June 11, 2017 at 6:10 pm | Posted in Australia, games, Order, Photography, wordpress photo challenge | 12 Comments
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This is the first time I have entered the wordpress photo challenge. I see it as a simple way to get back to my blog, whilst at the same time bringing a little order to it. So this week’s challenge is rather apt.

I have mentioned before that I love a game called Bananagrams. In it, one creates a crossword that brings order out of the chaos of jumbled letter tiles. I usually play on our outside verandah but, occasionally, when it is much too cold to go out, I clear a section of the dining room table and play on the tablecloth.

Here are a couple of completed Bananagrams, one I did outside and one inside. Because of the design on the tablecloth, I think that one brings more a sense of order than the other, but I love the grain on the wooden table.

IMG_8842

On the dining room tablecloth

IMG_7989

On the verandah table

 

Bananagrams allow me to bring some order into my life when it feels like things are out of control. They make a great way to relax.

Z is for Zed and Zee

April 30, 2014 at 10:15 am | Posted in Culture, Society, Ways of Living | 9 Comments
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A2Z-BADGE-000 [2014]

 

The Zed

 

I’ve always thought it strange that the U.S.A. has a different pronunciation for a simple letter of the alphabet than her mother country Britain, and the rest of the English-speaking world

What we pronounce as ‘zed’, the Americans pronounce as ‘zee’. The reason for the difference can be found at “Today I Found Out”. Zee has always sounded weird to my ears, though I am becoming used to hearing it around me more often. Many people here in Australia watch American shows on TV and go to American movies at the cinema. To an ever growing extent, the younger ones are taking up the American pronunciation.RoyRogers &DaleEvans 1950s

Of course, Americanisation of Australian culture didn’t just begin with the current generation. When I was young, I loved to watch and read about the American West. Our own west was seen as unexciting.

 

That's me on the left.

That’s me on the left.

 

I wanted a cowboy set for Christmas one year. Not a girl’s set, but a boy’s; boys had more fun then. I got one! My sister received a cowgirl set – she wasn’t a tomboy like me.

gun& holster set

 

Television and movies have done a great deal for the infiltration of American ideas, words, and ways of doing things. One of the reasons it was so successful in Australia up until about the 1990s is what we called the “Cultural Cringe”. Australians were ashamed of their culture, thinking it could never measure up to the British or the American.

Cultural cringe

Thankfully, we now realise that we have a lot to offer the world. Indeed, our scientists and medical researchers are world class and often in demand. So are our actors, our inventors and our pop stars.

However, all that is too late to halt the insidious incursion of the American idiom into our everyday speech. Along with other words, ‘lift’ is becoming ‘elevator’; ‘footpath’ is becoming ‘sidewalk’; ‘bonnet’ and ‘boot’ (of a car) are becoming ‘hood’ and ‘trunk’.

Don’t ask for ‘chips’ in MacDonald’s, they only have ‘fries’. And when you ask the youngsters there for a ‘biscuit’, they say, “We don’t have biscuits, I’m afraid; only cookies.”

 

cookies

 

Even our emergency call number 000 is under threat. Many TV watchers dial the American 911, believing it to be our emergency number too. Telephone providers have had to adapt their systems to allow for a 911 call to go to our own  emergency lines.

Call 000

All this shows how one culture can affect another so much in a relatively subtle way. Cultural exchange can be a very positive force for renewal and the creation a vital nation. But that works best when it is slow and steady, as it had been until relatively recently, and when countries already share many aspects of culture and they are given time to adapt.

Cross culture exchange

When high numbers of people are forced to flee to other countries in fear of their lives, the receiving countries can become fearful that their own culture will be undermined. This is especially true when the race, religion and culture of the asylum seekers are very different to those of their hosts.

However, I am not dealing with that violent aspect here. All I want to do is to show how a culture can gradually change through such simple things as words and their pronunciation.

