First up, we have a fun little brainteaser from this site:
What nine-letter word in the English language is still a word when each of the nine letters is removed one by one (not in any particular order)?
(Answer after the cut.)
Second, exciting news! My cousin-in-law, Liz, is pregnant (well, I knew that already, but you didn’t) and is doing very well! It’s going to be a girl. Even though I probably won’t get out to see the wee sprite until probably at least several months after birth, I can’t wait to see lots of pictures and adorable baby feet. I hope she has red hair like Liz, ‘cause red hair is awesome.
Next, some interesting links (now, with Commentary!):
Top Ten Things Authors Should Not Do At Amazon
Or, If You Can’t Take the Criticism, Don’t Write the Book.
In short, someone criticized author Leslie Carroll (a.k.a. Amanda Elyot)'s book in an Amazon review. The author came back with several comments, including:
...trashing authors online is rude, not to mention, bad karma. There are many books I have begun to read and couldn’t finish, and many more that I didn’t care for at all, but, being an author myself I am not comfortable, nor do I feel compelled, to share my opinion in a public forum. After all, it’s only mine, and it would be the equivalent of stopping another mother on the street just to gloat, “my, you have an ugly baby!” It’s an unnecessary and unpleasant encounter.
Geez. Hasn’t this author ever heard of free speech? I always love it when authors (usually this is seen more in fanfic-land, but still) say, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” Ch’yah! Where would we be if no one ever gave constructive criticism? Plodding along in mediocreland while thinking we were better than we are at things. Plus, that’s just a ridiculous Entitlement statement right there. If you publish something, you’re holding it up for approval or critique. You don’t then have the right to tell people, “I showed you this thing in a public forum, but if you don’t like it you can’t tell anyone. Because it’s miiiiine! *rolls eyes* I mean, if the person is saying something inaccurate or downright wrong about your book, ok, then I could see stepping in to correct or whatever. But if it's just an opinion being expressed? Please. It’s like some writers just want praise and attention, whether their actual product is good or crap. But I don’t play that way, and no one else should either. We all have the right to have opinions and to express them. True, that doesn’t mean we have to do so. But if we want to say, “This book is crappy,” then we can. Bonus points, of course, if we say it without being nasty or unhelpful as to why, because that is rude. But no matter how it’s said, we still have the right to say it, and if you're submitting your work to the public, hoping for praise, you should also expect criticism. That's just how it goes, so deal with it, lame author.
Next up, ’Fanboy’ gets legitimized; no luck for ‘fangirl’
Merriam-Webster has added 100 new words to their dictionary this year, and one of them is...fanboy.
Well, ok, that’s cool. Fanboy’s been around for awhile, we all probably use it now and again, along with its counterpart, fangirl. Which...wait...what?? Fangirl is NOT one of the 100 new words added to the dictionary?!?
OK, now I call shenanigans. WHAT THE HELL, DICTIONARY FOLKS?!? Are we women who are “enthusiastic devotees (as of comics or movies)” not good enough for you? I mean, f’real. You only have to read my journal or that of just about any other LiveJournaler out there who is female to see we can be just as crazy and obsessed about pop culture (celebrity squee!), comics (Deadpool Deadpool Deadpool), movies (OMG Iron Man & The Dark Knight!), TV (LOST LOST LOSSSST), video games (did I mention Dave just got us Super Smash Brothers Melee to play? Kirby is so awesome), books (Discworld Convention, hurrah!) etc. as any guy you put in front of us. I’d even venture to say that we can sometimes obsess MORE than Teh Boys. (I am probably more fannish than Dave, for instance, when it comes to hardcore obsession.) So what gives?
The woman who’s journal I linked wrote to the Merriam-Webster folks, and this is the reply she got back:
A word is only entered in our dictionaries when it meets three criteria: widespread usage in well-read publications; established usage over a certain period of time; and an easily discernable definition. For “fangirl” to be entered, then, it will need to appear in a number of well-read print sources for a good number of years.
I did a quick check of our citational database, which house upwards of 17 million citations of words in context, and we only have a handful of citations for “fangirl.” I’m afraid that without more citational backing (and a longer usage history), it’s currently not eligible for entry.
So, in other words, we’d better start using and citing fangirl early and often if we ever want to be recognized for the geeks we are.
There. That should be a start, at least.
And speaking of my fannish ways, did I link this Cable & Deadpool article before? I can’t remember, but I found it yesterday while searching for a good C&DP wallpaper, and it made me tearily happy. Aw. Why did the run have to end???
Cable & Deadpool: Thanks for the Memories
And speaking of wallpapers, did you realize Marvel.com has a whole slew of “official” wallpapers that you can search by character? It’s pretty awesome. Not only do they have great C&DP ones, but they have some fun ones from the Iron Man movie, too.
Check ‘em out.
And now, finally, part three of the Alphabet Meme.
