May 30th, 2013
A number of panic attack treatments are known to exist in the market. The challenge presents when deciding on the one to use for your own panic attack treatment. This depends on personal preference and body taste. Both medicinal and drug free treatments are available. You may be shocked of the symptoms that may present to your family or relative when suffering from panic attacks. Some mistook it for a heart attack which is not the case.
The first treatment involves the breathing techniques and exercises. What you need is to put one hand on the chest and the other between the belly button and breastbone. Once this is done, take 10-15 slow deep breaths while trying to get your stomach move in then out and maintaining the chest in a steady still. You practice the 3-6-9 breathing technique. You just assume your lungs to be a three-floored building supposed to be filled with air. Fill the top floor 3 by breathing in, the middle floor 6 and the ground floor 9. Next is to breathe out emptying the top floor (9, 8, and 7) middle floor (6, 5, and 4) and lastly ground floor (3, 2, and 1). Replicate the process in a span of 5 times.
Lie or sit down to help your body relax completely. Take 10 steady breaths by counting upwards uttering relax or calm with every single breathe. When you get at 10, reverse the whole process downwards. For those experiencing the condition, you do not need to be hopeless because out there you can a panic attack treatment that will sure work out for you. Panic attack causes
How To Help Your Friend Overcome Panic Attacks
Friendship is the best gift there is in the whole universe. Having a good friend is the biggest gift you can have in your life. They are just like your soul mate and like your sister; therefore, they are with you in every moment of your life. Helping your friends overcome psychological problems and issues can help a lot. Being there for your friends and helping them get normal is one of the best things you could do for a friend. Panic attacks can occur due many issues. There are many panic attack treatment available to psychiatrists to overcome those but the best treatment is what a friend can do being there for you. Some causes of panic attacks can be due to the loss of a dear one like a parent or spouse, mental tensions due to issues or it can be due to certain phobias which can trigger this situation. Some panic attacks can cause accelerated heartbeat which may result in heart attacks to and hyperventilation. For these sympto
ms, the panic attack treatments available to psychoanalysts are mostly breathing exercises to gain calms. Friends can help in calming and showing them the positive side life. Panic attack treatment is very common and easy and friends play a great role in achieving them.
A Simple Panic Attack Treatment Breathing Technique
Different panic attack treatments procedures seem exist in the field. However, the problem sets in when deciding the one apply for your own needs. This is because different individuals react differently to a number of the drugs and procedures employed. A panic attack treatment used will depend on the taste of the individual and body response to that particular plan. The available treatment forms are categorized into medical and non-medical ways. The signs and symptoms may closely appear to resemble those of heart attacks reason why knowledge of the condition is recommended to every individual.
The breathing technique method involves simple steps if followed keenly. Put one hand over the chest and another one between the belly-button and the breastbone. Next, you need to take ten to fifteen deep breaths. During this step, try to get your belly moving in and outwards while maintaining the chest at a steady state. You can try the three-six-nine technique of breathing. This is possible if you assume your lungs to resemble the structure of a three floored building. Assume the building needs to be filled by air and start the procedure. Breathe in and fill the whole chambers. Then breathe out slowly to remove all the air from the assumed three floors. Repeat the process five times while remaining seated or lying down. This will bring a feeling of relaxation and help control the panic attack. This panic attack treatment method is best recommended to individuals who do not prefer the use of drugs.
May 15th, 2013
Panic attack treatment is very important for all the people who suffer from the panic attacks. A person who does not go for the treatments is never in a good position to live a whole life filled with joy and happiness. Panic attack treatment can be found in various places. These include hospitals, on the internet and at spiritual centers such as churches where one can go and get help. Panic attack treatment does not just take a few minutes or hours. Sometimes, one needs to go through the process of treatment for several months. Its treatment can also take a lifetime depending on the attitude of the victim.
A victim who maintains a positive attitude during treatment gets to heal faster than one who has a bad attitude. Panic attack treatment is necessary because it guards one against health complications that are brought about as a result of prolonged panic. Some people develop ulcers and hypertension because of excessive stress and anxiety. For them who go to work every morning or own businesses, their productivity levels go down in a progressive manner and one gets to become worse by the day. Lack of panic attack treatment also causes a low self-esteem to the victim especially one who experiences frequent panic attacks.
What You Need To Know On Panic Attack
It is imperative to give the person who is suffering from a panic a lot of support as well as guidance. So as to cater for a panic attack treatment effectively it should be done by a professional person who is aware of the needs of the person suffering. With such guidance, one can be able to control the panic attack more effectively. Most of the panic attacks are facilitated by stressful circumstances. Some of these facts regarding panic attack treatment will be given to the person suffering from the panic and he will be also told on how to handle such situations whenever they occur. More information
There are some symptoms that will reveal themselves as you are on the road to a panic. These are ample signs that are needed so that one can arrest the panic. If you take on the signs as early as possible, you rest assured that you will not get to the panic attack treatment for you can control the panic right from the initial stages. This symptoms includes a dizziness feeling, there may occur chest pains as well as trembling and shaking. A panic attack treatment will not be important at any time the affected person has all the tips and information on the panic symptoms.
Signs And Symptoms Of Panic Attacks
Panic attacks are short periods in which a person may become fearful or aggressive and may try to take steps which may be overall destructive. The subject may show some particular symptoms from which they can be judged to be suffering from this ailment. The subject or patient may suffer from fainting, shaking, trembling or chest pain. These can be overcome by the panic attack treatment provided by the psychiatrists.
There may be more severe symptoms of panic attacks like accelerated heart beat, short breath or smothering, sometimes these individuals since their own impending deaths as well. They live in an oblivion in which all they feel about is that they will die soon. Moreover, these people are very difficult to calm and the most common panic attack treatment for these are anti-anxiety medications like Ativan and Xanax which slowly lulls them to sleep. Apart from these symptoms, these individuals feel chills and flash backs to certain
moments of their lives which they have been through and are a cause of their panic attacks. These patients get mentally disturbed and their mental health suffers. They feel everything around them in unrealistic and they are living a dream. This way, they fear themselves and sometimes think of themselves going mentally crazy. There are certain medications to overcome these symptoms but patients seldom use them. All of these symptoms can be overcome and cured by certain anti-anxiety and anti-depressants which a psychiatrist may prescribe. Moreover, one of the best panic attack treatments prescribed by the psychiatrists is psychoanalysis.
