formation."

4) chapter on transition to practice:

In nursing let's bring to fruition
A standardized course to transition
New nurses to practice,
Like docs, cuz the fact is,
It's a safety, no-brainer position!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Our Wordcraft Friend

"Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever."

- Mahatma Ghandi

That's how our Jerry lived. Please hold him in your thoughts and prayers.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

An ode to a rainbow

Well, maybe not an ode; simply a prayer. Now that spring is here, it's rainbow time. I thought you might enjoy this.

When my husband and I went to our accountant to do our taxes, we saw a gorgeous rainbow as we were meeting. Our accountant, an orthodox Jew, pulled out his prayer book and said a blessing (תְפִלָה). How delightful. I came home and looked up the prayer. Here is a little description:

Everybody loves rainbows, a symbol of renewal in nature. While all wonders of nature deserve blessings, rainbows have the power to make us stop and look. And to say a special blessing for the rainbow. It is a sign of the covenant with Noah, but it is also one of the most beautiful of God's creations.

Barukh attah Adonai eloheinu melekh ha-olam,
zokher haberit vene’eman bivrito v’kaiyam bema’amaro.

And here is the translation:

Praised are you Adonai, our God, Sovereign of the world, Who remembers the covenant, who keeps the promise, and fulfills God’s word.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Happy Unbirthday, Strunk and White

It is the 50th anniversary of Strunk and White. I used to recommend the book to all my college students. It wasn't until Wordcraft and dialogue with linguists, English teachers, and the like, where I found how ridiculously judgmental their advice is. The funny part is how they themselves don't take their own advice, both in the grammar text itself and in E.B. White's Charlotte's Web. Language Log and Geoffrey Pullum do an excellent job of refuting much of their bossiness.

So, happy un-birthday, Strunk and White. 'Tis too bad, too, because E.B. White was some writer.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Back to words...

Ah, yes. It's not good to be negative. It's only human nature that strife would occur on Internet networks since it occurs in families, in communities, in countries, and globally.

I started a discussion about "agathism" on Wordcraft, so I'll not repeat it here. However, Tim Alborn, one of my favorite limerick writers on OEDILF, wrote this nice limerick about it:

"All is well!"—so the optimists cry,
Which the pessimists say is a lie,
While the agathists state
There's a happier fate
That we'll happen upon, by and by.

Agathism recognizes the existence of evil but holds that all things tend toward the good.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A Digression

Something has come up in the Internet world where I live, and I find it important to digress from my discussions for one post to contemplate Internet communities. I don't intend to focus on it, but a mention is in order.

Why is it that communities, the ones with good people and no agendas except for intellectual discussion, can deteriorate? What is it that brings flamewars about and makes them continue? Wordcraft, which successfully spawned OEDILF, was started because of a major flamewar elsewhere. You wouldn't have believed how that place, with lots of truly good people, quickly went downhill. I won't go into details, but here is one post I just copied from that other forum (I believe a well-run forum would delete these sorts of posts from trolls):

"So you really are a psychotic, demented, paranoid frustrated old man with no life and no personality or charisma. How sad you are. I really feel sorry for you - or maybe I don't because you are a bitter and twisted, cruel man and a bad man at that. And what happens to bad men? They get punished, and you will be punished. You think you can get away with things here that you would be severely punished for in the 'real' world but you won't. Bad men always get their come-uppance and the time is ripe for you to get yours."

This was written about a decent, intelligent person. The "poster"was a true bully. He or she was too cowardly to reveal him or herself, though the members of the community think he or she was probably a regular there. This particular "poster" has 43 posts that are still open to the public over there, and they all are similar to the above post. Frankly this person's behavior even shocked the regulars there, who themselves were ranting like crazy against this one person.

I don't know what goes wrong when things like this happen. However, in the end they usually work themselves out. In this case, a group left that forum and started our beloved Wordcraft. We developed into an active British/American forum quickly, and within 2 years another community spawned from us, though in a much more friendly manner. That community that allowed the vicious flamewar still exists, and it seems to be alive and well, though when trolls arise their administrators don't take control, so that can get irritating. I do think both Wordcraft and OEDILF do a good job in asking members to "take a break" when things get hot. Had the other place done that in the first place, I am sure the flamewar wouldn't have deteriorated so horribly. However, they would have had to have done it fairly.

So, in the end, I guess the answer is to have some loyal administrators who are fair, but will make hard decisions for the good of the community. These administrators cannot just be the board owners, though, as there must be objectivity. The community members should know the rules of the board, and they should have some say in developing them. Communities are a wonderful way to communicate. Shame on those administrators and owners who don't take control.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


I actually don't agree with Language Log's discussion about how people learn to memorize poems. He made it sound like everyone can do it, and that's just not the case. Some people have the talent and some don't. I do realize the meter makes it easier for some people, but for others the meter just doesn't help.

Here are the fun poems that started all of this.

By Dwight Chapman

The negatives of English words
Conspire to baffle one:
Too few turn out predictably
Too many turn out un-.

Of prefixes they take their choice
Unfettered and at will,
And some results are logical
But most are strangely il-.

The canny etymologists
Are seldom led astray,
To them each case looks typical
To me each case looks a-.

What sliver of orthography
Is left for us to grab
When nowhere is normality
And everywhere is ab-?



I know a little man both ept and ert.
An intro-? extro-? No, he's just a vert.
Sheveled and couth and kempt, pecunious, ane,
His image trudes upon the ceptive brain.

When life turns sipid and the mind is traught,
The spirit soars as I would sist it ought.
Chalantly then, like any gainly goof,
My digent self is sertive, choate, loof.

by David McCord
The Oxford Book of American Light Verse

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Memorizing Poetry

My husband is excellent at memorizing poetry, and I've never understood why some people are and others (me!) aren't. Language Log recently posted about that. My husband says it's easy, and just a matter of meter. I cannot believe how he can pull up poem after poem, lengthy ones, for whatever the reason. He especially is good, though, at limericks or at Ogden Nash poems. He also is great at finding poems for almost any subject. Just today Tsuwm posted about "sheveled." Sure enough, when I looked for the word on Wordcraft, my husband had posted this poem:

I know a little man both ept and ert.
An intro-? extro-? No, he's just a vert.
Sheveled and couth and kempt, pecunious, ane,
His image trudes upon the ceptive brain.

When life turns sipid and the mind is traught,
The spirit soars as I would sist it ought.
Chalantly then, like any gainly goof,
My digent self is sertive, choate, loof.

Gloss, by David McCord
The Oxford Book of American Light Verse

When I reminded him that he had posted that poem in 2004, he then recited another that he knows using the word "sheveled." He truly amazes me. I know no one else who is as good at remembering and reciting poetry as he is.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Urban Dictionary

I got a "Google Alert" for epicaricacy, but I wasn't sure why. It said that epicaricacy has been added to the Urban Dictionary, which would have been exciting...except that link says it has been there since April 14, 2007. Another strange thing is that Onelook, which does include their dictionary, doesn't list the Urban Dictionary's citation of it. Here's the Urban Dictionary's example use of epicaricacy:

When my rich, moralizing brother, who always lectures me about responsibility and family values, was caught by his wife in bed with her best friend, and she divorced him and took everything leaving him broke and despondent, the epicaricacy was almost more than I could stand.

It's not a very nice word, is it?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

That's it!

That's it. I am done. I am going to give up Blogging and the word epicaricacy. Screw it!

[April Fool!]

P.S. Love Google's CADIE! I wish I had that kind of creativity (and time!)