I got a kick out of this word when I found it. I doubt that any kind of detective would appreciate being called a "gumshoe". It doesn't have quite the same pizzazz as "secret agent", for example. Nor does it carry the same air of impressibility as the title of "detective". Finding this word reminds me of when I was a "kennel attendant" at a vet clinic years ago; it was my first job. Essentially, I was a maid-of-all-work; I did all of the cleaning at the vet clinic. But "girl who cleans kennels and tends to the lawn" doesn't have quite the same ring as "kennel attendant". The glorious power of using one word or phrase over another is strong indeed!
Noun: 1) a galosh; 2) N Amer. informal a detective
Intransitive verb (-shoed, shoe-ing) N Amer. informal 1) move or act stealthily; 2) act as a detective.
I wonder what little kids would say if their babysitter suggested that they play at gumshoeing?
When I went grocery shopping at the Forks Market last weekend, I saw a sign at the Tall Grass Prairie Bakery that read:
All day old bread for $1.50!
The sign was posted in front of a stand full of delicious-looking baked goods. I immediately grabbed a bag of whole wheat buns, a loaf of spelt bread, and a loaf of whole wheat bread. Even as I was choosing my bread, however, I was amused by the wording of the sign.
As the proofreader of a newspaper, one of the mistakes that I most frequently catch is a lack of hyphens. This under-used punctuation mark can cause a lot of problems with regards to clarity if it is missing.
For example: should this sign have been written "All-day old bread for $1.50", or "All day-old bread for $1.50"? The former suggests that this sale is lasting for the entire day, but it does not specify when the bread was baked (today? Yesterday? A week ago?). The latter suggests that the on-sale bread was baked the day before.
The bread at this bakery gets snapped up fast, so I think that it is highly unlikely that any of their bread would be sitting around for days on end without being bought. Even so, for the sake of clarity, a hyphen would be a useful way to confirm the freshness of bread on sale!
While I celebrate the end of exams today, I'm sending you over to read Westwood's blog. Join in on the philosophical discussions over there. Come back next week when Living Rhetorically in the Real World resumes!
Yesterday was Moving Day for me- the movers arrived and, four hours later, all of my things had been transported from my apartment to my new condo.
It's rather disgusting just how much stuff I own. And I'm not a "stuff" person, either. I used to be a bit of a pack-rat, but several years ago I just stopped accumulating "stuff" and started getting rid of it. I don't like owning "things". So why is it that boxes and furniture seem to be spreading across just about every inch of my 700-square foot loft?
Half of all of it is my sister's. I'm holding onto all of her things for the next couple months until she returns from travelling. Even so, there just seems to be a whole lot of stuff, even though I don't own much in the way of trinkets or nick nacks.
As I've been going through the boxes, I've realized that most of it either belongs in the kitchen or belongs on a bookshelf. I don't mind that. I love to cook and I love to read, and I enjoy having a variety of tools at my disposal to do both of those hobbies. With other little things, and even the odd dish or two that I don't have any need for or sentimental value attached to, I've decided to get rid of. I've already started a pile of things that I'll be giving away/throwing out within the next couple weeks (and this is in addition to the pile of "stuff" that I made back at my apartment, when I was in the process of packing up rather than unpacking).
It feels good to start clean and fresh by tossing whatever I don't want or need. With each thing that gets put aside, my mind grows a little calmer and clearer. What we do with ourselves and what we keep in our living space can either relax us or stress us out. Something that we can do to play with that bit of stress is to slowly but surely tackle one shelf, closet, or room at a time, chucking what we don't need and figuring out the reasons behind why we're keeping what we do when we decide to hold onto it.
What are you editing out of your life today?
Gunther Kress and Theo van Leeuwen have written an article entitled "Front Pages: Analysis of Newspaper Layout". Even if you aren't involved in working with a newspaper, and even if you don't read the newspaper, you likely see them all over the place and thus have an idea of newspaper layout.
