Adverbs have all but disappeared from American English much to my dismay. Thankfully, at least for now, the Brits are holding on to them.
One thing in particular that bugs me about what Americans say and how they say it is their complete disregard for adverbs.
For those who have forgotten since fourth grade, adverbs describe how something is done. The very name is a portmanteau of adjective (describing how) and verb (something is done).
For example, if I run down a hill and I do so with some speed, you might say that I have run down the hill quickly. I did not “run down the hill real quick“. Similarly, if I don’t know the rules of grammar, you might say that I don’t know how to speak properly. It is not the case that I “can’t speak proper“.
Adverbs help add color and imagery to an otherwise factual description of something. They are distinct from adjectives and should be treated as such. I can be quick and I can run quickly, but I cannot run quick.
Uber, AirBnB and Bitcoin are at the forefront of a trust revolution, where we’re ditching our faith in institutions like banks, governments and churches in favour of trusting complete strangers that we can reliably put our faith in.
I love a good TED talk. Every now and then, one resonates so well with me that I feel compelled to post it here to share it with other.
Rachel Botsman’s recent talk was one such talk. She discussed how trust has moved through three distinct phases in history: local trust, where our trust was knowing those in the village, institutional trust, where we relied upon banks, companies and governments to determine who and what could be trusted to the recently emerging distributed trust, where our behaviour, reputation and globally accepted practices and technologies dictate what we can trust today.
Continue reading “Why institutional trust has vanished and distributed trust is soaring”
Preface: I’m keenly aware that as someone who has no voting rights in the USA, my words carry little weight, however, I’m also raising children (most notably, a daughter) in this environment, so I’m exercising my voice on behalf of my children who will one day have the ability to shape the world in which they live.
I’ve very much come to terms with the fact that Trump will be the next President. It’s done and I accept that.
What is much harder to come to terms with is the fact that people think this town jester who:
- mocks the disabled,
- lusts after and assaults women like an immature and dangerous college student,
- considers “religion” to be an appropriate factor in determining one’s suitability for entering the country,
- perpetuated the longstanding lie that Obama was born in Kenya
- adjusts his limp backbone based on the response he gets from the people,
- claims business acumen when his wealth would be double what it is today if he’d have retired in 1982 and invested in the S&P500,
- derides people based on their looks despite looking like an orange-tinted, wig-adorned, plump corpse himself,
- etc., etc. ad nauseam
is someone that a (near) majority of the people consider to be fit to serve in the highest office in the USA. It’s an absolute mockery. Continue reading “Coming to terms with Trump”
Donald Trump is the product of years of political stunts, extremism and a wide variety of differing right-wing political stances that have caused big chasms in the Republican party.
I typically try to stay out of political discussions, mostly because the opportunity for meaningful, thought-provoking and intelligent discussion has all but evaporated these days and because as a British citizen, I am little more than a bystander in American politics.
On a broader note, I saw this video this morning of a speech that President Obama made, where he criticised the GOP for creating an environment in which Donald Trump could succeed, abandoning him at the eleventh hour because openly bragging about sexual assault is apparently one step too far, and then trying to benefit politically from ditching him.
He brings to light the fact that the GOP has promoted, fostered and cultivated such extreme and disparate positions that there is simply no unity in the party anymore. Donald Trump is the prime example of this, saying what his brain tells him to and then recanting, flip-flopping and swerving in response to popular consensus, rather than stating his honest views and sticking by them. Continue reading ““Donald Trump didn’t come out of nowhere””
“Because I said so” stops conversations dead in their tracks, and that’s how we intend it: to shut our children down and expect their obedience without their understanding. This robs them of an opportunity to learn, develop and become more capable, functional people.
“Because I said so” is one of those phrases that drove us crazy as kids, that we swore we’d never utter and yet slips out of our mouths almost unconsciously.
Conventional parenting says that children are to be seen and not heard, which makes phrases like “because I said so” acceptable. They’re our last line of defence in a conversation that we’re seeking to end without any further explanation or inquisition. We expect full adherence because we’re in charge and what we say, goes. Continue reading “Because I said so”
Marti and I have been wanting to move to Portland for many years now and in the recent past, all of the stars aligned and we’ll be picking up and leaving FL early next year. I’ll be moving our belongings and vehicles across the country, so with many months to plan, I want to make sure that if I’m going to travel 3,500 miles, I’m going to make it the most enjoyable and beautiful road trip that I possibly can.
It has been our dream to move to Portland, OR for many years now. We’ve been waiting for the right time when my company was able to accommodate me in our Portland office so that I could stay with my company (whom I enjoy working for) and so that I would have a job waiting for me at the other end.
Sadly in my case, my company isn’t going to pay for the move because it is my preference to move there: they’re not requesting that I move for work reasons, so the financial burden is on me which I understand and accept. It’s just the price that we have to pay to realise our dream of moving out west.
So with that in mind, I now find myself in a position of trying to figure out how to achieve this. It’s quite a logistical operation, especially when you have a wife, two children and four cats. Continue reading “Planning a road trip (move) from St Petersburg, FL to Portland, OR”
At WordCamp Tampa 2016, I gave a talk about what git is and how I use it in my workflow to make life much easier for myself, my clients and the people I collaborate with. This post includes my slides, video and useful resources.
Today, I gave a talk at WordCamp Tampa about git, what it is and how I use it in my workflow.
As soon as I have a video of my talk, I’ll post it here, but for now, here are the slides and some useful links that I mentioned during the talk.
I saw this list on Facebook and it made me excited for all the places that we need to visit when we fulfil our dream to move to Portland. I’ve written the list out below and am going to use it as a list that I can cross off as I go. Continue reading “The giant list of Oregon adventures”
In June, the UK collectively and narrowly voted to leave the European Union in a referendum which has divided the nation on a scale never seen before. Alexander Betts looks at the causes and effects of the result in an intelligent and considered way that helps us to realise that there’s some ugly demons in all our societies.
It’s been about 6 weeks since Britons went to the polls and narrowly decided that they wanted to leave the European Union. I had some thoughts on the matter the day after the result, but perhaps the best autopsy on the result that I have seen thus far has been from Alexander Betts in a TED talk he gave just days after the result.
Alexander is a social scientist and works specifically in the field of migration and refugees. No matter which side of the fence you are on, it’s hard to deny the validity of Alexander’s arguments. Continue reading “Brexit: an autopsy”
This past 4th of July, I went to spend some time with my family in Massachusetts and then traveled with them to their cabin in rural New Hampshire to enjoy the peace and quiet.
This 4th of July, me and my family planned a trip to visit with Marti‘s cousin and her kids in Kingston, Massachusetts before heading up to Bath, New Hampshire to their cabin for some time in the mountains.
It was a really nice trip. The weather was a refreshing change (it still got pretty warm during the day, but with much less humidity than Florida, and it cooled off in the evenings) and the terrain and landscape were also a very welcome change coming from the monotonous and flat swamps of Florida.
I happened to spend 4th of July there and so participated in the town’s 4th of July parade, which is kinda cheesy and stale, but it’s something to do for the day. However, despite trying to fit in on the 4th of July, my American family still tried to send me to my grave by sitting me such that my chair fell through the deck and the balcony railings. Fortunately, I stopped just shy of falling over the edge and slept with one eye open for the remainder of my trip. Continue reading “My 4th of July trip to Kingston, MA and Bath, NH”