JaniceHeck

Finding hope in a chaotic world…

Archive for the category “Blog Challenges”

Wordless Wednesday… Your Move

2016, July LG10 462

Read about this exhibit here:

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Contrasting Yellow and Blue

Cee’s Photo Challenge: Contrasting Colors

Here’s a yellow and blue cat that I found in a ceramics shop in Hong Kong. I just couldn’t pass him up, and he now sits atop my Chinese red cabinet. See him above in my blog masthead photo?

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Another yellow cat! This one is from a peasant painting I purchased in Hong Kong.

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A kitty I found in San Gimignano, Italy.

A kitty I found in San Gimignano, Italy.

Yellow butterfly on a butterfly bush

Yellow butterfly on a butterfly bush in my backyard

A to Z Challenge, 2014: C is for Calendar Quirks

atoz [2014] - BANNER - 910

Oh Heck! Another Quirky Writing Error

Important date coming up on my calendar: April 4th, my birthday. Nothing quirky about that! But in our house, April is Birthday Month with little presents arriving daily. (Hmmm, maybe I could extend this to Birthday Season. I’ll try that idea out on my husband. I’m sure he’ll agree.

Photo: sugar delicious online

The cats always manage to sneak into this blog! They are shameless in their desire for attention.  Photo: sugar delicious online

Seriously, though, one error that pops up frequently in draft articles for our community newsletter is the use of capital letters on the seasons.

Names of months, days of the week, and holidays all begin with capital letters, but, alas, the generic four seasons do not receive any special recognition so do not get capital letters.

When you write for academic or journalistic purposes write your seasons like this: spring, summer, fall (and autumn), and winter.

Of course, there are times when you should capitalization the seasons.
1. When it is the first word in a sentence or quote. (Duh.)
**  Summer is my favorite time of the year, but winter in Florida is nice, too.
**  Many of us use a mnemonic device to help us remember when to change our clocks for Daylight Savings Time, “Spring ahead; fall behind.”

“Spring has sprung,
The grass has riz.
I wonder where the flowers iz.”

2. On titles of articles
**  Here is an article that does it right: “Spring Equinox Desert Reborn.” A season is capitalized in the title but not in the body of the article.

3. When it is part of a formal titlefarm_to_fork_logo
**  Winter Olympics
**  Autumnal Equinox Celebration & Official Farm-to-Fork Week Kick-off (Soil Born Farms, Sacramento, CA)
**  Spring Semester 2014
**  2014 Spring Jazz Fest, Cape May, New Jersey

Sorry,  summer vacation, though it is, indeed, a very special time of the year for many people, does not merit a capital letter.

4. In poetry, when a season is given human qualities (personification).

The Greeks and Romans and other ancients loved the seasons, often attributing human qualities to them, a technique called personification,  and when they did, they used capital letters.

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This second century limestone mosaic depicting Summer and Medusa, wearing a crown of wheat stems, can be seen at the National Archaeological Museum, Madrid, Spain.

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This second century Tunisian mosaic features Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter (in the four corners) garbed in seasonal attire. This piece can be viewed at the Bardo Museum, Tunisia.

 

Finally, remember, in the most common usages of the seasons in writing, do not use capital letters.

Your turn:  What quirky errors do you find in writing? Which ones annoy you the most?
Janice Hall Heck is a retired educator and now nitpicky editor of On the Horizon, a bi-monthly community newsletter for Horizons at Woods Landing, Mays Landing, NJ.

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A to Z Challenge 2014: A is for Ampersands. Right or Wrong?

atoz [2014] - BANNER - 910

A to Z Challenge: Oh Heck! Quirky Errors in Writing

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Pretty, aren’t they? Ampersands can be artsy and fanciful depending on the fonts you use and the purpose you have in mind.

But beauty aside, how useful are they? And why do I call the use of ampersands  a quirky error in writing?

Ampersands are twisty little symbols that look somewhat like the salty pretzels (Auntie Annie’s Ampersands?) that you buy at the mall.

The ampersand is shorthand for the word “and.” Blame this funny little symbol on the Roman scribes of the first century AD who chiseled lofty inscriptions on their blocks of marble, joining two letters to save a bit of room on their fine craftmanship. After all, you wouldn’t want to shortchange an emperor would you? The consequences could be deadly!

Despite its noble and historic beginnings, the ampersand  has persisted through the centuries to modern times even though we rarely write on marble these days.

Today the ampersand has its friends and foes, each arguing eloquently for why or why it shouldn’t be used in writing. That little mark has blogs, books, and websites dedicated to it. Who would have guessed that this little squiggly would have such power?

