Archive for January, 2014

Bunch of Little Things

January 28, 2014

None of the topics scribbled on my Tip List are worthy of a full-blown diatribe, so I’ll combine a few small ones with some Funny Typos of the Day.

1) What is the plural of “code of practice”?
Wrong answer: code of practices
Right answer: codes of practice

2) Instead of using “very” in front of an adjective, try to use a single, more descriptive adjective.
Very large => enormous, gigantic
Very small => tiny
According to Grammar Girl Mignon Fogarty, “Replacing two simple words like very hungry with one more descriptive word like ravenous makes your writing tighter — and usually more interesting, too.”

3) Be careful about using the same word over and over, particularly buzzwords.
Bad Example: robust – they use this ad nauseam to describe software in marketing materials

Funny Typos:

1) Impudence (instead of impedance)
2) Dud consideration (instead of due consideration)
3) Pressure deferential (instead of pressure differential)


Project Management Quote of the Day:

1. “When too many roosters are crowing, the dawn arrives late.”
2. – Ancient Greek proverb


Replace All in Selected Text

January 24, 2014

If you select some text and do “Replace All” on it, sometimes just the selected text has the Replace All action applied to it,
and other times the entire document has the Replace All action applied to it.

Rhonda Bracey, the Australian CyberText Newsletter blogger, believes it’s a bug. “When I’ve selected a part of the document and clicked Replace All while that part is selected, then I ONLY expect the Replace All to work on that selection, unless I’m asked otherwise,” she claimed.

“The real quirk is that when you first open a document and run Replace All, it will work on the selected text only, UNLESS you click Replace or Find Next first. Once you’ve clicked Replace or Find Next (not Replace All), Word thinks you want to do the
replacements one by one and so ignores your selection! Then if you click Replace All AFTER clicking Replace or Find Next just the once, the entire document is scanned and the Replace All action happens across the whole document.”

So how do you get around it? Rhonda recommends the following:
“If you really want to Replace All just in the selected text, save and close the document, then re-open it. Run the Replace All action on the selection and it will work — DO NOT click Replace first, otherwise clicking Replace All will replace across the whole document.”

If you have to do this often, it can be a real nuisance, Rhonda admits. But at least we now have a workaround to achieve our original
goal of replacing only the ones in the selected text. If you would like to thank Rhonda personally for sharing this valuable tip, please visit her blog:
Profound Quote of the Day:
“A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.”
 – Martin Luther King, Jr., American civil rights leader, 1929-1968

Frack Added to Dictionary in 2013

January 6, 2014

The Oxford English Dictionary added a number of new words this past year to the standard lexicon. One word familiar to our industry was added in the November quarterly update: “frack.”

Take a look at the first official definition:

“Verb: inject liquid into (a subterranean rock formation, borehole, etc.) at high pressure so as to force open existing fissures and extract oil or gas.”

I think the purpose of fracking is to create new fissures, as opposed to opening existing ones. And here is the example of a sentence they used for this new word:

“millions of gallons of water are needed to successfully frack a single well”


And here is the reason for such misuse of the term:

A survey conducted by researchers at Oregon State, George Mason University, and Yale found that >50% of the 1,061 Americans surveyed knew little or nothing about fracking, according to the Casper [Wyoming] Star-Tribune.

“The fact that half of the people we surveyed know little if anything about fracking suggests that there may be an opportunity to educate the American citizenry in a non-partisan way about this important issue,” said Hilary Boudet, a public policy expert at Oregon State and the study’s lead author. “The question is: who will lead that discussion?”

Good question.
Whoever that is, perhaps that person should start with the Oxford University Press folks and at least have them get the definition right and use proper examples in the dictionary.

Uneducated Fracking Quote of the Day:
“Fracking kills, and it doesn’t just kill us. It kills the land, nature and, eventually, the whole world.”
– Yoko Ono, wife of the late musician John Lennon of The Beatles