Archive for the ‘Word Inspection’ Category

Everyone I know is SO STUPID!!!

If you opened this post just because you read my title and wanted to slam me or remind me that the majority of the people I know are incredible, then……YHBT (You Have Been Trolled).

A troll is someone who likes to provoke others into an emotional response.  They like to disrupt the flow of comments or discussion by deliberately hurling venom to stir the pot and get a reaction.  Trolls usually like to lurk around forums, networking sites, YouTube and blogs.  I bet you have come across some before.

Trolling is when a troll trails their bait through the cyberworld, hoping for someone to bite.  People get sucked into dialogue with trolls when they try to reason with the troll, try to gently put their point across more clearly (thinking they have just been misunderstood), or by having a full-blown cyber-argument with the troll.  There is only one golden rule when coming across a troll: DNFTT (Do Not Feed The Trolls).  Period.  Ignore them, even though you may be fuming by their insensitive or bullying remarks, and they will usually go away to feed on someone else.

Another form of trolling I have come across many times as a teacher as it is ‘usually’ more common among teenagers – people who just post things for a reaction.  “This is the worst day of my life”, “I wish I was dead”, “I am so ugly”, “no one loves me”, “I’m so fat”, “She’s way prettier than me”.  Not to be taken light-heartedly if this is a true cry for help, but true cries for help usually don’t come in the form of a facebook status or twitter update. Most of the time, the person is being a troll and trying to get as many sympathetic, feel-good reassurances as possible.

Stay away from the trolls!

Eating Dirt

Chomping on earth, or buying packets of white clay at the supermarket to chew on? You are just pica participating.

Pica is the scientific term for craving and consuming things that are not food. It doesn’t have to just be dirt (although that is the most popular and more specifically called Geophagy), it can also involve craving sand, ice (in massive quantities), raw starch and cornflour, chalk, newspaper, cigarette ashes, toilet paper, paint chips, used coffee grounds and baby powder. Pregnant women form the largest group of pica-practicing-people, and the second group is of course children. Between 10% and 30% of kids ages of 1 to 6 years have the eating disorder pica, which is characterized by persistent and compulsive cravings (lasting 1 month or longer) to eat nonfood items.

In some countries, if you see a woman chomping on some dirt it is THE tell-tale sign that she is pregnant.  It really depends on where you live and your culture, for example 0.01% of Danish women eat dirt and 56% of Kenyan women eat dirt. Is this because there is something lacking in their diets, or does it depend on whether it is more culturally acceptable in certain areas and people are more likely to admit they chow down on soil?

According to KidsHealth, pica may be cause by the following –

  • nutritional deficiencies, such as iron or zinc, that may trigger specific cravings (however, the nonfood items craved usually don’t supply the minerals lacking in the person’s body)
  • dieting — people who diet may attempt to ease hunger by eating nonfood substances to get a feeling of fullness
  • malnutrition, especially in underdeveloped countries, where people with pica most commonly eat soil or clay
  • cultural factors — in families, religions, or groups in which eating nonfood substances is a learned practice
  • parental neglect, lack of supervision, or food deprivation — often seen in children living in poverty
  • developmental problems, such as mental retardation, autism, other developmental disabilities, or brain abnormalities
  • mental health conditions, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and schizophrenia
  • pregnancy, but it’s been suggested that pica during pregnancy occurs more frequently in women who exhibited similar practices during their childhood or before pregnancy or who have a history of pica in their family

Very interesting.

Yarn Bombing

This seems to be the latest craze, although I am not sure if it has made its way from America to our Australian shores just yet.

Yarn Bombing….or….Yarn Graffiti.

Where you knit something and then bomb the area with your creations.  Some people like to leave little notes for the people who find their knitting.  What a lovely way to cheer up a strangers day.