Well, friends and foes of the ampersand, there are times to use the ampersand correctly and times when it should not be used at all.

Now the ampersand is fine on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest;  in thank-you notes to your mom or loaded missiles to your significant other; on attention-getting T-shirts and tattoos on your pecs and abs; and even on the doodles you draw in the margins of your notebook in your boring stimulating English class. But, please, don’t use ampersands in more formal writing of term papers, journal or newsletter articles, or fiction or non-fiction books.

Being a picky newsletter editor, I get irritated when I see the ampersand in articles repeatedly substituted for the perfectly fine “and.” Why bother to reach up and hit shift and the number 7 key to type an ampersand (&) when you could type the word and just as quickly and be done with it.

Yet, to be fair, there are times when the ampersand may be desired and even required!
1.  On book titles:
**  Marty & Me,
**  Eats, Shoots & Leaves,
**  Simon & Schuster Handbook for Writers
** 
The Deluxe Transitive Vampire: The Ultimate Handbook of Grammar for the Innocent the Eager, & the Doomed

And now a book whose characters are influenced by the ampersand:Sons-David Gilbert
**   & Sons,
by a novel by David Gilbert about a reclusive writer who wrote a YA novel called Ampersand. (It’s a bit tricky doing a search on a book title that begins with an ampersand! Hint: Put in the author’s name and the title.)
2. On movie titles:
**  “The Truth about Cats & Dogs”
**  “Fast and Furious”
**  “Batman & Robin”
3. On the legal name of companies:
**  AT&T,    Johnson & Johnson,   New Haven & Hartford Railroad, Ben & Jerry’s, Barnes & Noble
4. On names of clubs and institutions:
**  Texas A&M, Boys & Girls Club of America
5. On movie credits where the use of the ampersand attempts to show levels of input each scriptwriter has had in the development of the screenplay. Look for it in the credits the next time you go to the movies.
6. In bibliographies in cases where the & is part of the official title or publisher’s name (as in the examples above).
7. In trendy graphics designs. (Trend-setters can get away with almost anything. Let them have their fun!)

Hungry now? How about a nice salty pretzel ampersand? Mustard or cheese with that ampersand?

 

ampersands pretzels

Your turn:  What quirky errors do you find in writing? Which ones annoy you the most?

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Janice Hall Heck is a retired educator and now nitpicky editor of On the Horizon, a bi-monthly community newsletter for Horizons at Woods Landing, Mays Landing, NJ.

A to Z Challenge, 2014: Oh, Heck! Another Quirky Writing Error

April has been called the “cruellest month,” (T.S.Eliot) but I can’t agree with that. First of all, it is my birthday month (30 days of presents!), the month where spring actually warms up my home state (NJ), and the month where crocuses and daffodils fight the dregs of the cold winter by pushing up through the crusty ground. daffodils3   And every April a new A to Z Challenge comes along. atoz [2014] - BANNER - 910 Being a person who can never pass up a good challenge, I have awakened my blog from its winter doldrums to announce my participation in the 2014 A to Z Challenge. The A to Z Challenge asks participants to write 26 posts in the month of April, one for each day of the week, Sundays off. The fun is in reading all the other great blog posts written by more than 1600 bloggers in this challenge.

My Theme for A to Z 2014:    Oh, Heck! Another Quirky Writing Error (WR)

I edit a bi-monthly community newsletter entitled On the Horizon, the official newsletter of Horizons at Woods Landing, Mays Landing, New Jersey, a 55+ community. While On the Horizon is just a little community rag, the newsletter committee endeavors to produce an error-free publication. Errors, however, being as devilish as they are, occasionally creep into our pages while we are not looking. Even so, we manage to trash the most egregious ones before the newsletter goes to press. I will pick on some of these quirky errors for this blog challenge.

My first blog post for the 2014 A to Z will be “A is for Ampersands. Right or Wrong?”

Can these cute little guys cause problems in writing? You betcha.

Can these cute little guys cause problems in writing? You betcha.

Ampersands? Yes. Ampersands can be used correctly, but they also can be used incorrectly. Read my first post on April 1 to see the difference. The Last Meow As always, my kitties will sometimes fuss about me always stealing the show, so they may demand to write a post now and then. I like to humor them, so I give in once in a while. Spoiled brats! Right now they are negotiating for the letter C. I can’t imagine what they want to write about. (See a CatFurDay Commentary here for a sample of their wit.)

NO, the blog-fame does not go to my head. It's just sunny out. Okay?

NO, the blog-fame does not go to my head. It’s just sunny out. Okay? And I am NOT a spoiled brat, so there, Missy Jan!

