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  Monday, July 19, 2004

Nigerian Worried Phone Calls May Kill Them. An urban legend is making its way around Nigeria that has many people afraid to answer their phones. Apparently, a large number of people actually believe that picking up phone calls from specific numbers will kill them immediately. [Techdirt Corporate Intelligence:]

One wonders if such ignorance is being distributed by the same folks who prevented thousands of Nigerian children from receiving polio vaccinations, resulting in a the reappearance of a previously eradicated disease. This sort of willful ignorance is far more deadly than bad spelling.

1:24:23 PM    Questions? Comments? Flames? []

Lynne Truss, author of Eats, Shoots & Leaves, has some things to say about standards in spelling and grammar in this Telegraph piece. Arguments for Writing English the Right Way are a dime a dozen, but Truss shakes things up with an appeal to social mobility:

If you encourage people to write the way they talk, class divisions are ultimately reinforced, even exacerbated. I'm a working-class girl who read a lot of books and grew up to - well, to write this piece in The Telegraph anyway, so maybe I have an old-fashioned view of education as the instrument of social mobility. But it's pretty clear to anyone that, if children are taught that "getting the gist" is sufficient, everyone stays where they are.

Another tidbit:

Why should the comprehension level of an eight-year-old be our standard for anything?

1:16:02 PM    Questions? Comments? Flames? []

I feel old. Three years or so ago I hurt my back. I'd like to say that I hurt it doing something cool like slam dancing or hauling kegs of beer into the basement, but no, actually I hurt it doing yoga. There is of course a certain irony in that: only someone as Type A as I am could injure themselves relaxing.... [limon :: by Laura Lemay]

And I hurt my hip while sitting zazen years ago (trying to force myself into the lotus position. Bad idea.). Now I meditate sitting in a chair. I won't go into the state of my back, which was revealed by an MRI while trying to work out why my foot hurt (it's all connected, you know). Yes, my body's starting to feel old, but some days I still think like a teenager. . .

9:03:53 AM    Questions? Comments? Flames? []

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