When No Adequate Words Exist

Words, English, Language

Have you ever been unable to adequately express something in words? I don’t mean because you lack a good vocabulary. I mean, because to the best of your (astounding) knowledge, the right word(s) simply didn’t exist…

I have a good vocabulary and enjoy learning new words. But there have been times when I have felt the need, (in the interests of better serving humanity) to create my own new words. One, which some of you may be familiar with, is terrifical. I don’t recall the exact motivation for the birth of this new word, but it has served me well over the years. Apparently, I am not alone, because others have also used ‘terrifical’ to the point where it now appears in several modern dictionaries. Great minds think alike… And before you go there – fools, by definition can’t/ don’t think, so they can’t create words:-).

Before I knew that others also ‘invented’ my wordI thought the meaning of terrifical would be quite self-explanatory, but it seems I was mistaken. Recently, I discovered that ‘terrifical’ was first used in the late 17th Century with an entirely different meaning!  Derived from the ‘terrificus‘,(see, people have been making up words for a long time !), it relates to ‘terrifying or terror.’ Talk about a kill-joy! My terrifical relates only to wonderful things.

My sister makes words up too. Some of her’s are my favourites. I especially love ‘schmoozle’. Used to describe something snuggly, cuddly, or cute. Fortunately, there is no evidence to support that anyone abused her words four centuries ago!

I love and appreciate the English language and frankly, I abhor it when people abuse English. However, I am not averse to anyone adding a well-thought out word here and there, when the need arises. Maybe if you start now, you can get a four-century head-start on a future wordsmith:-). Have you crafted any words of your own? Please feel free to share in the comments – I’d love to learn and maybe even use your words.

Book Review of Her Name is Missy

Her Name is Missy, Wildlife, Chimp Rescue, Liberia

 

Her Name is Missy, Wildlife, Chimp Rescue, LiberiaHer Name is Missy

By Gail Gillespie-Fox, with Graham Spence

Published December 2016

First Edition

261 Pages

Available on Amazon.com

Summary

‘I climbed into bed and just watched Missy sleeping for most of the night. At one stage I woke up and went to get her some milk. It was the last time I would ever do that.”

Missy’s story unfolds in the height of the 2015 Ebola epidemic, in Monrovia, Liberia. For the most part, her story’s beginning is not unlike that of thousands of other precious wild animals who are savagely slaughtered for bushmeat, or snatched from the breasts of their freshly murdered mothers for resale to the most despicable of all creatures on our planet – human beings.

However, while Missy’s story is one that reveals all aspects of human depravity, ignorance and fear, it also testifies to the power of love and the capacity human beings have to make a difference and to write miracle endings in the face of impossible adversity.

The author, Gail Gillespie-Fox makes no apologies for her fierce opposition to the illegal slaughter, trade, and abuse of animals. Her account of the life-changing journey she and Missy shared is so authentic that it’s impossible for the reader to not love Missy too. As I read this book, I shared Gail’s joy and her love for Missy. Her sheer anguish and determination was palpable as she tried against all odds to make sure that Missy would live to see the sunset every day. In the face of great danger and uncertainty, she never lost sight (or hope) of her purpose to unite Missy with ‘her own kind’ in a safe, natural environment.

I loved this book and I confess that at times, I wished I had never started reading it. Gail shares: “She was as delightful as a mischievous toddler. She had taken my heart. I was not sure if I would ever get it back.”

Every reader of this book should be warned that you might just share the same fate. Gail’s honest portrayal of Missy’s personality and trust will steal your heart too. For this reason, the end will tear your heart out and as I sobbed in bed beside my sleeping husband last night, my heart ached for Gail, for Missy and for the unthinkable suffering and trauma my own species is capable of. A part of me is sorry that I know this now because I dislike humans even more than I did before.

Who Should Read This Book?

Whether you are an animal lover or not, you should read this book. Not just because our silence endorses the atrocities committed by our species against those that we have stewardship over, but because this is every bit as much about the future of our own species. Our survival is inextricably linked to that of other living creatures. As we perpetrate the imminent extinction of Missy, her fellows, and so many other creatures, we are inevitably engineering our own demise.

If you only read one book this year, this should be it. It is a triumphant true story of unequivocal love and a testimony to the difference we can make when we care enough. It is a call to action and I dare you to accept. Even if you can’t be involved in the front lines, you can add your voice.

You can add your voice and share the story of Missy and others who are in present danger by visiting Gail’s Facebook page: For Missy and her Chimp Friends. Your support matters.

Without Gail’s voice and unyielding determination to honour her promise to a defenceless animal, this book’s title could well have been ‘Her Name was Missy.’

The Humble Hashtag’s Life of Hell

Hashtag, How to Use

Did you know that more than 300 million people use Twitter? I wonder what percentage of those users, ever use a hashtag responsibly. I don’t know about you, but I have come to hate hashtags and I realised this week that I need to reform. You see, I don’t hate hashtags in and of themselves, I just hate the way they are flagrantly abused daily on almost every social media platform known to man.

Last year I decided to simply rebel and stop using hashtags altogether as a silent (totally useless) rebellion. This year, I have decided that my contribution can’t save all the helpless hashtags out there. So, I’ll try and encourage others to use them in a (healthy) helpful way, by example.

