An Open Letter to the Elderly Woman on the Bus the Other Day

Dear Elderly Woman on the Bus the Other Day,

Let me start by apologizing for the fact that I don’t know your name, I should’ve asked but at the time it just didn’t come up. I imagine it would be something inappropriately badass for a woman of your age; something of a Xena, M or even Agent 99 would be fitting.

You probably wouldn’t expect my likening you to a warrior woman when we first met. After all, I imagine not many women in their late eighties would conjure such an image in one’s mind, but you certainly did. Maybe it was because you were sitting right up the back of the bus, like a high-school rebel, rocking your purple cardigan and white knitted hat. Or maybe it was just something to do with your general aura.

Anyway, I would just like to say thank you for absolutely making my day. Of all the people I strike up conversation with on public transport (I never really got the “don’t talk to strangers’ memo) you are by far my favourite. In the short fifteen or so minutes that we chatted you taught me many life lessons, most of which I assume have no basis other than your own meandering experience. Among other things, you taught me that being late is fine so long as you make an entrance, to always make sure you have lipstick on (“You never know when Mr. Clooney is going to wander into the supermarket”) and to never leave home without a middle finger to stick to someone who pisses you off. It is these fragments of possibly ill-guided advice that I will now implore myself to live by.

You can thus understand my utmost devastation when you got off at the next stop, and this being a route I don’t usually take I only later realised my predicament of not crossing paths with you again. Believe me had I realised this earlier I would have said this all to you in person, but at the time all I managed was a “Have a good day!” and you a “I always do”. If I am half as cool as you are at any point in my lifetime I will be insurmountably pleased with myself.

I would like to finish by saying that if the demi Gods of coincidence ever look down on me favourably and we should cross paths again, I will certainly shout you that skinny flat white you have been dying for all day.

Kind regards,

Girl on the Bus the Other Day

Why Auto-Correct Is The Devil

Taylor Mali, poet and all around linguistic genius, once spoke of a problem affecting ‘manly manly students across the Word’, a problem so deeply ingrained in our society that the worst offenders don’t even know that they are taking part. Mali described this in his poem, The The Impotence of Proofreading. However, Mr. Mali, your highness-almighty, through a series of unfortunate and tortuous experiences I have boiled this down even further to one single compromising factor, and I am here today to share this with you.

From a very young age we learn to read, we learn to write, we learn to dot our I’s and we learn to add apostrophe’s to our possessives. Then somewhere along the long twisted road to adulthood, we forget a few of those rules, not really the important ones, but a few nonetheless. That is to say, some rules are less memorable but we can still function as human beings when it comes to communication of the written form.

Fast forward a little while and somewhere around the turn of the Century came Mr. Jobs with his good intentions and Apple wizardry, and as a generation we all lost our fucking (excuse my language) minds. It changed the world, but was it for the better? I have to say, as an IPhone user and winner of my second grade Spelling Bee, I find it a little ironic that the smart phone is the one piece of technology that is making us dumber.

According to a study by the BBC, in a poll of over 2,000 students it was found that over a third could not spell the word ‘definitely’, two-thirds could not spell the word ‘necessary’ and, in an even more alarming statistic, only 9% said that they never use spellcheck to correct such errors for them.

And there it is, those fateful words – spellcheck. The Apple Computers term is ‘auto-correct’, and it’s that handy little popup bubble that manages to edit all of your misspellings before you get a chance to notice you’ve made them. Pre-installed, ready to dull your mind of any prior knowledge of ‘I before E’. Yes auto-correct, I have come to accept, is the most harmful piece of technology currently gracing this planet.

The BBC has even given us all a name, “The Auto-Correct Generation”. Not only is this an outrageously bland and uninventive nickname, it just doesn’t do justice to the creative, inspiring and resourceful minds which should be depictive of those growing up in the tech boom. As the youngest generation we are among the likes of Leila Janah and Jay Kimmelman who with their companies, are working to end third-world poverty. We are among the likes of Jack Andraka, who received the National Jefferson Award at the age of 17 for his work on a potential method for detecting the early stages of pancreatic, ovarian and lung cancers. Yes, there is a boy the age of 15 who is curing cancers, but alas here we are, known as the generation who can’t spell the third-grade level word ‘definitely’.

Ian McNeilly, director of the National Association for the Teaching of English said that the use of auto-correct in phones and computers has become a ‘knee-jerk reaction’,

“if people are blindly writing things and expecting automated programs to address all of their inaccurate spellings, that’s a concern – because they won’t. It’s the linguistic equivalent of indiscriminate sat nav users driving into canals”.

