Tag Archives: language

Don’t Call Kids ‘Smart’

People labeled “smart” at a young age don’t deal well with being wrong. Life grows stagnant. At whatever age smart people develop the idea that they are smart, they also tend to develop vulnerability around relinquishing that label.

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I’m happy I came across this article. I read one similar to it several years ago, but hadn’t bookmarked or saved it anywhere, so I was just left with the core take-aways and whatever else clung to them in my grey-matter. Children are left with a fear of a less than stellar end game because they don’t want to disappoint those who previously praised them.

The crux of the headline is intrinsically linguistic. A child develops all of these connotations surrounding the word “smart”, from those involving intelligence and insight, to parental pride. The latter is more crucial to setting up the situation discussed in the article, but we can’t overlook the fact that society doesn’t use the word “smart” in the face of failure and perseverance. 

Still, “smart” shouldn’t be a dirty word, but it’s probably worth using it more descriptively. 

10 Kinds of Content to Keep Your Blog Posts Funky Fresh

Sometimes it’s tough to get fresh content up on your blog week after week. Even the most inspired writers will hit a wall every now and again. But not all your blog posts have to be brilliant, lengthy essays. You can be an effective blogger and spend less than 15 minutes writing each post!

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There are times when I’ve neglected this blog…I won’t get anywhere by hiding this. I’ve also had times when I just haven’t read many articles to post…

The mission of 6th Floor Studios is still fluid, so there will hopefully be opportunities to grow this blog in to something other than a collection of Reading Lists, showcases. Of course, I’m still the sole member of the cast-of-authors, so things will get much more interesting as more brains come together.

Goals: By the end of 2015!!!!

  • Add two additional regular authors with Reading Lists
  • Post at least two original posts for “Showcase” each month

So, Print Is Dying? Don’t Tell the Megazine

Like chocolate bars and Arctic ice caps, printed periodicals have shrunk over the last decade. The Wall Street Journal, Rolling Stone, The New York Times and dozens more have reduced their physical dimensions to maintain fiscal fitness.

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My good friend Marilyn sent this article to me. If only I could write a post just about people who you meet and make the world feel smaller, it would probably include a lot of our conversations…but this is about the Megazine. The periodical that is measured in stride with TVs, instead of mobile devices. The Megazine is a big magazine with big subjects in mind. It is as much a piece of art as the photographs it holds. Both current issues are on exhibit in Japan, complete with human page-turners wearing shirts extolling the virtues: “bigger” and “better.”

Demystifying the muse: 5 creativity myths you need to stop believing

This post originally appeared on the Crew blog. There’s a letter from an 1815 issue of General Music Journal where Mozart describes his creative process as instantaneous: no struggle or writer’s block. The muse simply showed up and he was ready.

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Creativity for all! Sometimes it’s awfully hard to get started, sometimes it’s hard to follow through. Creativity is a lot of work. This is a great article about what creativity isn’t…it’s not a gift bestowed on the lucky few…it’s not a solitary process…and it certainly isn’t just an easy thing.

Creativity can seem to be those things. It’s easy to have a brilliant revelation in the shower, but the work by many to realize the thought often gets looked over.

There’s a fantastic feature of language that means that words can be combined in completely new ways, to make new meanings, without end. Since we’re all communicating and language is changing, updating, and growing, how creative must we all be?

The Differences Between American and International Cooking Vocabulary

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I’m not saying that I’m a culinary wiz-kid…but I like to cook and bake. It makes sense that I would enjoy this article because I love language too! Rockets, aubergines, even the different forms of sugar and cream. Anyone who has a collection of old cookbooks or enjoys overseas recipe blogs via Pinterest could be well served to keep this article bookmarked (or taped up by the stovetop).

Bon Appetit!

The Conscientiousness of Kidspeak

Often enough, something we propose as a serious idea turns out to be more or less a joke. It’s much rarer that something proposed as a joke—or, at least, proposed as a semi-serious conceit, offered in the spirit of…

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This is not the place to pick a fight about prescriptive or descriptive grammar, but I can’t post this article and give my feedback without betraying which side I’d belong to.

This article gives credit to a new (albeit annoying) linguistic phenomenon and those who use it. Studies are showing that using “like” in statements is not solely a hallmark of bubbly youth or an alternative sentence filler. Those who use “like” in this oft-stereotyped way, have been observed to be among the more conscientious and empathetic members of the population.  Injecting “like” into a sentence adds the nuance of “I’m paraphrasing this” or “I’m not going to speak for this person, but my take is…”

The nuance of an entire phrase is condensed in to one word, but that one word is present in the spoken statement because it’s necessary for the speaker to convey their intent, which here is a disclaimer.

Now, it’s my turn to try this “like” thing out……..
I don’t want you to be, like feeling something similar to being bent out of shape that I find valid reasons to use English in new ways, but, seriously bear with me on this, you should look at how English has been able to convey thought in the last, like approximately thirty years and how totally substantially different those thoughts would have been shared like roughly a century ago.

Visualizing Algorithms

June 26, 2014  |  Mike Bostock  |  Visualizing Algorithms
The power of the unaided mind is highly overrated… The real powers come from devising external aids that enhance cognitive abilities. —Donald Norman Algorithms are a fascinating use case for visualization.

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I don’t see or use a lot of complex math on a day to day basis…or at least I thought so. Algorithms are funny because they pop up in very unexpected places, at least to a layman like me.

This article, while long, is broken up by a lot of illustrations of how different algorithms process information. The visualization of the algorithms was clear and straight forward, showing not only the operation of the algorithms, but how their operations are harnessed. Being a lover of art, digital media and graphic design, I was hooked quickly with the early illustration of compressing Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night. After that, I was happy to see how many ways a random arrangement of elements can be arrived at.