Jane Eyre look-alikes

Amy, not On the Web on this occasion, but in Books, Words and Writing, has a posting (see below) linking to a site called Buzzwords , which claims to be dedicated to de-mystifying jargon. Buzzwords is a dictionary in which one can spend many a happy hour browsing.

Here’s an example especially for Susan: "deja poo: The feeling that you’ve stepped in this bull before."

This is quite good: salad dodger: Someone who is overweight. "What does he look like?" "Well, he’s a bit of a salad dodger."

I like this one: Boolean Approach: A decision-making process favored by business execs in which the answer is either "yes" OR "no." Also known as a "digital decision."

Amy also links to one of those quizzes which are just everywhere. This one is of some interest to me so I actually did it: "Which classic literary female character are you?" The only such character I ever remotely identified with was Jo March from Little Women (until she blew it by getting married), but I came out as Jane Eyre, same as Amy. Please put your outcomes in the comments– are Amy and I soulmates or is there a mass consipracy to make us all Jane Eyre? (Both could be true.)

Link: Books, Words, And Writing: Warriors In the Battle Against Jargon.

English assignment

One of the many great things about having a 15-year-old in the house is the English Literature assignments, which I without exception adore. Having just completed her gruelling 2 weeks of year 10 exams, Cathy has a new assignment which we were discussing over dinner tonight.

She has to tell the story of a well-known myth, parable, fairy story or fable from the point of view of a minor character.

OK, now is your chance to make some suggestions. We have made some that don’t seem to have met with much approval:

Theseus and the Minotaur, told from the point of view of the minotaur (Jenny) or the ball of wool (Maxine).

Perseus, told from the point of view of one of the snakes on Medusa’s head (Jenny).

Beauty and the Beast, told from the point of view of the father (Malcolm’s only suggestion, from the "Dads are very interesting, honest" party).

Pied Piper of Hamelin, told from the point of view of a rat (girl at Cathy’s school who did the assignment last year).

Tortoise and the Hare, told from the point of view of the referee (Jenny). (Pretty dull we all thought.)

Penelope and the suitors (the weaving and unweaving), told from the point of view of a suitor (Maxine).

Paris and the golden apple of discord, told from the point of view of one of the goddesses (Maxine). (When I was young, I just did not get why Paris chose Aphrodite, when obviously he should have been in no doubt about giving the apple to Athene. What do kids know about life?)

Robin Hood told by Will Scarlett (Jenny) or Sherriff of Nottingham (Cathy).

Leda being turned into a swan, from the point of view of one of the other swans (Maxine). That one met with particular disdain.

Any suggestions?

Tables and squares

So, when you finally get to sit down to nurture your blog after a long hard day at work etc, what order to do things in? Some people have kindly commented on posts and I want to answer them, others have sent emails of interesting articles and so on. Then there are bloglines subscriptions to look at, and finally there are the thoughts buzzing around to write about. I don’t know where to start (and know I probably won’t have long before I’m interrupted).

A couple of links, then.

First, are you thinking of moving your blog host? Then I know just the place for you to go to for a great blog software comparison chart. This is a table, first published in July 2005 but updated on 18 May 2006, comparing all the features of the most common blog software: Blogger, three levels of Typepad, Blogware, WordPress, Movable Type and Expression Engine. You can compare at a glance what functionality you get for your money (or your non-money) for every possible feature — basic, extras, maintenance, spam-fighting tools, design and publishing interface. There is one update already: you now get the Captchas anti-spam with Typepad basic (not that it seems that great — not as hilarious in choice of word verification or as effective as Blogger, as I get several pharmaceutical comments now whereas I never did on Retired Petrona).

(The link is from the Online Journalism Review; I picked it up via a Connnotea posting by Timo Hannay.)

From high-tech to low-tech, here is a very useful page called Generate your own Graph Paper. You can download printable PDFs of square graph paper, dotted paper, lined paper, axonometric perspective paper (?!), triangles, hexagons, trapezoids — you get the picture (;-) ). Great for school or for young children to colour in on long car journeys. There are loads to choose from, including, ominously, a link called "sudoku".

(I’ve totally forgotten how I found this link, sorry.)