January 20th, 2013
If you have been facing data loss in your organization and you do not have any clue of how to perform data recovery, you must search online for an efficient data recovery company. You will come across lots of these companies that will offer you very efficient and active data recovery services but you must make sure that you give preference to local firms. Visit their office before making any kind of payment and analyze their structure and tools that they use for hard drive recovery. It is important that their tools must be up to date and advanced because modern data systems are very tough to handle. Some companies specialize in software issues of data systems while some specialize in hardware issues. You should diagnose the precise problem and consult a software company first. Most of the data systems go through software failures and these software issues are easy to handle. Hardware issues are more complex and it takes lots of time as well as skills to address these issues. Some people also make price of data recovery as a measuring tool of company’s services. This is not the right approach instead you should look at their past experiences and successful cases.
Data recovery companies are available for personal as well as business customers. Most of the people think that they can retrieve their data easily with a little free software that they can run easily. This is not the case and especially when your hard drive has been corrupted. There are professional techniques and dedicated software that help professional disk recovery engineers to retrieve data easily and they are capable of handling all kinds of data failures. The key thing is to choose the best possible concern that has experience and most importantly successful experience. You will come across lots of companies that may have worked a lot but always check their successful cases where they have retrieved data successfully.
Similarly you should be careful while judging their skills and do not trust without any proof. Always check their qualification. If company specializes in software related issues for drive repairs then they must have a certified degree from recognized college. This degree will prove that they have enough skill and capability to handle all kinds of software issues. Most of the companies make their own dedicated software to perform data recovery and this is also a plus point.
Hard Disk Crashes Are Highly Prevalent
Data loss has become a common aspect of most of the companies because there are frequent system crashes and these crashes always lead towards data loss. There were not many resources available in the past for data recovery but these days there are lots of very advanced tools that can help you to retrieve even the last bit of lost data. Data recovery services tend to be expensive because of the dedicated resources and very advanced tools that are used. However, affordable data recovery services are often available, such as here. Price is often a big concern for those that need data retrieved from a crashed hard disk.
Almost every data recovery company has his own set of tools that they use to retrieve data and they never allow these tools to become public because often, their software engineers work day and night to produce these proprietary tools. There are hardware issues as well that can damage your data system and these hardware issues cannot be repaired easily. You need very highly skilled professionals to look through hardware failures. It is always better to hire a data recovery company to take care of your data resources because they will maintain your data sources properly and will prevent data loss. This small extra cost is always better than losing your critical data.
If you are looking to retrieve your lost data then you should not trust rookie and part time professionals because they can just make the case worse for you. There are hundreds of free software products that you can download online and these software all claim to retrieve all of your lost data.
BUT, very few of these software products actually work and even then you cannot retrieve all of your data. If you want to recover all of your data without any permanent damage to the hard drive then you should consult a professional data recovery company that deals with software related issues. There can be two kinds of flaws that can damage your data and one of these flaws is software related. Professional that deal with software issues can retrieve your data with dedicated and sophisticated applications that have been designed specifically for recovering corrupt drives. These professionals may charge you few extra dollars but they will also give you full guarantee of their recoveries and will also take responsibility for all hardware failures. This kind of service is never costly because you get your hard drive back in 100 percent working condition along with your lost files.
September 21st, 2012
Fad words and phrases sweep through newsrooms with the regularity of the tides. We man, not “journal,” but we are quick to embrace phrases such as “no-brainer,” which spread with a rapidity that seemed to be proof of its content.
It happened sometime in 1994, when the word “simple” simply disappeared from the newsroom. Everything self-evident became a “no-brainer.” In the process, we lost not only “simple” and self-evident,” but also obvious,” “logical “clear,” “apparent,” “evident” and “straightforward
Not that no-brainer” didn’t originally have some value as a fresh figure of speech. The wretch who coined it created a term with obvious appeal.
The 500th was merely a hack, however, someone who callously dismissed George Orwell’s first rule of writing: “Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech that you are used to seeing in print.”
Which is not to say that we should resist any change in the language. As even the flintiest of word purists concede, the beauty of English is its infinite capacity to embrace a growing and changing culture.
Computer technology has enriched English with dozens of new terms. Hardly anybody now blanches at “access” as a verb. And the idea of surfing the Net” has a sense of freewheeling panache that would be hard to duplicate. Other technologies contribute their own rich neologisms. “Boort box.” “Jet ski.”"Frisbee.’ “Hovercraft.”
Theodore M. Bernstein suggested a practical test for separating word wheat from chaff. “We should apply the test of convenience,” he said. “Does the word fill a real need? If it does, let’s give it a franchise.”
Fad words never fill real needs. Take “venue,” the fad word of the decade. It now applies to any performance space – a nightclub, auditorium, gymnasium, ice rink …. You name it. And it is precisely the fact that the specific terms exist that makes venue” so unnecessary.
Besides, you can visualize a gym. Try forming a mental picture of a venue.”
Or of a slippery slope, for that matter. Slippery slopes have filled the op-ed pages for the past two years.
You might say that slippery slopes are “the buzz” around editorial offices. That term subs for everything from “hot gossip” to “excitement” to conventional wisdom.” Its lack of precision no doubt dooms it to the fate of relics such as “groovy” and “awesome.”
“Step up,” will surely burn itself out, as well. It’s still on the upswing, having spread from sports into the rest of the newsroom. But it apparently means nothing more than volunteer” or “take responsibility for.”
“With attitude” is another one of those bits of contemporary slang that seem likely to die the slow death of vagueness. does it mean, really? If a piece of writing has “attitude,” it apparently has what we’ve always called “voice.” Or maybe it’s just opinionated. Which makes you wonder why we can’t just call it opinionated.’
Or terminally opinionated. “Terminal” and “terminally” are the year’s fad modifiers, and they pop up connected to everything from “boring” to hip.”
