Tag Archives: Fun

Hashtag: WhatsUpWithThat

English is an amazingly adaptable language, but I sometimes wonder if maybe it hasn’t gone a bit far.

Of course, that could simply be the grouchy old dude living in my head yelling at all those new words to get off my language’s front lawn. After all, time passes, change accretes and we must develop new language to describe those things or behaviors new to the world.

Still, the idea of selfie being an actual word in the Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary seems to me to be an example of us being slightly too loose with accepting new words. You know?

My favorite quote about the English language (And, yes, I realize the fact that I have a favorite quote about the English language, which implies that I have more than one quote about it, definitely labels me as a nerd of the highest order. Deal.) comes from James Nicoll.

The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don’t just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary.

Which goes a long way toward explaining some of the new words that now exist as official parts of the English language. More than 150 words were added to the language as of this year, many of them reflecting the increasing importance of the online to our daily existence.

Some of the new words include “hashtag,” “selfie” and “tweep,” along with new definitions for words like “catfish,” which is now recognized as “a person who sets up a false social network profile for deceptive purposes,” according to a press release from the company.

“Crowdfunding,” “gamification” and “steampunk” join the dictionary as well, as does “Yooper” — a nickname for “a native or resident of the upper peninsula of Michigan.”

Merriam-Webster isn’t the only dictionary to notice tech words slamming into the English language.

The embrace of technology as a shaper of modern language has not gone unnoticed at the Collins English Dictionary, either. The company announced Twictionary on Monday, a tool to comb Twitter for new words.

I am so going totally going to use that tool as soon as I close this window. This will be awesome!

And, yes, I realize that only cements my image as a giant word nerd. Not like I’ve never heard that before.

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Hey, Look! Over There!

Place looks a little empty today, yeah?

Sorry about this dudes, but all the fun is at our second home, the Charlotte Parent community blog, under the moniker Stay-At-Home Dudes.

Yeah, I’m going to be blogging there as well as here. To start with, I thought I’d try and publish a post for them and direct you fine folks over there. Not every day, of course. Not every week.

But for now.

If you’d like to see some more content, just head over to the Charlotte Parent website and look for us under Stay-At-Home Dudes.

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Nu Project To Europe

Ask any woman: Most of them hate the way their body looks.

Heck, ask most dudes and you’ll find at least one thing they wish they could change. (If anyone guessed hair would be right at the top of the list, congratulations. Genius stickers all ’round.)

To make matters worse, most of our media showcases only the bodies of those who can afford to spend 12 hours a day working out, the money to afford the best plastic surgeons, and to have a nutritionist and chef on staff to prepare healthy and delicious meals for them.

And then there’s Photoshop and other image-manipulation software. Whoa, that’s a whole ‘nother kettle of colorful horses there, dudes.

What I’m getting at is that the images we see most often in the media surrounding us (and with the internet, we’re almost always surrounded by media), are of perfect bodies. Not one of which are ours.Nu Project cover

Which is only one reason I like The Nu Project. Originally conceived on Kickstarter, The Nu Project is the brainchild of photographer Matt Blum. He went out and created a wonderfully tasteful book of nudes.

The thing is, his models were perfectly ordinary ladies you’d meet whenever you went outside. They are ladies of every color, every age, every size. And they all agreed to display their bodies for this book, in an effort the show that there is beauty in every body. If I may steal from the book’s tagline. And I just did, so I guess I may-ed.

As soon as I heard about this project, I raced to Kickstarter and became a backer, pledging enough money to make sure I got a copy of the book. It’s now sitting in pride of place, on the coffee table next to a huge photo book of the best shots from the Hubble Space Telescope.

It’s available now for people who aren’t Kickstarter backers. You can purchase the book from Matt Blum’s website, or you can buy it at Amazon.com or other book seller sites.

It’s wonderful that these women decided to get over their feelings of inadequacy pushed on them by the continual bombardment of perfect images and showcase the beauty in their body. Not only that, but it’s something that’s been desperately needed for a long time.

Take this comment from the project’s FAQ page: Thank you for this. I have lived with crippling body insecurity all of my life, even seeking help from doctors about it. I recently went through major surgery twice for health reasons and it’s left me very visibly scarred. I saw the photo of a woman with several scars on her body and started crying as the photo tells the story of somebody who’s been through a lot and has the courage to show it off proudly. It really struck a chord with me. Thanks for your work, and thanks for the incredible woman who showed off the hard times she’s been through in a brave manner.

In addition to the book, Matt Blum has set up a website for the project on which he displays some of the photographs he took for the first book, and some he’s preparing for use in the next iterations. In fact, just recently, he was able to photograph his first transgender person when he and the project were in New York.

All well and good, you say, but we’re guessing that’s not the reason you’re writing about this today. And you’re right. It’s not. I’m writing to ask you to support Matt Blum’s efforts to travel farther and take more pictures of more women in more places to create more books.

To travel to those exotic places, like, say, Europe, the project needs to secure more funding. The best way to do that is for you to buy a copy of the book. And then tell others about the book, urging them to buy it as well. Or, if you’re feeling especially flush (in a money sense) these days, you could help to directly sponsor a shoot. You can download the project’s sponsorship packet by clicking here.

It’s a tremendous opportunity to do something good for a lot of people.

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