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October 16, 2008

Why texting rules


"... it uses a telephone to avoid what many people dread about ... telephones — having to have a real, unscripted conversation."

So writes Louis Menand in a refreshing review in the latest New Yorker of professional linguist David Crystal's new book (above) about texting and its (dis)contents.

Other highlights from Menand's piece:

"'People were playing with language in this way long before mobile phones were invented,' he [Crystal] points out. 'Texting may be using a new technology, but its linguistic processes are centuries old.'"

"The obvious appeal of texting is its speed.... To delay is to disrespect. In fact, delay is the only disrepect."

"There is no socially accepted excuse for being without your cell phone. 'I didn't have my phone': that just does not sound believable. Either you are lying or you are depressed or you have something to hide."

"People don't like to have to perform the amount of self-presentation that is required in a personal encounter. They don't want to deal with the facial expressions, the body language, the obligation to be witty or interesting. They just want to say 'flt is lte.'"

"There is no penalty for abruptness in a text message. Shortest said, best said. The faster the other person can reply, the less you need to say."

"I don't think I have ever come across a topic which has attracted more adult antagonism," said Crystal of texting.

October 16, 2008 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Collectible Alien Quarters Set


Up until today I thought the Alaska and Hawaii quarters coming out this fall and winter would put paid to my 10-year-long collection.

Boy, was I wrong.

"Stamped from genuine U.S. quarters, this funny money will crack up coin collectors and delight UFO believers with three versions: Area 51, Roswell, New Mexico and Heartland Crop Circles."

"Not legal tender."

Set of 3: $19.95.

October 16, 2008 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Best ad of the week


It's in the latest New Yorker.

The text below the ad:


October 16, 2008 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

A slider you can't eat


Think outside the White Castle space.

From the website:

    Bigslider™ Heavy Item Moving Mat

    Got something really heavy to move?

    Just slide or tip it onto this tough, flexible plastic mat, grab the handle, and drag it to where you want it.

    No wheels, no lifting.

    Easily slides loads up to 500 pounds over bricks, gravel, grass, wood or tile floors or concrete.

    Great for moving projects, indoors or out.

    And it's easy on the back — reduces effort 2 to 5 times.

    Mat can also be rolled up and placed inside a trash bag [below] to hold it open for easy filling.

    Hose it down to clean.

    2 feet x 5 feet.



$89.99 (heavy items and trash bags not included).

October 16, 2008 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

'Free' phone support for Gmail*


Who knew?

Not me, until I read Randall Stross's "Digital Domain" column in the October 5, 2008 New York Times in which he wrote, "Google does provide phone support to Gmail customers who subscribe to Google Apps Premier Edition, which costs $50 annually.... Customers who use the advertising-supported version of Gmail, however, must rely solely on what Google calls 'self-service online support."

*Inquire within.

October 16, 2008 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Portable Attachable Armchair/Couch Table

From websites:


    Portable Armchair Table

    Keep basics by your side even when there's no room for an end table or the arm's not flat.

    Portable tray with springs on both sides clamps to chair or sofa arm up to 8" wide and has enough room to hold a drink, snack and the remote.

    Powerful springs hold tray in place and protective lip keeps items from sliding off tray.

    12"L x 8.5"W.

    Solid wood.


Cherry or Oak.


October 16, 2008 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Word of the day


Free — the way we like it.

[via Milena]

October 16, 2008 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

'Dark matter made me do it'


Failing physics?

Give this to your teacher and maybe he'll let you slide by — worth a shot.

Finally, everything is illuminated.

Pine; 18"W x 7.5"H.


October 16, 2008 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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