You also might say that “terminally” has turned up on the fad radar screen. Alas, “radar screen” – which carried cachet in 1940 – now seems as dated as a P-40.
It’s certainly not a “work in progress,” which was the all-purpose excuse of 1994. Anything short of perfection was a “work in progress,” a good-faith effort that would eventually rise to the level of actual success.
Unfortunately, nobody stepped up to helm us clear of such a seductive cliche. Too bad. “Helmed,” like “journaled,” is pretentious to the point of foolishness.
But the appearance of pretense is the least of the sins flowing from fad English.
Word fads can cripple the language because they operate by a kind of verbal Gresham’s Law. Fad words are almost always vague. And vague words drive their more specific alternatives out of our common vocabulary. Every time we adopt a fad word, we lose, by at least some small measure, our ability to discriminate and communicate.
And that’s a damned sliperry slope.
September 15th, 2012
One of the ongoing threads of readers’ contributions is “The Verbing of America” (as Bulletin Board’s editor ironically dubbed it). Launched as a language lover’s lament about the bowdlerizing of English, this discussion thread has pilloried such slangy coinages as columnize, which you may have winced at in my first sentence.
Lately, however, “The Verbing of America” entries have sometimes taken a fonder view of the colorful phrasings spotted and submitted by readers. For example, one Bulletin Board correspondent recently wrote in to report, with delight rather than dismay: “I was at choir practice last night, and we came to this part in this piece that we’re singing where our choir director, Steve, wanted the chorus to swell and get all … big. He said: `I really want it big. I want it Cecil B. DeMilled.’ ”
True, if you look in even the heftiest, least-abridged dictionary under “Cecil B. DeMille,” you will not see “v.–to make extravagantly large and showy.” But even language purists would have to confess: You know exactly what Steve the choir director wanted, right? And he couldn’t possibly have said it any more clearly or colorfully.
Isn’t that what we all want from our writing? So does that mean writers in search of clear and colorful prose should, well, verbify like crazy?
Yes and … no, not exactly.
Writing With Verve and Verbs
As I’ve preached before, verbs do the heavy lifting of your articles. “You could toss all your adjectives in the trash and still be able to say something, but without verbs you have no writing, only collections of words. Verbs make things happen,” I sermonized in my book How to Write Fast (While Writing Well). I also like to quote William Zinsser, from On Writing Well: “Verbs are the most important of all your tools. They push the sentence forward and give it momentum.” Active verbs give life to your prose; passive verbs and excess modifiers, hollow adjectives and empty adverbs drag it down and deaden it.
Back in February, in fact, I devoted an entire column to the evil wiles of adverbs–a column written with agonizingly (argh!) few adverbs, to emphasize my point. After that column appeared, I received several appreciative notes from readers, saying I had helped them see the error of their -ly-ing ways.
I’d thought of crafting this column as the flip side of that one–a paean to the power and prowess of the noble verb. Eschew adverbs! Employ verbs!
But thinking about “The Verbing of America” made me wonder if even the mighty verb has fallen on hard times. If I can write columnize with a more or less straight face, then has the verb, that most potent of the writer’s tools, been lost to jargon, bureaucratic double-speak and awkward coinages?
Typical of the sad state of the modern verb would seem to be the lament from another Bulletin Board reader, who spotted this in a Wall Street Journal article about an intelligence operation gone awry: “The Interior operatives regularly liaise with intelligence and law-enforcement agents.”
Liaise? What the heck kind of verb is that? Liaison, yes, is a perfectly acceptable noun, but liaise stinks of bureaucracy and jargon–just what you’d expect from the CIA, but not from the conservative (fiscally and otherwise) Wall Street Journal.
Liaise, however, turns out to be a better example for the language Visigoths than for those struggling to keep English pure. A trip to the dictionary reveals that, though liaise is guilty as charged as a “back-formation” from liaison, it was back-formed (sorry) back in 1928.
So the verbing of America is not a new phenomenon. And while it has given us such limp neologisms as liaise, it has also given us plenty of fresh, vivid new verbs that make the language richer and a more muscular tool for writers. Someday, it may even give us demille as a verb–who knows?
Impacting How You Implement Verbs
Close readers of this column may have noticed that I’m fond of playing with the language myself–despite a strict upbringing as the offspring of not one but two college English teachers. My looseness with the language has never reached Cecil B. DeMille proportions, but I do dare to twist a phrase now and then.
So how do you decide what’s a playful, meaningful coinage and what’s a verbing to be avoided? Once you loosen the strict dictionary limits, how do you keep from driving the language–and your poor readers–right off a cliff? Stop me before I verb again!
Above all, you must balance colorful writing against clarity. That’s why jargon is such a black hole for effective communication: Jargon, particularly in bureaucratic writing, drains words of their color and life even as it minimizes clarity; it’s the worst of all possible worlds for language. Indeed, colorless obfuscation is the whole point of jargon–to seem to be saying something, in as uninteresting a way as possible, while actually communicating little or nothing.
Such verbs as utilize, prioritize, coordinate and implement, for example, while perfectly valid English words, have become so bland through bureaucratic repetition as to be almost nulls. “We need to coordinate the prioritization of how we utilize strategies to implement new programs” might as well be in Martian for all it communicates. Or what about point of sale? Is it OK if I abbreviate and pronounce it as POS??
Similarly, impact has gained great popularity as a verb meaning “to have an impact on.” (In its previous life as a verb, impact meant “to wedge together,” as in an impacted tooth.) That is, a verb form has sprung up from the noun, impact. Everyone knows what it means, no one thinks you’re dipping into dentistry when you use it, and I guess it’s on its way into the language with liaise.
But is impact a good verb for your nonfiction writing? It strikes me as limp and, yes, smacking of jargon, the kind of word a university administrator would use to avoid actually saying anything. It lends itself too easily to obfuscation: “The policy will negatively impact the poor” seems a mealymouthed way around saying, “The policy will hurt the poor.”
