Words, Good Words

I was planning to focus solely on Valentines’ sites this week, but found myself scanning other nooks and crannies around cyberspace. And yet, the theme that emerges for this week’s picks has to do with words.

Anyone who finds himself having to write something can find useful information this week.


Why We Write (http://whywewriteseries.wordpress.com). The writers’ strike has affected our television programs, including several award shows. These same striking writers were asked to contribute to this blog. So, you will find very good writing here, which makes for fun reading. This blog may appeal more to us writers of any genre, but if you wonder what makes a writer click, you will find many answers here.


Valentine Love Letters (www.links2love.com). Despite generally being geared towards a teenage audience, this site has one great section that anyone can enjoy. Here you can read the love letters of famous personalities such as Napoleon to Josephine, Victor Hugo to Adele Foucher, and Zelda Sayre to F. Scott Fitzgerald. Plus many more. “Don’t you think I was made for you? I feel like you ordered me…”Zelda exclaims. One is unlikely to find any more eloquent scribblings about love anywhere else on the Web. If you’re interested, some of the other stuff at this site includes flirtability quizzes and a valentine quote generator.


Buzzwhack (www.buzzwhack.com). This site was created to “demystify buzzwords.” It includes a separate IMglish dictionary. IM, for the unenlightened, is “instant messaging,” also text messaging. .MIHAP? I am AATK. BWTHDIK?  That is the short form of “May I have your attention please? I am always at the keyboard. But what the heck do I know?” Texting is much easier than spelling out each word. That requires actual spelling skills. And, who has time for spell-check, anyway? Me, because I’m not ready to join the texting generation. It’s still gibberish to me.


Fight the Bull (www.fightthebull.com). Speaking of gibberish, business jargon can be a pain  to read and understand. This site, which offers a free download of a “bull-whipper,” will analyze that verbose piece of unintelligible writing and score it. Many of you may be unaware that MS Word has a thesaurus, a word-count checker, and a wonderful composition-checker, the Flesch Reading Score. (My score is 60 for this column, with a reading grade level of 7.8) The latter utility is something I use for my longer pieces of writing, and it tells me at what grade level a reader can understand my writing, among other things. It is a wonderful helper for all writers. Now comes along this bull-whipper, which will rate your document’s ease of comprehension. I did not download the software, but I used another option found at the site: you can paste in a hard-to-read document and send it to the person who wrote it via e-mail. So, if your boss writes terrible memos that no one in the office understands, then you can alert him to his errors via the “Mystery Matador.” The boss will receive a friendly e-mail pointing out his errors. Go ahead; I tried it on my own piece of writing. It is friendly, and this service is anonymous, so the boss won’t know who sent it (unless you are his only employee).


Weather Cancellations (www.cancellations.com). As I sit here writing this, our local schools are closed due to the ice storm/freezing weather. If you have a child in school, you either watch the ribbon running across your television screen or turn on the radio for information. Maybe you call the school and hear a busy signal The ribbon on my very old screen is partially cut off, so that would not work for me if I had school-age kids. But, I can log on to this website and find out which area schools are closed or having delays. It works for businesses too, but you have to log in your school or business and keep the information updated for it to be effective for your students, employees, or customers. Spread the word.


~ by IndianaDunesPoet on February 5, 2008.

One Response to “Words, Good Words”

  1. That fight the bull one is hilarious! I sent it to my girl because she’s always complaining about her principal’s memo writing ability!


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