Wikipedia defines Yarn Bombing as:

Yarn bombing, yarnbombing, graffiti knitting, guerrilla knitting, or yarnstorming is a type of graffiti or street art that employs colorful displays of knitted or crocheted cloth rather than paint or chalk. While yarn installations – called yarn bombs or yarnstorms – may last for years, they are considered non-permanent, and, unlike graffiti, can be easily removed if necessary. The practice is believed to have originated in the U.S. with Texas knitters trying to find a creative way to use their leftover and unfinished knitting projects, but it has since spread worldwide. While other forms of graffiti may be expressive, decorative, territorial, socio-political commentary, advertising or vandalism, yarn bombing is almost exclusively about reclaiming and personalizing sterile or cold public places.

When you google Yarn Bombing and click on Images, you see so many beautiful things people have knitted.  Some creations must have taken ages (see tank cover below) and others are just a simple colourful touch to a rusty old pole.

A book on how to Yarn Bomb.

Jerry Kaba, 30, holds his girlfriend Jessie Hemmons, 23, up on his shoulders, as she knits a sweater on a tree in Rittenhouse Square. ( Sharon Gekoski-Kimmel / Staff Photographer) March 24, 2010.


So, who is this Santa Claus anyway?

I am very happy for people to do their own thing at Christmas, after all, it is their family and not mine.  Some people love to do the whole Santa kit-and-kaboodle and others steer clear of it.  When I was growing up, Santa played a pretty colossal role in our family Christmas – food for Santie (as I fondly called him…not really…although I wouldn’t be surprised as I love to make up horrendously lame words), carrots for his reindeers, a pillowcase of gifts at the end of our beds come early early morning, edible reindeer droppings (choc covered licorice) sprinkled on the floor from our bedrooms to the Christmas tree. Flip to the other side of the coin and you have a good point in that when your child finds out that Santa isn’t real (along with the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, the Boogey Man who will eat them if they don’t do as mummy and daddy says), will they still believe all the other ‘stories’ they have grown up with about Jesus and God and Noah and Goliath, or will they start to associate them with just made-up stories too?  These are questions that always come up at Christmas time. My husband and I have ideas of what we would like to do when we have children one day. I hear great view points on both sides of the argument and it all comes down being able to make our own decisions for our own reasons, without bring judged…hopefully.
In the meantime, here is an inspection of the words ‘Santa Claus’ and where it comes from –
Nicholas was the bishop of Myra in Lycia (modern Turkey) sometime before AD 350. Little is known of his life, but he was associated with kindness to children. For this reason, Saint Nicholas’ Day (6 December) became the traditional day for giving gifts to children in the Netherlands. This custom was taken to America by early Dutch settlers, and Santa Claus is merely an adaptation of Sinter Klaas, the Dutch version of the name ‘Saint Nicholas’. He was popularised by a poem called ‘A Visit from Saint Nicholas’ by Clement Clarke Moore, published in New York in 1823 – one that begins with the famous line, “Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house…”.
*Christmas WordWatch by Kel Richards
For more information on the origin of Santa Claus, please visit:

Why the 25th December?

Search the Bible and you will find that it doesn’t actually tell us the date on which Jesus was born. So Christians who wanted to celebrate his birth had to pick a date, and what they picked was 25 December.
In other words Christmas Day is a bit like the Queen’s Official Birthday.  The Queen was born in April but her ‘official birthday’ is celebrated in June (in Australia). In much the same way, the early Christians didn’t know Jesus’ actual birthday, so they picked a day to be his ‘official birthday’.
It was back in the year 440 that this day was picked. And it was chosen because it was close to the date of the winter solstice, 22 December. That’s about the time when the sun reaches its most southern point and starts swinging back to the north. So in the northern hemisphere it was the mid-point of winter.
From the solstice onwards the days started slowly getting longer and warmer.  Now that’s not a bad thing to celebrate: which the ancient pagans did with a big party.
When those pagans became Christians they said, “Hey, let’s keep our mid-winter party, and use it to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ”. Maybe not in exactly those words, but that was the idea. And that’s how the date for Christmas was chosen.
– * Christmas WordWatch by Kel Richards