 

z_zed_not_zee_napkins from zazzle

 

We are all seeing change in the culture of our various countries. Are you happy with gradual change, bur have a fear of rapid change?

 

(c) Linda Visman  30.04.14  (555 words)

 

Where’s That Word?

September 8, 2010 at 9:21 am | Posted in Writing | Leave a comment
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Too often, although I know so many words, I can’t bring them to mind when I want them. I feel like I’m reaching into a thick, rich alphabet soup, trying to find the one or two words I need out of the millions that are swirling around. As you do with a real soup, you aim for a particular bit, a juicy bit of meat, or a rich slice of vegetable, but it keeps eluding your spoon. It wants to stay there with all its fellows, warm and comfortable.

Little does that word know that if it would only allow itself to be caught, it would grow and multiply – not be consumed. That’s the difference between chicken vegetable soup and a soup of words. Oh, I do wish those words wouldn’t constantly hide from me! I want to have them as friends. Show them off in my stories and poems, or in my cryptic crosswords. You’d think they’d like that!

Other words sometimes jump out of the soup as I stir it. A bit like a fish jumping for an insect, or maybe even for joy. But they aren’t the ones I need right then. They just don’t fit into the line, or the sentence. They don’t have the right meaning or the right cadence. Not like the one I’m really looking for and can’t find. It doesn’t matter whether I scratch my head, chew my pen; or rack my brain for the most suitable word – or sometimes, even for the simplest of words – it doesn’t come.

Right now, I want words for waves – water waves, that is. The kind of words that ripple or roar, tinkle or crash, drip or cascade. Words like ripple, wavelet, comber and tsunami. But that’s as far as I can go. There must be more, but I just can’t think of them. They elude me. I know they’re there in my head. I’ve used them before. You’d think I could find them again, but, oh, no, they’ve gone on holiday somewhere.

I suppose I’ll just have to do what I always do – bring out the thesaurus. And, if I can’t find the words I need, then that award for the best poem or that delightful short story, full of wonderful imagery, brought to life by the apt use of just the right words, will go to someone else’s piece – again!

Where’s That Word?

February 8, 2010 at 6:06 am | Posted in Writing and Life | 2 Comments
Tags: , ,

Too often, although I know so many words, I can’t bring them to mind when I want them. I feel like I’m reaching into a thick, rich alphabet soup, trying to find the one or two words I need out of the millions that are swirling around. As you do with a real soup, you aim for a particular bit, a juicy piece of meat, or a rich slice of vegetable, but it keeps eluding your spoon. It wants to stay there with all its fellows, warm and comfortable. Little does that word know that if it would only allow itself to be caught, it would grow and multiply – not be consumed. That’s the difference between chicken vegetable soup and a soup of words.

Oh, I do wish those words wouldn’t constantly hide from me! I want to have them as friends. Show them off in my stories and poems, or in my cryptic crosswords. You’d think they’d like that!

Other words sometimes jump out of the soup as I stir it. A bit like a fish jumping for an insect, or maybe even for joy. But they aren’t the ones I need right then. They just don’t fit into the line, or the sentence. They don’t have the right meaning or the right cadence. Not like the one I’m really looking for and can’t find. It doesn’t matter whether I scratch my head, chew my pen; or rack my brain for the most suitable word – or sometimes, even for the simplest of words. It doesn’t come.

Right now, I want words for waves – water waves, that is. The kind of words that ripple or roar, tinkle or crash, drip or cascade. Words like ripple, wavelet, comber and tsunami. But that’s as far as I can go. There must be more, but I just can’t think of them. They elude me. I know they’re there in my head. I’ve used them before. You’d think I could find them again, but, oh, no, they’ve gone on holiday somewhere.

I suppose I’ll just have to do what I always do – bring out the thesaurus. And, if I can’t find the words I need, then that award-winning poem, or that delightful short story, full of wonderful imagery, brought to life by the apt use of just the right words, will go to someone else’s piece – again!

© Linda Visman

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