Other jargon spins off changes in technology, culture or the economy. Consider repurpose, for example, as in “Microsoft will repurpose the material into a CD-ROM.” Meaning “reuse for an another purpose,” repurpose has become a vogue verb because of the boom in new digital media: Books turn into CD-ROMs, movies beget video games, magazines spawn Web sites. But repurpose fails both the color and clarity tests, at least on my scorecard. It’s anything but colorful (on that score, maybe gatesize, as in Microsoft mogul Bill Gates, will someday be the verb of choice), and its tacked-on structure bogs down reading. That way lies words like antidisestablishmentarianism.
Then you have Madison Avenue jargon and packaging lingo. A Salon Selectives Conditioner bottle, for example, promises that the product “Texturizes and bodifies fine, thin or normal hair.” Such language sounds great, but is less filling than real verbs.
September 9th, 2012
About a year and a half ago I wrote a column in which I said “Fiction is made of sentences.” Though not false, that statement isn’t exactly the truth. Last week a sharp-eyed, if not-up-to-date, reader from Atlanta wrote to correct me. “It’s not the sentence that is the basic building block,” claims Joshua Collins, “but the word. With the wrong words, you can’t build a good sentence.”
And, of course, he’s right.
Words are our raw materials. In any act of creation, the higher quality and better chosen the raw material, the better the result. Words are the atoms out of which your fictional universe is constructed.
So if words are the basis of fiction, the specific words you choose (what’s known as diction) will have a tremendous effect on the quality of your story. Yes, plot and character and setting and all those other things also matter–a lot–but each of those elements comes to your readers only through words. Word choice can turn a good story into a bad one, or vice versa.
So what makes a word choice or a phrase choice (a phrase merely being a clump of words that like to hang around together) “good”? Four things: tone, vividness, consistency and rhythm.
Tone: A Primer on English Words
English is an incredibly rich language. My thesaurus lists 83 words for red, each synonym suggesting a subtly different shade. There are 92 ways to be sad, from the transient out of sorts to the serious heartsick. This richness exists because English is a vacuum cleaner of a language, sucking up words from every people Great Britain ever hosted, was invaded by or got interested in.
The two main sources of English, however, were Anglo-Saxon and Norman French. The Saxons were the conquered, the serfs, and so their short, brusque words seem to us more earthy and common (including the usual “four-letter words”). The Normans, whose French descended from Latin, had words that sound more formal, refined or even abstract to the modern ear. Thus, William the Conqueror was king to his Saxon subjects, but sovereign to his Norman ones. A meat animal was a cow to the serfs who raised and killed it, but beef to those who mainly dealt with it after it was on the dining table.
Nine and a half centuries later, English words derived from Anglo-Saxon or Norman French still give different effects when used in contemporary fiction. Consider these two sentences:
Julia detested restrictive regulations.
Kate hated “no.”
They suggest quite different women, don’t they? The difference lies not in the meanings of the two sentences, but in their diction, which, in turn, affects tone. Do you want a tone of immediacy, earthiness, visceral feeling for your sentence? Choose predominately Anglo-Saxon words. Do you want a tone of thoughtful, more distant observation? Choose Latinate diction.
To further see the richness of possibility this presents, contrast the tone of this pair of sentences, the first from an author fond of Latinate words, the second from another who is fond of Anglo-Saxon ones:
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife. (Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice)
Brett was damned good looking. She wore a slipover jersey sweater and a tweed skirt, and her hair was brushed back like a boy’s. She started all that. (Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises)
And this pair, more contemporary:
I was born in 1927, the only child of middle-class parents, both English, and themselves born in the grotesquely elongated shadow, which they never rose sufficiently above history to leave, of that monstrous dwarf Queen Victoria. (John Fowles, The Magus)
Deer Lick lay on a narrow country road some 90 miles north of Baltimore, and the funeral was scheduled for 10:30 Saturday morning, so Ira figured they should start around 8. This made him grumpy. (Anne Tyler, Breathing Lessons)
English has also absorbed words from many other languages, some of which still lend an exotic feel to prose. Can you hear it in these sentences?
Kalisha wore palazzo pajamas to Susan’s fete.
Kalisha is African, palazzo is Italian, pajamas comes from Arabic, and fete is undigested French.
I schlepped my portfolio around the city. Nada. When I couldn’t stand it anymore, I stopped for curry and angst somewhere on Ninth.
Schlepped is from Yiddish, nada is Spanish, curry is Indian, angst comes from German. And can anyone mistake that this city is New York?
When you choose your words, consider the overall tone they are contributing to your sentence. Is it the tone you want?
Vividness: The Eyeball Kick
Eyeball kick is a term coined by writer William Gibson. It means an image that hits readers’ eyes with a strong visual image perfect for the context. Not just any strong image is an eyeball kick. It goes beyond delivering a picture to delivering a picture sharp and hard with extra meaning. An eyeball kick, like a literal kick in the face, makes a meaningful difference to readers’ perception of a situation. Such words are vivid in context–they tell us more than less vivid synonyms would.
Here is a brief scene written in generic, nonvivid words. The action is all there, but the eyeball kicks are not:
When I walked into John’s house, music was playing on the stereo. John was nowhere to be seen, but that didn’t stop me. Nothing could stop me. I went past the dining room, through the living room, until I found him in the kitchen. “John, I want to talk to you.”
Information is conveyed, but this paragraph lacks vividness. Boredom City. Now read three different versions of the same thing, to see what a difference vivid, specific, carefully chosen, nongeneric diction can make:
When I stormed into Bubba’s trailer, the Carson-Akabar fight was playing on the big-screen Sony. Bubba was nowhere to be seen, but that didn’t stop me. Nothing could stop me. I tore past the beer cans and pizza boxes, racing through the trailer until I found him taking a crap in the can. “You bastard! I’ve got something to give you!”
When I sauntered into Serge’s, “Tosca” was playing on the CD. Serge was nowhere to be seen, but that didn’t stop me. Nothing could stop me. I strolled past the library and the sauna, making my way through the mansion until I found him repotting violets in the conservatory. “You sly dog, I have a message for you.”