You heard the man.

Driving.

Into.

Canals.

I’m not going to lie to you all, there was a point in my life where I was an autocorrected zombie too. However, one lazy Sunday afternoon after letting various family and acquaintances in my contact list know I would be ‘coming in for a sex’ instead of a ‘sec’, something clicked in my brain and at that very moment I collectively lost my will to live and battled through the twelve layers of Settings mastery to turn off autocorrect. And it is the best decision I ever made. It sounds pretentious but I refuse, as a human being living on this fine Earth, to leave it to a machine to spell for me.

Autocorrect is the devil, and I am a woman scorned.

However, I still live it hope. I like to think of myself as a reckless optimist, but I do have my limits. Hashtags and memes, not a problem, emoji’s are absolutely fine (the moonface is my favourite), but sometimes even the Oxford Dictionary likes to test the parameters. A quick flick through the modern dictionary will reveal that due to popular usage, words like ‘bruh’ and ‘awesomesauce’ have been added to it’s hallowed pages. Surely we realize there’s a problem with that when Microsoft Word still puts that dreaded little red squiggle under those words (they are sitting there right now as I type just taunting me).

Anyhow, I digress.

Generation Y I am talking to you here. This is do or die now, for the love of all that is good and pure just turn off your autocorrect. Learn to spell words again, learn to finish typing words even. I refuse to believe that such a boundless and innovative group of humans can be defined as the most aggressively inarticulate generation there has ever been. We have the world’s resources at our feet, we can research, we can learn, we can question and we can investigate. So why are we all still stuck here struggling with which witch is which? I’m not saying any of us need to go back to school, or attend a nation-wide spelling bee, but I am saying that in between all the IPhones, IPads, and IPods, I’ve just had enough.

Definitely.

Grand Return and Life Musings

So here we are, bet you never thought this day was coming hey? I’ve been taking “long time, no blog” to the next level. I could’ve easily let this roll around to the two year silence but that just isn’t my style…one year eight months is pretty perfect.

Now you’re probably all wondering why I haven’t been on here – what could I have possibly been doing for this length of time to have warranted such actions? I realise I’ve left you all hanging and being the dedicated and unwavering audience that you are I think it’s only fair I explain myself properly. No doubt you have all waited patiently, checking every day without fail to see if Write and Day was back in the stratosphere and finally after all this time the silence is broken. The truth is, I was writing a detailed and all-encompassing biography on the longevity of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s marriage. That uh…fell through. Anyway I’m back!

What else have I done in that nearly two years? I was going to give you a day-by-day run through but I changed my mind at about day 423 so I’ll just sum it up briefly – I did some study, read a book or two, discovered I enjoy pickles, saved some money, spent some money, drank wine, laughed a lot, cried a little, got a tattoo (small, modest, meaningful), tried learning chess (still haven’t won a game but I’ll keep you updated), didn’t get stung by any bees, and ticked off a couple of bucket listings along the way.

I’ve even gone M.I.A. on you all before but that was just for a mere month! A MONTH! I even wrote a whole blog post apologising for my rude and lengthy disappearance (To read that post click here, but not here). If only I’d known what was coming, I’d have given myself an aneurysm.

Anywho, there wasn’t anything in particular I wanted to chat about other than getting something out there into the big bad blogging world so this is pretty much the end of this post. Short and sweet seems a good way to go at this point.

Who knows maybe you’ll hear from me tomorrow (probably not), maybe I’ll be back next week (probably not). Either way I will be back so stay tuned.

I don’t know about you but 2018 is feeling like a good year for the old blog…

Stay zesty,

Write and Day

(Authors Note: I’ve never signed off any of these blogs before and I don’t know why I did it that time but I kind of like the jazziness of it so I’m going to leave it there just this once). 

 

Chimborazo

You would have all guessed by now my love for fun facts (as seen in Fun Facts for You and various other posts) and my love for poet and TedTalker extraordinaire Rives (as seen in The 4am Mystery). So put those two together and you are looking at just about my favourite YouTube clip on the entire internet. And of course I just had to share it with you all, so prepare yourself for a motherload of fun facts you probably didn’t know (and your Dad probably doesn’t know) in 10 minutes of pure brilliance. Give it a watch –

And there we have it….Chimborazo.