Q - Qdoba (particle_person)
Ah, Qdoba! Qdoba has the most fantastic taco salads, and I am sad there aren’t more near my home and/or work, because sometimes I craaave it. What makes it the best is not only the fresh salad ingredients, but the shell, which is crispy and tastes a bit like fry bread (if it’s fresh. I had a stale one once and it made me sooo sad.) I used to go to Qdoba more when I worked at The Temp Job From Hell in NJ. Sometimes the only thing that made that place bearable was going for lunch at Qdoba with my fellow Lawyer In Hell, Esere. We had a good time.
R - Recipes (ringlass)
Recipes are fun! I tend to cook sporadically, but when I find something that works really well or that I really like, then I’ll keep the recipe and make it again and again. *g* Some of my favorite recipes are my Welsh White Cookie recipe, my sangria recipe, and my White Chicken Chili recipe. All mmmm-y. I also have a great recipe for an alcoholic ice-cream drink called a “Tumbleweed,” which the lovely people at The Irish Lion in Bloomington gave me once. I haven’t tried it at home yet, but I intend to!
S - Soap Operas (rivian)
Oh, dear. When I was in seventh grade my sister started watching General Hospital, and soon we were both hooked. We could not stop watching the drama drama drama, until about a year in. Then we stopped because we’d discovered that that’s about how long a soap opera can use every conceivable dramatic plot gimmick before it starts either a) recycling them; or b) being completely (as opposed to somewhat) unbelievable, and therefore not fun anymore. I think the Evil Twin plot (or something? It was a Felicity subplot, I think) may have been the dealbreaker for us. Anyway, I’ve never really watched one since. (Except maybe Passions, one time, in fascinated horror because WHY can the dummy talk, WHY???? So. Creepy.)
T - Tomatoes (library_of_sex)
Is the tomato scare over yet? Hope so! As for tomatoes in general, neither I nor my sister would eat tomatoes, tomato sauce, or tomato in any form other than ketchup when we were kids. Somehow that seems to have worn off now, although I still like to only have light sauce on pasta and things. Strangely enough, my childhood antipathy towards brussel sprouts has not abated. NOR WILL IT!
U - Underrated (vwlphb)
All the things I am a fan of are so underrated! Well, or under-popularized. Which is good in some ways, because it’s nice to know you are one of a smaller group of fans and ZOMG you loved them before they were so mainstream and whatever. But on the other hand, with more exposure comes more opportunities for these things to be seen/written/produced. So come on, everyone! Jump on the Terry Pratchett (underpublicized in the U.S. until about maybe 4 years ago), Dylan Moran (why do more people not worship him, why??), Deadpool (if enough of us mutiny against Daniel Way writing the new series, maybe we will succeed in replacing him, and also he needs his own movie), and Matthew Good (ok, I know he’s huge in Canada, but again: U.S. folks, what are you thinking? LOVE HIM) bandwagons. It’s FUN!
V - Vanity (rivian)
As in the trait or the furniture? Just kidding! Um. Hrm. Vanity is annoying? It’s a bad thing? If more people realized that everyone has their good and bad traits and they aren’t really better than the general population for whatever reason, we’d be nicer as a society? Yeah, I don’t really know what else to say about vanity. (Oh no! I’ve become boring!) Vanity Sucks.
W - Walt Disney (vwlphb)
My favorite Disney movies are The Lion King (The music! The vistas!), The Little Mermaid (The catchy tunes! The sweet story of nearly-unrequited love!), Aladdin (Best. Lyrics. Ever. Also, lots of treasure. Plus that one scene where they are fleeing in a tunnel from a big gush of fire, and the tunnel walls and fire look really, really real. Well done, animators), and Dumbo (Aw, the little floppy-eared baby. LOVE.). But really, I enjoy most of them. I don’t enjoy the way they have pandered to the profit-over-quality idea lately, though, with their 1,000,001 lame direct-to-DVD princess whoever adventures and whatnot, but what can you do?
I also find the sexual references added by animators in several movies disturbing but hilarious.
X - X-files (ringlass)
Watched it some when younger; didn’t really see that many eps; always liked the premise but never really had the time; will totally go see the movie, though, particularly since it’s supposed to be able to stand on its own without people knowing all the previous stories.
Y - Yogurt (library_of_sex)
Is the Breakfast of Champions! For me, anyway. Nearly every morning I eat yogurt, and I ♥ it. Particularly the Yoplait brand, although Brown Cow isn’t too bad, either. My favorite flavor was Yoplait’s custard-y Crème Caramel, but either they’ve stopped making it or someone always gets there before me and buys every single one, because I haven’t seen it in months. *cries*
Z - Zombie movies (corkdorkdan)
Not a huge zombie-movie watcher, but I own and love Shaun of the Dead, since Simon Pegg et. al are completely hilarious and awesome. AND Dylan Moran is in it. Although what happens to him is extremely unfair. AND DISTURBING. *is scarred*
And that’s all the alphabet we have!!!
Brainteaser Answer: STARTLING