Saturday, April 18, 2009

Grammar Girl Podcast

Well, I may be the last grammarian to hear about this great resource, but I did want to share after having it recommended by a student. Grammar Girl talks about grammar, its importance, and her frustrations living in a world where so few people CARE like she does about grammar. I miss my mother. She might have had to get herself online for this resource even though she resolutely refused to touch a computer all her long life. Mom used a red pencil to mark up my letters home from college and send them back to me. In a perverse way I was a a little proud of this. (As in "You think YOUR mother is controlling, look at this!") But because of her I have the same lack of patience for careless expression, either written or spoken. Here is the URL, and thanks, Virginia, for showing me the way to Grammar Girl:

PS Now I am worried...Should I have used "like" or "as" up there to talk about how she cares? Anyone want to tell me? Yep, I am testing you.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

LM_NET Saved My Life!

Yesterday, last night, and this morning, I seriously considered my own demise. No, not really, but I was in the throes of long neglected hacking cough/congestion/general ickiness exacerbated by way too many cough drops. About 30 minutes ago I listlessly turned to my favorite listserv and summoned the strength to click on a message about favorite blogs. Not surprisingly, the first one listed was my favorite, that of my hero Dr. Teri Lesesne, The Goddess of YA Literature ( Then as I scanned down the list, I saw...THIS BLOG!!! Omigosh I thought! I can't die now! I've gotta go and update my blog! So thanks Netters, for raising my from the bog of self pity to the blog where I ought to be!

By the way, too many cough drops can make you sicker than you were in the first place. As Satchel says in "Get Fuzzy" I've got a rumbly in my tumbly. But finally I have faced up to my sad situation. I have a doctor appointment later this afternoon.

About the tag clouds shown below...

I have been doing some research about the term "cloud" as it relates to technology. My understanding of the term in recent use has been a bit hazy (yeah, pun intended) so I read up on it and learned that there are two popular ways the word cloud is being employed in techspeak these days:
  • The older usage is in conjunction with the word "tag" or "word." The terms "tag cloud/word cloud" have increased in popularity, I would say, in the last two years. The two illustrations you see below are examples. One is from the very popular service called "Wordle." You go to the website (, paste in a text selection, and click on GO. The free online app then scrambles up your text, picks out important words other than articles, etc., and spits them back out in an arrangement whereby the size and boldness of the words depends on those most often used. The result is an interesting and attractive arrangement. The other service I used below is called "TagCloud" (, and it does basically the same thing. I used the same text selection, the first paragraph of my upcoming article, for both in the interest 0f comparison.
  • The second use of the word is newer. In the world of rapidly changing tech lingo, that means less than a year as far as I have noticed, though true geeks have of course bandied it about for a longer time. When people talk about the Internet and what is available "in the cloud," they are talking about services and applications available on the Internet. Often these are things that heretofore resided on your hard drive or server. Examples are word processing and other office apps, photo editing, drawing and mind-mapping tools, and many other Web 2.0 apps. Google docs and other Google offerings are prime examples, and the Google folks love to promote this term for that reason.
Thus what I have below are two word clouds about information available in the cloud. Did that clear things up? Have a bright, clear, sunny day!

PS I just went to TagCloud to verify the URL. It is down! But do keep it in mind, because the reason is for "major overhaul." I do believe what they say, which is that it will reappear soon even better than before. If you visit the site you still get some good information in the interim.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Wordle for same text selection as TagCroud shown below

  Wordle: Cloud article intro

Tag Crowd from upcoming Cloud Article

created at