Creative commentary plus crafty composition

Posts tagged ‘Behaviour & Relationships’

Innovative Ways to Recognize CANADA DAY in 2019

Another CANADA DAY is on the horizon, this coming Monday.

What can Canadians do to celebrate, this first day of the second half of the calendar year?

  • Consume red and white beverages all day
  • Bar-b-que everything with maple syrup
  • Find an American history book, and write in a ‘u’ to the spelling of words like honor and color
  • Play mini-putt golf with fresh strawberry balls
  • Watch at least two hours of authentic Canadian TV programming
  • Take a trip across the country via Google Earth
  • Wrap a Canadian flag around your mailbox, since there’s no delivery this day anyway
  • Spend some time during the day in each of the Canadian time zones
  • Convince young children there’s more daylight because fireworks need extra time to burst in red and white
  • Invite friends over to debate which revised version of the national anthem should be sung

Be sure, of course, that any activity engaged in happens politely.

Morals 2.0

While preparing for a new Toastmasters speech assignment about telling a story with a valuable lesson, or moral, I listed a number of candidates among currently well-known axioms.  I’ve finally narrowed this down to one around which to build my own fable.

However, when one considers the way many clichés are constructed, they leave room for alteration, or new perspectives considering our increasingly diversified society.

To wit…

  • When life gives you lemons, make lemonade – why restrict this to lemons, or assume receiving lemons is pejorative?
  • You can’t teach an old dog new tricks – doesn’t this ignore the potential of other pet species?
  • You should look before you leap – shouldn’t there be a warm-up period first?
  • Know which side your bread is buttered on – what about new spreads available as alternatives to butter?
  • Every cloud has a silver lining – is there some way to harvest this precious metal?
  • The handwriting is on the wall – is it signed and dated, suitable for framing?
  • Actions speak louder than words – but what about words that come in parentheses?
  • An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure – shouldn’t a metric version of this be around by now?
  • It’s what’s in-side that counts – would modern scanning techniques necessarily agree with this?
  • The more things change, the more they stay the same – is the reverse also true?
  • Opportunity doesn’t knock twice – doesn’t this discount the impact of social media?
  • A rising tide lifts all boats – so, what are we supposed to do at low tide?
  • Too many chefs spoil the broth – given the ingredients of many broths, shouldn’t some of the chefs be focused on healthier options?
  • Walk softly, and carry a big stick – so, what size stick should one carry if walking quickly or with purpose?
  • You can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube – how sanitary could this ever be?

A fabulous ‘no prize’ can be had for guessing which cliché I chose.   

More Enriching Vocabulary

In eastern Canada warmer we’re slowly moving toward seasonally warm weather.

Combine this with the first holiday weekend of this cross-over season, AKA the Victoria Day weekend (AKA what references to the monarchy are mostly good for these days). One can feel the relaxed call, to a mind-set well-served by some well-spent exposure to words.

One of the ongoing elements of self-improvement in communication is a broader vocabulary.  As a supplement to the last post, here are more words from our Toastmasters club library, which have been featured in meetings as ‘word of the day’. The correct answers appear after the list of options:

  • ACYROLOGIA: Does this refer to inappropriate or improper language, physical gestures, or diet?
  • AEGIS: Does this concern protection or support of legislation, of procedures, or of people or organizations?
  • CONTUMACIOUS: Does this adjective describe eating habits, stubborn behaviour, or lack of coordination?
  • DOUGHTY: Would someone with this characteristic be more slow, confident, or discouraged?
  • ENDEMIC: True or false – this word is used as both an adjective and a noun
  • HETERODOX: Is someone with this quality apt to think as a freethinker or as a conformist?
  • LOGORRHOEA: Does someone with this tendency talk slowly, with a stutter, or excessively?
  • LUCENT: True or false – this relates to more to internal than external appearance
  • MELLIFLUOUS: True or false – this word is used as an adverb as well as an adjective
  • OBITER DICTUM: Does this noun refer to an expression of personal opinion, or of reference to legal statute?
  • PALAVER: In which of these ways does this word not qualify, as adjective, noun, or verb?
  • PERIPATETIC: In which of these ways does this word not qualify, as adjective, noun, or verb?
  • PROPITIOUS: Is this word likely to be used in circumstances which are based on luck, are favourable, or are tenuous?
  • REDOLENT: Does this refer to something in a suggested way, an implied way, or a direct way?
  • SUBLIME: Does this condition cause people to feel compelled, satisfied, or inspired?
  • SYMBIOSIS: Does this activity relate primarily to chemistry, physics, or biology?
  • TRALATITIOUS: Yes or no – this characteristic can apply both to metaphor and to tradition
  • VERDANT: True or false – this word is used to describe depictions coloured other than green

Correct responses:

  • ACYROLOGIA: language
  • AEGIS: people or organizations
  • CONTUMACIOUS: stubborn behaviour
  • DOUGHTY: confident
  • ENDEMIC: true
  • HETERODOX: freethinker
  • LOGORRHOEA: excessively
  • LUCENT: false
  • MELLIFLUOUS: false
  • OBITER DICTUM: personal opinion
  • PALAVER: adjective
  • PERIPATETIC: verb
  • PROPITIOUS: favourable
  • REDOLENT: suggested way
  • SUBLIME: inspired
  • SYMBIOSIS: biology
  • TRALATATIOUS: yes
  • VERDANT: false

Being in ‘Ahh’ Voice

An article in the April issue of Psychology Today focuses on an issue familiar with those of us in Toastmasters, but to some extent with a somewhat different, even favourable, position.

One goal in Toastmasters continuously is to reduce, ideally weed out, filler words and sounds; the point of view expressed in Psychology Today is that the person or circumstances dictate some flexibility in applying such a strategy. (more…)

TOP Benefits of Trades to Local Fans

Whenever in sports there is a purge of talented performers, or even when one beloved player switches to another team, fan support is tested.

When such moves occur around a ‘trade deadline’, such actions likely guarantee disappointment in the home team’s chances of getting into post-season play; moreover, any expectations for witnessing first-rate performances, leading to a ride into playoffs, seem pushed into the murky future. (more…)

Couching Coaching

A column in the current edition of the Insurance Journal brings up the issue of coaching, albeit within the parameters of insurance versus investment advising. 

The author is a long-time coach, author, and keynote speaker, outgrowth of a highly successful career as an insurance advisor and executive manager.  His view is that coaching advice for insurance agents and insurance-based financial advisors needs to differ from that offered to investment advisors.  In practice, many of the former group are exposed to coaching designed for the latter. (more…)

TOP 10 ‘Practical’ Valentine’s Day Gifts

In less than one week another of those often pressure-packed, gift giving days arrives: February 14th, AKA Valentine’s Day.

I can recall as a child in elementary school filling out sweet and simple cards to be given to classmates.  Starting even at such a young age, the message sinks in: this is a day to try to treat at least one other person in a special way.  Of course, as one gets older, effort and expense become more integral parts of the equation. (more…)