Category Archives: Words

The evolution of words

Typewriter | Evolution of words | lizniland.com

I love words. And language. But while I’m paid to be a grammar nazi when necessary, on my own time I’m perfectly happy to end a sentence with a preposition (gasp!), start a sentence with a conjunction (the horror!) and make up a word or phrase if it’s what will suit my needs at the time.

The truth is, the evolution of words and language excites me. (#wordnerd, I know!)

The fact that I had to Google an acronym our niece put in a text message both excited and disappointed me: things are changing but at the ripe old age of 29-this-Saturday, I’m apparently out of the loop with what the kids are saying these days!

When I was getting towards the end of my school years, there was widespread panic that millennials would only be able to speak about their skateboarding significant other as a ‘sk8r boi’ and would forget that the personal pronoun in the second person is not spelt with the single ‘u’. Fear not, fear mongers; it simply didn’t happen. Just like trends come and go with fashion, so they do with words and language. For some reason, denim jeans have stood the test of time but one-shoulder boob-tubes are only ever one-off wonders.

While we’re freaking out over the boob-tubes of whether kids will try and write their school assignments in Textese, we seem to be overlooking whether they’re grasping the simple stuff. It’s not about how to write an essay or an extended narrative necessarily; it’s how to write a solid sentence. How a paragraph differs from a sentence. Why some words get a capital letter and others don’t. That ‘youse’ is not a word many people class as acceptable. Regardless of whether a child is going to be a builder, a maths professor, an engineer or an artist, they will always need the basics of language.

If social media has shown us one thing, it’s that plenty of people are still yet to discover that there is more than one way to spell ‘your’. And ‘there’.

Not everyone needs the ability to play with language or get excited about new trends in phrasing, but being able to put together a cover letter for a job application, write a considered email to a landlord when you know you’re getting a raw deal or simply to post something on Facebook that doesn’t get attacked by the grammar police are all important skills (some more than others, I know).

I came across this great video by Grammar Girl Mignon Fogarty. If you fancy wordnerdin’ it up, she digs in to some examples of language’s denim jeans through the ages.

Bet you didn’t know eggs weren’t always called ‘eggs’!

x Liz

#The100DayProject: 100 days of posts

I’ve decided to attempt the 100 Days Project.

100 days project | lizniland.com

Participants are encouraged to pick a creative pursuit they want to practice daily & stick with it for 100 consecutive days, chipping away at a bigger work or knocking over a bunch of tiny projects day-by-day.

From the site:

It’s a celebration of process that encourages everyone to participate in 100 days of making. The great surrender is the process; showing up day after day is the goal. For the100-Day Project, it’s not about fetishizing finished products—it’s about the process.

I’ve decided this website is my project. I have perfectionist paralysis – I take ages to write something & then never hit publish until I’m 100% ready. (Apologies in advance for the typos and under developed thoughts that will no doubt make their way in.)

It’s time to change that – I’m committing to posting daily. Short posts, images, lists, rants, long posts if I get the time & inspiration: it’s all happening.

I’ve decided to take the pressure off creating my own images for this project – my goal is to focus on writing – so while I won’t be hanging up my camera necessarily, I will be using Death to Stock Photo regularly to complement my posts (and cut down on excuses).

Here goes nothing!

 

x Liz

P.s. If you’re keen to join me for 100 days of whatever your creative jam entails, head to the 100 Days Project to find out more.  

P.p.s. This post is totally counting as Day One.