The Internet may be causing journalism to move away from print media, but I still like holding a newspaper in my hands. There's something special about that. I like being able to see everything all at once. On a screen, you have to scroll down the page and click on different links to view each article. Because the newspaper is set up differently on a computer screen, we are also likely to read it differently. Newspaper layout is strategic; it directs our focus to some articles and allows us to pass our gaze over articles that have less shock value.
There are four "grids" to newspaper layout. The upper half of a newspaper is called the ideal. It represents the idealized or generalized essence of information. That doesn't necessarily mean that it is a positive value judgment, however! The lower half of a newspaper is called the real. It contains specific, detailed, practical information.
The left-hand side is referred to as the given. It includes the self-evident, common-sense knowledge. On the right-hand side, we have the new. This information is contestable or problematic. The given/new structure is the same style of a before/after photo sequence.
From these four grids, the newspaper frames what is important. The upper left-hand corner contains the most salience; the lower right-hand corner contains the least salience. The centre can also be used as a way to emphasize importance.
Our gaze jumps all over the place when we read off of a screen, so it will be interesting to see if reading newspapers from a screen changes the way that we understand the news in the future. There will be less control for giving salience to articles all on the same page: computers even alter our perspective on community and global events!
I came across this word in the dictionary and just started giggling. "Spume"? That can't possibly be a word, can it? It sounds silly. But I like it. At any rate, it has a more pleasurable definition than "sputum", which is the word directly across from it in the next column over in my Canadian Oxford English Dictionary (now go look that word up if you don't know what it means ).
Noun: foam or froth on or from a liquid.
Intransitive verb: froth, foam.
See also spumy (adjective); spumier, spumiest.
Spume comes from the Old French espume or the Latin spuma.
The next time I buy hot chocolate at a cafe, I'm going to ask the barista to make mine "extra spumy please!".
As I clean out my apartment, preparing to move out of it in a couple weeks so that I can move into my new condo, I've had to deal with an assortment of items that I'd rather forgotten about.
The wine bottle collection is something that I'm not looking forward to getting rid of, due to the sheer awkwardness of hauling all of them out of the living room.
When the sisterroommate up and left to become the sistertraveller, she left behind a rather impressive wine bottle collection that she had amassed over the years. Every wine bottle with an attractive or interesting label was added to her collection after it has been "emptied". Amazingly, not a single bottle has broken over the past couple years, even though they are perched precariously under the mantelpiece. There have, however, been countless close-calls when the vacuum cleaner would threaten to knock the entire collection over, domino-style.
But despite the fact that I've always thought of the bottles as a group of bowling pins just waiting to be knocked over, the sistertraveller really liked her collection. It showed off her good taste in wine. And it showed off the clever and pretty labels that the wineries came up with.
My favourite kind of wine is Yellow Tail Cabernet Sauvignon. It truly is a delicious wine, but it also has an adorable label of a jumping kangaroo. As I perused the MLCC earlier this week, I felt my gaze passing over the bottles with uninteresting labels. I picked up my customary bottle of Yellow Tail and then looked around for another wine to try.
I chose Little Penguin, with a label depicting- what else?- a cute, waddling penguin. I partly bought this bottle because I knew I'd tried it a year or so before (when, surprise surprise, the sistertraveller had picked it out), and partly because the label was difficult to resist. Truth be told, I didn't remember how it tasted, but when I cracked the bottle open and had a drink, I found that it really didn't taste that great. Even so, I had cast Little Penguin in a positive light in my memory because the label was fun.
We're easily influenced by labels. Research shows that companies that have brands with "cute" characters on them, particularly animals, are often more successful than other products that taste equally good but have a lesser brand label. We are a culture of "cute"; we are immediately drawn to food products with images such as the Gerber baby. And really, who doesn't think the Green Giant is creepy?