Blog Log – The Fellowship of the Blog

Check out Blog Log #1 – Blog Log #2 – Blog Log #3

[AUTHORS NOTE 2016 – Well, safe to say time has well and truly taken its toll on the ol’ blog log since this update and this is quite outdated…take it all with a grain of salt and note that I’ve moved the hyperlinks to more fun locations in the absence of real content) 

Well give me a ring and call me Frodo, Blog Log is back baby! It feels like only yesterday we were all cringing at the terribly-wonderful Lord of the Rings/Hobbit references we have come to know and love about blog log, ahh the memories. Seriously though it’s been nearly six months since its last installment! Whaaaaaaaaat!

So what has happened to Write and Day in that six months? Well, we have now officially moved over to www.writeandday.com (WOOOHOOO! Check out that sweet domain name hey?!) which was a highly technical and way-too-computery process for anyone to handle, but hey got there in the end. And it is seriously exciting! I feel like a proud parent sending their child off to high-school – MY BABY’S ALL GROWN UP WITH IT’S OWN .COM!….too much? maybe.

Also, if you haven’t noticed already someone’s done a bit of fiddling with the banner… Anywho, while on the super-duper high-tech upgrading train, Write and Day is also on twitter! Shoot us a tweet @writeandday – I’m always finding some random fun fact-ish things on there to share with you guys (in 140 characters or less).

So yes, Write and Day is here just chugging away nicely, doing it’s own thing as per usual. Oh and before I forget! A big shoutout to all of the new followers who have jumped on the Write and Day bandwagon since the last blog log, for I would rather share one blog post with you than face all the Ages of this WordPress alone …okay, I’ll give Tolkein the credit for that one but welcome aboard nonetheless.

Fun Facts For You

Did you know that the most Googled question of 2013 was “What is twerking?”. It’s a little sad isn’t it? That of all the people on this Earth with access to Google, of all the brilliant minds teeming with curiosity and knowledge, the one thing that collectively we wanted to know most, of everything there is to know, is what twerking is.

Considering we are in December, and around now is the time when people look back on their New Year’s resolutions and smile in wonderous awe at how on earth they thought that diet was going to work, I figure I’ll share with you one of mine – “To learn more about the world and the people in it”. And honestly I think I have achieved that, so in my own special ‘up yours’ to twerking I’m going to share with you some fun facts about the world (and the people in it).

  1. If the whole population of China were to walk past you in a single file line, it would take about 30 years (considering the rate of reproduction etc).
  1. The Apple Iphone is the second best-selling product of all time after (any last minute guesses?….) the Rubik’s cube.
  1. It takes a photon 200,000 years to travel from the core of the sun to its surface, then just a little over 8 minutes from the sun’s surface to your eyeball.
  1. Cleopatra lived closer to the time of the first moon landing than the building of the Great Pyramid of Giza. (Yep I did my fact checking on this one – Cleopatra was born 69BC, 2,515 years after the pyramids were built and 2,038 years before the moon landing).
  1. Dr. Seuss wrote the book ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ to win a bet against his publisher who thought he couldn’t complete a book with only 50 words.

Now if these don’t get you Googling something more worthwhile than what twerking is then I don’t know what will.

On ‘Gone Girl’

Like so many others before me, I just finished reading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Actually, let me rephrase that, I just demolished Gone Girl. I am not exaggerating when I say I finished this book in a day. Today in fact. And not many books manage to get me so hooked that I can’t put them down, The Fault In Our Stars being the last 24-hour read before this one (Okay? Okay).

Anyway, I bought the paperback a while ago and had it on my ‘To Read’ list for far longer than I should have. And yes, I did only decide to actually pick it up because the film version came out. And yes, I have had to run out of conversations, ears blocked and humming to avoid hearing any spoilers.

So I picked it up. And I didn’t put it back down until I was on the last page.

I’m not going to reveal any spoilers here (you can stop humming now) but can we all just take a moment, for those of us still reeling from those final pages to…I don’t know…reel from those final pages.

I mean, break my heart Gillian you could’ve given us something! Something! Anything! Gah!

I’m also going to admit it took me about 300 pages into the book to realize that the name ‘Go’ wasn’t an odd way of spelling ‘Joe’, but was actually short for Margo and was pronounced go as in stop. A frustrating little nickname that one. But never mind that, it really is the ending that has got everyone divided. It seems you either loved it or like me, was eerily bothered by it.

Anyone? Anyone else seeing where I’m coming from here?

Hmmm…it definitely got me thinking either way.