When I crept into Daddy’s, some old-timey music was playing on the radio. Daddy was nowhere to be seen, but that didn’t stop me. Nothing could stop me. I sneaked past all the woman’s clothes on the living room floor and the closed bedroom door, tiptoeing through the house until I found him in the garage. “You… Daddy, listen, I’ve got to tell you something.”
It’s all in the diction. Think vivid.
Consistency: Words of a Feather
But if you make full and exuberant use of the rich range of tone and diction available in English, won’t your style seem fragmented? As if you had contracted a multiple personality disorder, sounding on page 14 like a 12-year-old peasant, on page 27 like a professor, on page 43 like a wealthy socialite educated abroad? What about consistency? Doesn’t prose have to sound consistent?
Yes and no.
Certainly the various scenes of a novel should sound as if they all belong in the same book, written by the same person. But depending on how your book is structured, you may have more choices in diction than you think.
A multiple-viewpoint novel, for instance, may vary the diction quite a bit from scene to scene, depending on switches in POV character. You already do that, of course, for dialogue: Your characters don’t all talk alike. Some use age-appropriate slang, some have better vocabularies than others, some are stiff and cautious in their speech, some try to impress, some curse more, some have a regional or ethnic accent, some have more (or less) correct grammar, some are observant, some are not. In a novel written in close multiple-third-person point of view, these same differences can also show up in the narrative sections. This means the diction may vary between sections.
Can you see the difference in word choice between the first passage below and the second? Both come from my thriller Oaths and Miracles:
A man waited in Felders’s office. Younger than Cavanaugh: 25, 27. Expensive dark gray suit, rep tie, Ivy League haircut, a certain self-conscious precise look that Cavanaugh recognized instantly. A new Justice attorney, trying to look older and more important than he actually was. Hired after spring graduation, they bloomed in August, like ragweed.
The prayer just sort of mistook him–he didn’t know he was going to say it until it was too late and the prayer was out. Wendell scowled and spat on the ground. His praying days were over, that was for damn sure. He’d prayed and prayed, and where the fuck had it got him?
The first paragraph is from the POV of FBI agent Robert Cavanaugh, and uses words that reflect his range of knowledge (“Ivy League haircut”), directness (verbs left out, Anglo-Saxon words), linguistic sophistication (the metaphor “bloomed in August, like ragweed”). The narrator of the second paragraph, ex-convict and all-around-loser Wendell Botts, also favors Anglo-Saxon words, but his diction is less precise (“just sort of mistook him”), more repetitious (“prayed and prayed”), cruder (“spat,” “damn sure,” “fuck”), and without anything as poetic as a metaphor. The diction changes as the POV character does.
At the same time, there is enough consistency in diction to easily see that these two passages could come from the same novel. However, the two passages I quoted from Austen and Hemingway, could not. The diction is too different.
Your word choices should be fairly consistent. At the same time, a multiple POV does give you some room to contrast diction in narrative as well as dialogue.
August 24th, 2012
Top quality restaurant software is a system that serves as helpful tool for managing business operations for those who service industries. When it comes to recording transactions and fast, you really can’t find a better tool out there. Gathering the complete information about your inventory was not easy before the availability of restaurant software. But since this is available to use, you can easily enter the code of the products and track their location. These days, the system becomes very useful that helps business owners to track all their stocks information. Managing your business using the software will give you the safest way to protect your business in losing important information. Most especially that restaurant businesses needs to have the complete accessories in the kitchen and deliveries of stocks are constant.
However, the system makes it even better for the business owners and managers to track down all the recordings of inventory. Through the screen, you can verify the location of your stocks and then breakdown the amount that will represent the value of all the stock available in your stock room, in the kitchen, and at the bar. The restaurant software will seriously you a brand-new view of inventory in general. That is the reason why investors have found the system very helpful to their business and have been using it.
Operating businesses are modernized and different systems are needed in order to ensure that the ship is run tightly. Therefore, a restaurant POS software is a system that you can use for different functions inside the restaurant. It can provide easy instructions for your staff inside the restaurant and allow them to move correctly according to the orders and needs of the customers. This is very useful, most especially during rush hours where customers are hurrying to move on from your restaurant. By using the system, the cashier doesn’t need to ask the customers if they prefer to take out or dine in. The customers will point out the services they want to have and that will reflect on their order slip.
Customer order information will be visible on the screen monitor in the kitchen. That will allow everyone to move to the next orders without question asked. The convenience of using this system makes the restaurant operation run smoothly. And that is the reason why this is the most popular ways of running businesses these days. Managers are now having a much easier time performing in their job. And this is giving great results to the whole management as well as convenience for the customers.
Maybe your retail business today is still getting by with a cash register, which offers limited options when it comes to generating reports. This is not quite surprising since there are still a good number of businesses that do not use POS systems yet. The main reason for this might be that they do not know the big difference between the two systems, which is huge. For business owners it is very important for you to know the advantages of using an automated tool for it can help you with deciding whether to use it or not.
Since point of sale tools are created by software companies like POS Software Associates, it is quite obvious that it could surely make things work a lot faster and easier for you. For those who do not have any idea yet, a point of sale system is an application that could help you manage your business well in almost all aspects. The good thing with this application is that you can customize it depending on the needs of your business. You do not have to buy software for other purposes since other functions can be added to the system easily. This makes the software very much flexible and useful for small and large businesses.
August 15th, 2012
Are you now in the midst of looking for ways to manage your business successfully? You can easily do that with the help of pos systems. Through the pos system, you can easily track exactly how well your business is performing and compare with other years. These systems can also allow you to create processes which help you generate efficiencies. To have to the advantages it can deliver accurate reading and tabulating of sales. Point of sale systems are designed to allow you to manage the business with ease and at the same time provide you with precise information to enable you to better plan out your inventory and marketing programs. See how POS Software Associates can help you with your point of sale needs.
Detecting any kind of monkey business using the pos systems can be useful, especially if you are thinking one of your employees may have sticky fingers. You can trace which of your employees are accountable for losses based on the electronic scheduling features. There are of course other ways to discover theft but it really does all start at the point of sale. That is why opting for the best system is always a good bet because it can’t pay itself off almost immediately in shrinkage prevention alone. Remember also that many of these systems really require very much in the way of maintenance in order to assure that you will gain great efficiencies.
