What I'm Reading, Vol. Thirty

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Hark! Is that the sound of bastions crumbling? (via Oxford Words)
We're not just crabby old pedants: there's a serious issue at stake here. The more people hear or read such linguistic lapses, validated by occurring in trusted, authoritative sources, the more they will replicate these in their own writing, and a vicious circle is created. I feel passionately that, in all news reporting and other factual or 'serious' programming, media organizations should adhere to standard English. Why? Because departures from standard English on this scale hinder effective communication and understanding. We're likely to be distracted from the actual content or misinterpret what's being said. Every time a presenter or journalist deviates from the norm, the message they're trying to convey to listeners, readers, and viewers is becoming diluted or, worse, lost completely.

How Numbers on Facebook Change Behavior (via The Atlantic)
To keep its 1.3 billion users clicking and posting (and stalking), Facebook scatters numbers everywhere. While it collects many metrics that users never see, it tells users plenty of others, too. Facebook tells you the number of friends you have, the number of likes you receive, the numbers of messages you get, and even tracks the timestamp to show how recently an item entered the news feed. Put simply, the numbers encourage users to feel compelled to want more numbers. For example, friend count is seen as a mark of status because Facebook places a small "+1" next to the "Add Friend" button. Even if the user isn't aware of doing so, the number encourages her to make more connections, because she's shown that adding a friend is a positive action. That results in an overall and innate need for more on Facebook.

Confessions of a Woman with Resting B Face (via Verily Magazine)
There are some plusses to having RBF. For one, it's a good people-filter. People have to see past it in order to deal with me. If someone has bothered to get to know me well enough to befriend me, then they already made it through my built-in screening process. If someone is constantly mean-mugging you for no apparent reason, you have to really like some characteristics about them in order to get past it. Score one for me!

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  1. Sigh I love the look of old fans.

    Anyway, I'm going to have to read Confessions of a Woman with Rest B Face - I seem to have the same problem. Even when I was a teenager people would be like SMILE! and I'm all "WTH I'm happy- this is just my face".

    The Facebook thing does not surprise me. What's funny is I'm always trying to make it more difficult for people to add me as a friend, and I only allow myself to check it ONCE a day.


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