Meow for now. =<^&^>= Sign up for 2014 A to Z Challenge here: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/p/a-to-z-challenge-sign-uplist-2014.html

See more info on A to Z 2014 at: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/p/a-to-z-challenge-sign-uplist-2014.html#sthash.vJ462t2y.dpuf

Wordless Wednesday: Too Cold in NJ, Heading to Florida

Cold, cold, cold…147

Going to Florida soon. Can’t wait! (I won’t hate Florida then.)hate flrida day

The Last Meow…SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Hey, I’m going too. I hate this winter weather.

Meow for now... ==

Meow for now… =<^;^>=

 

WP Photo Challenge: The Unexpected Lady

NaBloPoMo – December. Post every day in December.

I parked in a different place than usual when I visited my brother one cold and gloomy November day. He wasn’t home, so I sat in my warm car waiting. As I sat, I scanned the neighborhood looking for potential blog photos and found this unexpected sight in the neighbor’s backyard behind my brother’s condominium.

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I went closer to the fence to get a better view.

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Daily Post: WordPress Photo Challenge: Unexpected

The Last Meow (from the cats, of course!)

Here’s an unexpected photo. Look who happens to be in the background of this photo of me. You’d think the photographer would have focused better on me since I was the true center of attention. Humans! What can you expect?

Photo credit:  etsydotcom

Photo credit: etsydotcom

Meow for Now.  =<^;^>=

Silent Sunday: Advent Week 1…Preparing for the Birth of Christ

December 1 – Advent Week 1.

The Old Testament patriarchs prophesied about the coming of the Messiah and that gave the Israelites hope. Week 1 of Advent focuses on preparing for the birth of Christ, and in church, we light the first candle (Hope) in the Advent wreath. We then light one candle each Sunday until Christmas.

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What are some of your church’s or your family’s holiday traditions?

(Post 1 in December NaBloPoMo.)

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NaBloPoMo 30: Fetta Komplett: Finished!

NaBloPoMo 30. The official last post of this challenge. This has been a fun run.

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I tried to add a little spice with Nano Poblano.

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One of my favorite things about blogging is meeting new bloggers. I load up on categories in my WordPress Reader and find new friends through NaBloPoMo, Cee’s Fun Foto Challenges, WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge, Weekly Travel Theme, A to Z Challenge, Blog Every Day, Book Reviews, and a few more.

I enjoy getting comments and “likes” from my faithful visitors. That is so encouraging.

One comment from Soesterbror at http://brorsadu.wordpress.com had me chuckling. She told me about her great-grandmother…

our lovely Great-grandmother (1888-1992) from Northern Norway said: “Fetta Komplett,” and maybe believed she spoke French.

I commented back that her comment made me think of my dear own little French grandmother, “Grannie,” who mixed English and French when she spoke to us kiddoes. I remember her clear as day, standing in front of her old wood-fired cook stove, with the family dogs Nellie, Queenie, Daisy, and Fluffy scattered around on the kitchen floor hoping for a bite to eat. Dada sat at the kitchen table reading the newspaper.

I don’t remember my Grannie saying “Fetta Komplett,” but my high school French told me that maybe “fetta komplett” meant the same as “fait accompli” or “job finished.” Sure enough, Soesterbror confirmed that.

So, today, I can say “Fetta Komplett” because I have finished my last post for NaBloPoMo 2013.  Now on to the next challenge!

In the meantime, I want to thank my most faithful commenters. Your comments always made my day. Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to my posts. And I have enjoyed looking at your posts, too. (Sorry Soesterbror, I can’t read yours! Special thanks for writing your comments to me in English. )