Point of Sale Systems Overview
If you want a systematized way of counting your sales, that you can trust then you should opt to choose a good quality point of sale system. This can help your company achieve a systematic recording especially when it comes to daily sales. There are companies that distribute point of sale systems that provide complete packages which mean not only the hardware or the pos software product but also the training as well. The installation is also often part of that package. This way it will be easy for clients to use and train their people to work with the pos system.
However, these systems should not be demonstrated to anyone except for those who are assigned to handle it like the cashiers, managers or supervisor and the owner. Because these electronic systems can attract thieves, you want to make sure they are also password-protected. There are also a number of other theft prevention features, each of which will save you a lot of money in the long run.
Solid retail pos systems are advantageous for a retail business, since they can supply numerous benefits. The point of sale software is developed in such a way that it may be utilized in any specific type of business. To succeed, each and every company must have a great equilibrium in between supply and demand; the only alternative is a lack of profit and overall doom.
Staying tuned to advances in technology is one of the most important thing that a retailer can do. Running a business is never easy, and the retail environment is much more difficult than many business entrepreneurs consider when they first get into this form of work. But, the report can be extended as long as the entrepreneur realizes that productivity must be maintained at all times and that often long hours of the work. Fortunately, retail POS software gives these business owners the opportunity save a lot of time with their day-to-day business because the software can to allow them to perform a mass of accounting tasks with very little downtime. In fact, because the software will handle accounting entries transaction by transaction, the business owner can simply step aside and let the point of sale do his work for them. Is one of the forms of automation that many entrepreneurs do not think about, but it very critical to succeed in today’s competitive environment. If you don’t believe me, ask yourself this: how many of the top 500 retailers actually run electronic point of sale? The answer is probably all 500 of them. It is something to think about, for sure.
Technically, the point of sale system can include hardware installed at the checkout counters such as display touchscreens where both customers and clerk can see, the swiping system for cardholders, barcode scanners, cash drawers and thermal printers. The point of sale system can differs when it comes to features, depending on the type that you need. If you have a salon business, the application will be of course different from that of a retail pos system. The options that we see in pos systems are many, which is why it is critical to understand exactly what you need in order to succeed with current POS configurations.
If you want to have a point of sale system it is not hard to acquire because there are many companies out there that understand that this technology is a growth industry and that it will continue to provide retailers with huge advantages. The hardware comes with specific applications that you choose and as mentioned depending on the business that you want to use it. For better understanding of pos systems in general,, before purchasing you can talk to an agent to make you understand the details of certain model you would like to buy. You can then check other suppliers to see if you can get the best price possible.
To compete in the market is to reach the standard for you to say that your business is indeed in a higher class, but how are you going to do that if you still have the same old cash registers at your counter. Essentially, your business will be a failure when it comes to technology. The point of sale system can help the business grow to compete globally. Furthermore, it is the most accurate way to keep track of the business. Creating ways to dynamically create sales can be very challenging and the only machine that will let you know if you have progressed with the journey is the point of sale system.
Considering having such a system could brings brighter hope for the business, do not underestimate the wonders of it because you can tabulate the inventory in timely manner. To get yourself excited about owning one, find time to take a look that some of the videos about these systems; you will see lots of websites offering discounts and great deals when it comes to them. If you have questions, a customer service person is just a call away.
July 12th, 2012
Languages and cultures have been my lifelong passions. Maybe it is because I grew up in Southern California, amid Latino influences. In school, I heard Mexican-American students speaking Spanish. Downtown, I saw blocks of stores, all with signs in Spanish. Rich, wonderful smells permeated the air, and mariachi music poured out into the streets when restaurant doors opened. Inside, musicians strolled from table to table, dressed in the dashing black and silver of caballeros, strumming guitars and bowing violins with romantic finesse.
Maybe it is because my grandmother loved to take my sister and me to places like Chinatown in Los Angeles, where we would hear the timbre of spoken Mandarin and Cantonese, breathe spicy incense, taste exotic food with wooden chopsticks, and finger cool silks and paper fans in dark, mysterious shops. I remember dressing with care in delicious anticipation of these outings, knowing that we would be allowed to indulge our youthful curiosity while momentarily becoming part of the much envied, grownup world of travel and adventure.
Then there were summers spent with my father’s family in eastern New Mexico, proffering a good dose of south-of-the-border food, music, language, and festivities. My genealogy, overwhelmingly Western European, is infused with enough American Indian to render the pueblo ruins and archaeological digs we visited of special interest, as pieces of my personal ancestral history. I remember making my way through fragrant juniper and creosote bushes, stooping to pass through a tiny doorway in the side of a cliff, and entering the cool obscurity within. Dust motes danced like spirits up a shaft of sunlight through the chimney hold and out into the wide, eternal sky. Breezes whispered of the people who once lived here, of their talk, their fires, their work and dreams. This is part of who I am, I thought, feeling a thrill of connection with the past, the future, and all humankind.
One summer, my father’s maternal grandmother passed out copies of her research into our family tree, bringing to light French, Scottish, and English ancestors. Prompted by this revelation, I studied high school French and Spanish with a zeal that sparked awards and scholarship offers.
Guided by Passion
In time, I had children of my own. Like my parents and grandparents, I shared my love for other cultures with my little ones. Of course, we visited Indian ruins, ethnic museums and neighborhoods, savory restaurants, and aromatic shops. We also spoke in tongues–lots of them.
For me, learning the spoken words of a culture is like putting on multidimensional spectacles, or like looking through a prism and suddenly seeing an aura of colors invisible to the naked eye. The words and phrases lead not only to an appreciation of the culture that gave rise to them, but to a new appreciation of my own, as well as an enhanced sensitivity to environment, history, economics, and religious beliefs in general. And so my goal as a mother was to pass this on to my children–to maximize their understanding and acceptance of diversity, and to minimize any sense of fear, prejudice, and mindless rejection of things strange and different. My hopes were to encourage an open-minded attitude toward sharing ideas, and a clearer vision of the assets and liabilities that influence cooperation between individuals, communities, and nations.
