Wednesday, December 12, 2007


It's official. Gaming lexicon is becoming mainstream.

Merriam-Webster's word of '07: 'w00t' [M-W, NYT]

I've been using it in IMs for a while now, and if faculty are using it, it sure ain't street anymore.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Before there was 1337 speak...

An interesting post on the jargon of various trades at the Modern Mechanix blog, "OLD WORDS GET NEW MEANING IN Queer Trade Lingoes" from the February, 1933, Popular Science. The section on "Ham Jargon"bears some resemblance to 1337 speak, for similar reasons of efficiency.
Since his language is generally talked via the air in dots and dashes, he has been driven to cut everything clown to the “bones. “Old man” becomes OM; “young lady,” YL; “nothing doing,” XD; “see you later,” CUL; and “fine business,” FB.
I'm totally going to start using "FB" in my chats.

Monday, September 17, 2007

dudes, I need professor advice

Question from friend via Facebook...

Are we confirming or ignoring friend requests from our students?

My response:
Because I teach about writing, new media, online culture, and professional communication, I see Facebook as an extension of my teaching. I accept student friend requests because participating online like this is part of my pedagogy. Therefore, I seek to model good, professional, ethical online participation and "friending" them and allowing them to see how I manage my online identity as *part* of my professional identity is in my teaching perview. For those who teach in other areas, the purpose and boundaries are less clear. It's up to you. If you do deny them, however, I'd include an explanatory note that you are using Facebook for personal reasons and I'd change my settings so only friends can see your content. I think we're either all in or we have to use social networking spaces privately.

Friday, July 20, 2007

WinTabber -- at long last

My students frequently hear me rant about technologies I dislike. One of my longest-standing complaints is that Windows won't give me control over the order in which programs appear in the task bar at the bottom of the screen. For some reason, the order of that workspace is important to me, but I can't drag the tabs to order them as I would have them. To get the order I so desperately crave, I tend to open programs in a particular sequence -- but you're out of luck if you want to move anything.

A former student emailed me a Lifehacker post about WinTabber to let me know there was a solution.

Is it bad that my techno-rants are so vitriolic that former students send me emails about them?

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Firefox's "Restore Session"

I've known for some time that Firefox is a brilliant tool. They've proved it once again in their recent upgrade with the new "Restore Session" functionality. Turns out I'm not the only one who thinks so.

When Firefox crashed while trying to open a .PDF (fellow blogger Ben's problem too), it gave me the option of restarting with all the previous tabs I had open. How useful!

Reading the Knowledge Base description, I learned I can "Always restore sessions on start". Also useful. Because currently, each time I start Firefox, I open (in purposeful sequence):
  • A tab for streaming Internet radio (now playing: Digitally Imported / Chillout)
  • Gmail
  • Hotmail
  • school stuff (usually, *ugh*, Blackboard)
  • a Google page for various searching
  • whatever task I'm currently doing (1-, like, 20 tabs)
That's each time I start Firefox. How smart to automate that process. Thanks F'Fox!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Automated Self-promotion

The 4Cs conference is coming up... They wrote recently to tell me they had automatically generated this announcement to help me self-promote. So here we are...

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Several recent discussions of grammar have highlighted for me people's concern for grammatical correctness. My Writing in the Professions class just read "The Politics of Grammar and Usage" in John Bean's Engaging Ideas. The recent coverage of the Grammar Girl blog just came across the ATTW listserv. A short article in last month's Wired (scroll down) answers the question, "Chatting online is ruining my kids’ spelling and grammar. Should I stop them from doing it?" And I just learned that Purdue's Online Writing Lab is serving more pages than ever before.