Linda Adams  http://garridon.wordpress.com/
Addercatter   http://addercatter.wordpress.com
Nina Amir  http://howtoblogabook.com/
Marilyn Armstrong at http://teepee12.wordpress.com
Blogagaini at http://blogagaini.com
Melissa K. Brander    http://mkbrander.com
Tami Clayton   at http://tamiclayton.com
Dawn at http://lingeringvisions.wordpress.com
Sheri de Grom at   http://sheridegrom.com/
Dhriti at  bloggingvlogging@outlook.com
nancyrae4 at  http://nancyhdoyle.com/
Cee Neuner  at http://ceenphotography.com
Sara Foster at http://www.sarafoster.com.au/the-blog/
frizztext at http://flickrcomments.wordpress.com/
Gaurab at Processing the Life
Glorious Mettle  http://gloriousmettle.wordpress.com
Ellen Gregory
Festival of Leaves    http://festivalofleaves.wordpress.com
Vicky Inglis   http://longingtostray.wordpress.com
Isadora at http://isadoraartandphotography.com/
Danny James  https://raleighcatdaddy.wordpress.com
Helen Jameson  http://helenjameson.wordpress.com
RFL Jenksy  http://rfljenksy.wordpress.com
Karen Mulhern  http://smallhouseBigGarden.wordpress.com
K. C. Lee
Lynne at http://Lynnesartandsoul.wordpress.com
Kim Ulmanis  http://kimulmanis.com
Kim13 at  http://kh1313.wordpress.com/
Kylie at http://thelifeofkylie.wordpress.com
MarneyMae at http://marneymae.wordpress.com
Melissa  at http://mkbrander.com/  
Nancyrae4 at Http://nancyhdoyle.com
Nytxjx.com
Joanna Henley at http://www.ojosworld.com/
Open lab 2  at http://openlab2.wordpress.com
Ordibild.com  http://ordibild.com In the Middle of the Night
http://Pleisbilongtumi.wordpress.com
Liv Rancourt  http://livrancourt.com
Soester at http://brorsadu.wordpress.com
Sue at ismbishop.aol.com
Shrimp (the kat) at http://hairballexpress.wordpress.com
Cheri Speak  at http://cherispeak.com
Jack Steiner
Jodi Lea Stewart
taikakivi
Teresa  at http://www.thefatcactus.com
Bruce Thiesen   http://brucekthiesen.wordpress.com
Tina Schell at http://travelsandtrifles.wordpress.com/
Cathy Ulrich  at http://largeself.wordpress.com
Verena Cave  at http://verenacave.wordpress.com/
Irene Waters   http://IreneWaters19.wordpress.com
Wise Monkeys Abroad at http://wisemonkeysabroad.wordpress.com
Woolymuses   at http://woolymuses.wordpress.com
Zeke Chronicles   http://thezekechronicles.wordpress.com

And special thanks also to all those who stopped by and “liked” my blog. It would take me quite awhile to post the links to all of you…and it’s getting late. So I will post my links to you at another time.

NaBloPoMo 29. #WANAFriday. Clips and Coin (2008)

The WANAFriday prompt for this week comes from Tami Clayton.  Tami can usually be found Taking Tea in the Kasbah.

The #wanafriday blog prompt for November 29, 2013 is: Dig through your bag, couch cushions, backpack, man purse, satchel, or scan the floor of your car for the first coin you find. Look at the year printed on it and then write about what you were doing that year.
On my desk sits a small Pyrex dish with a collection of coins and clips.
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Look. Right there on top. A shiny 2008 Oklahoma quarter. 2008. Five years ago. If my memory serves me correctly, in 2008 I was…well, I’d better check my picture files and see what I find there. They will jog my memory.
1. Family reunion in South Carolina
My brother Bill and sister-in-law Patty live near Charleston, South Carolina, and that seemed to be a good spot for our Kroey Krewe to gather for a reunion. Siblings came from New Jersey, Texas, Florida, and California.
Family reunion-South Carolina-2008
We enjoyed visiting various Low County plantations, salt marshes, and tidal creeks and imagined ourselves in novels set in the area.
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2.  Reunion with friends in Florida.
I met up with two very special friends in Florida, Kit and Ruth, from my days of working at Hong Kong International School. In just a few days together, we caught up on all the news and formed some new memories.
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We had fun on an airboat looking for wildlife in the Everglades. We were not disappointed. This fearsome fellow gave us the evil eye, warning us to get out of his territory, but he soon tired and swam away.
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3. Family Time in Ocean City, NJ
Of course, we had beach and boardwalk fun at Ocean City, NJ. Cuzzies from far corners of the US got a chance to meet and play. You never know who will become a mermaid or dragon at the beach. This time it was Mandy’s friend, Hakeem who became the mermaid. Sorry about that, Hakeem.
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4. Dining Out at Home
 Back at home, we dined at the local Atlantic County Community College’s Academy of Culinary Arts with our neighborhood friends from time to time. The students in the culinary program cooked, served, and chatted with us over delicious multi-course buffet dinners at the school sponsored restaurant, Careme’s. We go to Careme’s several times a year and always enjoy the exceptional food, the restaurant atmosphere, and the congenial students.
The students at the culinary school gather in the student-run restaurant, Careme's,, for cheers from the dining room guests.

The students at the culinary school gather in the student-run restaurant, Careme’s, for cheers from the dining room guests.

5. Trips to Florida.
On one of many annual trips to Florida to visit family and friends, Ken and I couldn’t pass up this photo op near Port St. Lucie on the east coast. Other times we visited North For Myers to visit Ken’s sister.
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All in all, I remember 2008 as being a happy year, with good times shared with good friends and family.
Look here for another WANAFriday Writer and her coin year:
What was your best year?
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