I homeschooled my oldest five children from 1981 until 1990. We filled the house with signs in English, Spanish, and French. Index cards perched on chairs read: chair–silla–siege. Others hanging on walls read: wall–pared–mur. Everything was labeled: windows, furniture, kitchen items, clothing. Then, over a period of time, we developed a repertoire of sentences, such as Qui fait la vaisselle aujourd’hui? (Who does the dishes today?) and Vamonos al mercado (Let’s go to the store). In public, our multilingualism became a game. How could Suivez-moi! (Follow me!), Touche pas! (Don’t touch!), and Cuidado! (Look out!) be perceived as scolding or nagging, after all, when no one but us knew what I was saying?
When my children’s friends came to visit, my little ones responded with less whining if I said, “J’ai un petit travail pour toi” than if I informed them in plain English that I had a job for them to do. They would roll their eyes and translate, their pride in possessing uncommon knowledge outweighing their reluctance to abandon their play for the time being. Soon those who visited most often began to join in the fun. And older friends sometimes came for after-school help with their foreign language homework.
We had many amusing moments. Once, a visiting friend heard my children refer to me as mere (mother) and assumed they were calling me a horse. Another time, one of my sons invented a French pun: instead of saying de rien (you’re welcome), he took to saying derriere (rear end).
We searched libraries, bookstores, and catalogs for song tapes, story tapes, and videos in a variety of languages, and began building an audiovisual library. Soon, we had a collection ranging from French-dubbed Disney videos to classic films in French, and from regional Mexican folk songs to Cajun nursery rhymes. We filled shelves with books as well: Peter Rabbit in three laguages, The Little Prince in two, original French versions of the fairy tales “Beauty and the Beast” and “Sleeping Beauty,” children’s dictionaries in French and Spanish, and lots more.
Around the same time, I enrolled in French classes at the local community college. The professor, who quickly became a friend, was delighted to have my children accompany me to class. My usual companions were eight-year-old Joseph and four-year-old Jenny. As often as three times a week, they would sit quietly for over an hour, pencil and paper before them on their desks, listening to conversations in French (English was not uttered in class) and copying sentences from the blackboard. At the time, Jenny was also learning to write English! And while her French pronunciation was flawless, she was still having trouble with her English rs–one of the most difficult r sounds on the planet.
As time went on, language became more than a merry pastime. When my oldest child Justin turned 14, he decided he wanted to “go to school” and take part in the social scene. Immediately, he began bringing home stories of racial tension and gang activities. One day, he mentioned that he and a Mexican-American student had been comparing notes on Dia de los Muertos, the Mexican celebration of the dead, which takes place on November 1. To Justin’s delight, he was complimented on his fluency in Spanish and knowledge of Mexican culture, and was told he was pretty OK for a white boy. To my delight, I began to realize that perhaps our years of immersion in language and culture could serve him well in mitigating some of the volatility present in today’s youth culture.
Eight years ago, a shocking and tragic event became an opportunity to explore another new language. My nephew Kyle lost his hearing soon after his first birthday. (Little did we know that four years later, his sister Dana would be born deaf.) Upon learning of Kyle’s hearing loss, I enrolled in sign language classes at the local community college and began teaching my children to sign as well. By the time Dana was born, they were not only fluent in sign language, but able to accept their cousin’s “condition” with a pragmatic optimism that spread throughout the family, diffusing grief and alleviating fears. These days, whenever our families gather, the children play together as happily and naturally as any children do. Moreover, my daughter Jaime spends time at school chatting in sign language with students who are hearing impaired.
The sign language classes inspired connecting links to others as well. Enrolled in the classes were a Black Muslim mother and her two daughters. I was intrigued by their long, flowing dresses and graceful head wraps. Naima, the mother, was a warm, wise woman with a rich and ready laugh. During class breaks, she taught me the Arabic words for hello, thank you, and goodbye. Months later, when a Lebanese family opened a market near my home, I could hardly wait to try my new words. Venturing into the market one day, I gathered my purchases, approached the cash register, and when the gentleman behind the counter turned to me, I greeted him in Arabic. Imagine my surprise when he grabbed my hand and covered it with kisses!
I quickly assured him that this was all the Arabic I knew. He replied that because his country was so torn and he was so homesick, he was delighted to hear a customer speak his language as if it were an everyday form of discourse.
Soon afterward, my teenage son Josh–a little embarrassed by my desire to explore foreign languages at every opportunity–accompanied me to the Lebanese market. As we stepped inside, he said, in a low voice, “Please, Mom, no Arabic today, OK?”
“OK, I promise,” I answered, with an innocent smile. “No Arabic.”
We took our groceries to the counter, and while the clerk was bagging the goods, I turned to Josh and said: “voila. C’est pour toi les apporter.” He rolled his eyes and picked up the sack, which he now knew was for him to carry out. An instant later, the clerk exclaimed, “Mais vous parlez francais!” (“You speak French!”) The clerk was astonished, and paused for a moment while checking me through with his computerized point of sale system.
The joke was definitely on me. Nevertheless, we spoke in French for several minutes. He explained that he had learned French in Lebanese schools from the time he was very young. He also explained that the man I had spoken to in Arabic a few days earlier was his father, and that yes, they would both be happy to teach me as much Arabic as I cared to learn whenever I was in their store.
I took them up on the offer, and made sure to bring my children along from time to time. My hope was that by cultivating relationships with people from Middle Eastern nations, in particular, I could expose my children to glimpses of something other than media images. News coverage of political events so often focuses on narrow and negative aspects of other cultures that I wanted them to see up close that people are–regardless of anyone’s biases–people. I wanted to plant seeds of respect and understanding that, watered well, would help them relate to the world’s rich mix of races, cultures, and belief systems.
Building bridges started anew quite recently. When our fifth child was 10 years old, I gave birth to a curly, redhaired girl we named Megan. I have spoken French and English to her every day of her life, and she goes with me to French Club meetings at the local library, where she sits playing and soaking up the sounds of the language floating through the room. At nine months of age, she is just beginning to vocalize. And while most of the sounds she makes are not yet language-specific, she often responds exclusively to one language or the other, and occasionally to both, depending on the situation.