As it stands now I'm sticking with my Yellow Tail, and I'll enjoy looking at its label as I savour the taste. But I think that next time I'm at the LC I'll take a pass on the Little Penguin and try something else instead- possibly a bottle with an owl on the label.
What product brands do you find particularly appealing?
As Kenneth Burke once said, and as us rhetoricians are fond of iterating, every act of selection is an act of reflection and also an act of deflection. Every time that we make a statement or an argument, we focus on one thing but neglect something else. This is reflective of our position in life and our experiences; it also can be an indication of what we are trying to hide or of what we are ignorant of.
I recently received a gift card for a grocery store as an Easter present from the mother dear, with instructions to spend at least part of the money on items that I have always wanted to try but would not normally buy. After perusing the aisles, and noticing that Vitatops were on sale, I couldn't resist: I picked up a couple packages of them, eager to give them a try after all of the rave reviews that I've been hearing from elsewhere in the health blogging community. Vitatops and Vitamuffins are a brand of baked goods with a reputation for being the healthier alternative to cookies and granola bars.
I chose the deep chocolate flavour and the apple berry flavour, and when I arrived home I decided to check on the Internet to see what other people were saying about these two particular flavours. When I went to the Vitalicious website, one of the first things I noticed was a link to compare a Vitatop with an apple. The Vitalicious company gives the nutritional information of an apple next to a Vitatop; it states that
"The Vitamuffin has less sugar and more nutrients than an apple, plus the advantages of whole grains, berries, and just as much fiber!"
Well, yes: this is true, if you look only at the nutritional information. But what about the ingredient list?
Vitatops contain fairly decent ingredients. The ingredients are recognizable and there are certainly added vitamins and minerals to the products. That being said, these products contain added sugar and are not a whole food.
An apple might have 16g of sugar in it, but these are naturally-occurring sugars, and are therefore not something that we need to be concerned about (unless you have diabetes or another medical condition in which you might want to be a bit more careful about how many of them you consume in one sitting). A Vitatop might have "only" 10 grams of sugar, but these are all added sugars, and that is the kind of sugar that we should be cutting back on. Four grams of sugar is equal to one teaspoon, so eating one Vitatop is like opening a bag of sugar and eating a couple spoonfuls. An apple is definitely the better choice.
Vitatops contain plenty of necessary vitamins and minerals which apples don't have, but it's important to remember the cost of eating these kinds of food on a regular basis. Yes, you'll get 50% of your recommended amount of vitamin B12 from eating one muffin, which you wouldn't get any of if you ate one apple, but you'll also be consuming added sugars (the deep chocolate flavour contains at least five different kinds of sugar, for example).
Vitatops are certainly a healthier alternative to other kinds of commercial baked goods, but I would not go so far as to say that they are a "health food" or that they are "better than an apple". Although there is not a definitive suggestion for how much added sugar we should restrict ourselves to per day, some food pyramids say that one person should not eat any more than 10 grams of added sugars per day. Disregarding any other added sugars you might be eating from other baked goods, condiments, beverages, canned goods, processed foods, or sugar added to coffee or oatmeal, that one Vitatop would still contain your entire day's worth of added sugar. Even with the food pyramids that suggest we should have no more than 25 grams of added sugar a day, the Vitatop would consist of almost half of your daily intake.
The apple, on the other hand, contains none of your daily allowance for added sugars.
Vitatops are a sweet and healthier treat, but they are no match for a fresh, crisp apple!
Today's Random Rare Word is brought to you by the boyfriend! He used the word "ingrate" recently (not referring to me, of course...) and I had never heard of it before. He was surprised I hadn't heard of it and maybe it's one of those words that is incredibly common but for some reason has just slipped me by- perhaps you've heard it (and used it yourself)?
Noun: An ungrateful person.
Ingrate comes from the Latin gratus, meaning "grateful"; the prefix of in renders it negative.
Note: Ingrate is not to be confused with ingratiate, which is a reflexive verb meaning to "bring oneself into favour".