When asked, for example, “Where’s your book of baby animals?” she gives a blank stare; however, if asked, “Ou est ton livre Les Bebes Animaux de la Maison?” she turns and reaches for her favorite French book. If someone mentions the kitty, she looks at the cat and makes a mewing sound; if someone speaks of le chaton, she goes through the same motions. When we say au’voir, she responds with a wave, then vocalizes, “Bye-bye.” Of course, to avoid the insidious “No!” as much as possible, we tell her “Touche pas” for “Don’t touch” and “Pas pour manger” when she wants to put things in her mouth that do not belong there.
Multilingualism pour les Enfants
Over the years of delving into languages with my children, I came across research findings that confirmed what I suspected: the early introduction of many languages is indeed a good idea. Children, it turns out, are easily able to learn a new language, or even two or three, before the age of about 11–beyond which the brain’s language-acquisition pathways begin to narrow and become less active. Moreover, children who take on a new language before this change occurs establish routes within the brain that facilitate the learning of additional languages later in life.
Research also reveals that children who learn foreign languages, compared with those who do not, exhibit greater mental flexibility and enhanced critical thinking skills. Indeed, the mental stretching required of multiple-language students has been shown to spill over into other academic areas, resulting in higher test scores than those achieved by single-language students.
According to the Center for Applied Linguistics, as recently as 1991, at least 125 schools throughout the United States were teaching partialor total-immersion foreign language classes in the elementary and middle grades. Lessons were offered in French, German, Spanish, Japanese, Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Ojibwa, Dakota, Italian, Cantonese, Dutch, and Hawaiian.
In addition, many major corporations now encourage their employees to acquire a second language, and supply teachers, materials, and work-hour classes to ease the process. The consensus is that bilingual skills are needed in today’s world of dissolving borders, international markets, and multinational communications media. The gradual cross-cultural convergence of lifestyles itself demands fluency in more than one language.
Foreign language immersion can easily begin at home during those early receptive years. And parents who speak only one language need not be deterred from the task. My own smattering of high school French and Spanish meant nothing compared with the enthusiasm I shared with my children at the outset. In fact, most of my learning blossomed right along with theirs–though often at a slower pace, considering their still-awakened ability to pick up meanings and intonations. At first, we relied on tapes and hired tutors to help us master the sounds of each new language; then, with a handle on the phonics, we were able to decode the printed words on our own. When it came to Arabic, Mandarin, and Japanese, however, we found the printed words too complicated and settled for audio learning alone.
In all, our family has dabbled in over a dozen languages and dialects. Our linguistic adventures have been both educational and enjoyable, have cemented family bonds, and have given us a tangible sense of belonging to what may one day be a global culture as strong, resilient, and beautifully intricate and variegated as the finest hand-loomed Persian carpet.
Indeed, language and culture are inextricably intertwined, complementing, defining, and enhancing each other. Studying culture alone, however, is like looking in at the window; exploring the language lets you in the door, into the heart of a people’s unique perspective and experience. With the world shrinking as rapidly as it is, exploring languages with our children helps foster understanding and appreciation–attributes that will serve them in the future, as they endeavor to find their unique places in an increasingly complex world.
July 12th, 2012
In Prince Edward Island, digital video has become an important educational tool for a Canadian native group as they struggle to preserve their values, traditions and language.
The MicMacs’ problem began long ago, when Europeans first colonized the North American continent. An even greater loss of language and culture took place from the 1950s through the 1970s, when MicMac children were educated in larger, public school settings with little or no instruction in native ways. It created a gap between true native speakers and the younger generations.
Now, a new generation of MicMac children has expressed a genuine interest in learning the language and culture of their tribe. However, the only record of the MicMac language is a collection of audio tapes. Native speakers of the language are aging and are generally inaccessible to many of these children, leaving MicMac elders concerned.
Nigel Cuthbertson, president of the Business Training Centre, learned of these concerns from a group of MicMac friends. The Business Training Centre, based in Charlottetown, trains people in the use of multimedia and develops multimedia programs for information kiosks and other applications. They also offer a variety of job training, including a very well respected retail training program, which concentrates on sales, marketing, operating current POS systems, and customer relationships. It has been majorly beneficial, to be sure.
“My friends told me about the problem they were having with preserving their language,” recalls Cuthbertson. “I explained to them a little about multimedia technology, and how digital video can be used to record native speakers on CD-ROM disks that will stand the test of time. You could almost see the lights going on over their heads.”
Still, Cuthbertson realized that as an outsider to the ways of the MicMac, he could not undertake the effort himself.
“It really had to be done by someone from the MicMac culture who would know how to approach the different bands of the tribe, what cultural things to look for, and the nuances of the language,” he says. “I interviewed three people and finally settled on one. Then, I transferred the technology to her and encouraged her to make the program the way the tribe wants it done.”
With the permission of tribal elders, the young woman set about to record conversations with three native MicMac speakers on a standard VCR. Then, these video images had to be captured and compressed from the VHS tape to a digital format. Using Smart Video Recorder from Intel Corp. of Santa Clara, Calif., this could automatically be done in real time (a technique known as “on-the-fly compression”), converting the videotaped images directly onto a double-speed CD-ROM drive housed in an IBM 486 clone with a 66-MHz processor.
Cuthbertson used a Windows-based video editing language called Icon Author to piece the video into its final form. The entire language program takes up just 50 MB of disk space and runs on a standard Windows-based PC without a separate playback card.
Cuthbertson says the video is currently being shown to the different bands of the tribe for approval. Then it must be incorporated into the standard school curriculum and funding must be found to distribute it to the various grade-school classrooms on the island.
In the meantime, he adds, the video has also been played to other tribes in the Maritime provinces, and at least one other tribe has expressed an interest in a similar project.
“What this other tribe is seeing is not just a way to preserve the language, but a skill they can use to connect with young people,” says Cuthbertson. “The young kids are starting to want their language back again.”