Origins

The hashtag was originally used in information technology as a metadata tag. In the early days of Twitter, developer, Chris Messina suggested the use of the # to categorise and group topics on Twitter. His idea was largely ignored until the 2007 San Diego forest fires in Southern California. Then journalists embraced the idea and used a hashtag in content relating to the fires. The rest, as they say in the classics is hashtag history. In fact, the term ‘hashtag’ was officially added to the Oxford Dictionary in June 2014, owing to its widespread use on Twitter, social media and in microblogging.

Twitter frowns on the excessive use of hashtags and recommends a maximum of three hashtags in posts. Ideally, one each for the subject and place that pertains to the content, and if you absolutely must, a third. Exceeding these guidelines can apparently lead to your content being excluded or filtered from a search. Or worse (but I think better), the suspension of your account by Twitter. I would love to know if this has been enforced. Judging by how many offenders still shamelessly hit hashtags daily, I suspect it has not.

Believe it or not, hashtags have a real purpose. Using a hashtag creates a searchable link to enable you to join/ follow a conversation or thread.  Responsible bulk use creates a focus, which has become known as ‘trending’ on Twitter. A great concept in theory, until humans got hold of hashtags and stripped them of their credibility.

Hashtag Failures

There are several reasons why hashtags fail. Firstly, people are ignorant of the real function of hashtags and have come to see them as ‘cool’ (yes, I’m #old). People also tend to use varied spelling for the same event/ theme, thereby nullifying all potential value of optimising their conversations for searches.

How to use a hashtag, Words Count, Letitia MatthewsMy biggest personal grievance is that people spew hashtags all over their messages instead of forming meaningful sentences. Ironically, offenders possess the vocabulary to make 25 hashtags in one message. So, I have no option but to conclude they are simply too lazy to write coherent sentences. What many of these hyper-hash taggers don’t realise is that their content is then available in all kinds of very public places, irrespective of their public privacy settings on Facebook (or whichever social media you are hashtagging the heck out of) are set up to protect your images and content.

Let’s face it, nobody bothers to read all those hashtags anyway. So essentially, they are nothing more than an irritating waste of time and space, and the maybe meaningful message gets demoted to spam. Here’s the awful truth – hashtag crime doesn’t pay. Who is impressed by clever or complicated hashtags that are more long-winded than Mary Poppins’ #Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious? No one. Yes, they will be categorised by search engines around the globe, but their uniqueness earns them an obscurity that could just as well have bought them a ticket straight to the big black hole for all its worth. In other words, they are as good as silent in cyberspace.

You might think I am overboard – I respect that but consider the following…

Hashtags have been so widely abused that Instagram has even banned some hashtags for being too generic, or for specifically referring to illegal topics. Are there ways around it? Sure, but the problem exists to the point where penalties exist to curb the misuse of hashtags.

The Super Powers of Hashtags

Conversely, correctly used hashtags can generate enormous mileage for your message. Ccompanies and organisations use them effectively to facilitate discussions on specific topics and to engage viewers in dialogues over broadcasts or current affairs. Hashtags are used to distribute news and updates regarding emergencies and disasters, as well as for marketing and promotion of products, events and causes. Industry specific hashtags have also evolved and we now have bashtags, hashflags and even cashtags!

Savvy hashtag users research the most used hashtags relating to their subject or product and choose a select few to use with their content. You can even create your own hashtag on sites like www.hashtag.org  and www.twubs.com.  There you can register your hashtag and track it to measure the mileage in your marketing campaign. www.hashtagig.com Provides users with the top 100 hashtags on Instagram, so you can optimise your message exposure like never before. They say that ‘Hashtags never die’ and irrespective of whether you think this is a good/ bad thing, the history of every hashtag is documented at www.topsy.com .

Hashtag Best Practices

If you love hashtags and you have inadvertently been making their lives hell, cheer up. Now you can turn over a new leaf and use specific, carefully chosen hashtags to help you engage new audiences, connect with like-minded people, and participate in meaningful conversations. Take the time and effort to be more specific with your hashtags and you will be rewarded with more focused results. Be informed about the various guidelines set out for best hashtag practices on social media platforms. For instance, Twitter focuses on the subject and theme of your content, while Instagram recommends hashtags for descriptive purposes.

So, if you want your audience to take you seriously, bear the following in mind: – If your hashtags don’t contribute anything meaningful to the message, rather avoid using them altogether. Less is definitely more – avoid using more than three strategically chosen hashtags per content entry and keep them short and sweet. Also, remember that effective hashtags contain no capital letters, no spaces and no special characters and punctuation. Only small letters and numbers.

#hashtagpower

Help give hashtags the credibility they deserve, and they will reward you with highly optimised impact and exposure.If you need help or have any hashtag questions, please feel free to contact me.

Infographics – Marketing Magic in the Blink of an Eye.

https://crmrkt.com/mJwqy

Infographics. Even if you haven’t heard of them or consciously know what they are, I guarantee you have seen hundreds (conservatively speaking). How do I know for sure? Well, simply put, they are the best way of presenting processes and products in a logical, easy-to-follow visual manner. It’s widely accepted that our visual sense is the primary means of processing information. Not surprisingly, the human brain allocates 20% of its resources to visual function.

Info graphics, words count, design resourcesEasy to Process

It has been scientifically proven that humans can process images twice as quickly as written content. It has been said that we can process an image, and its meaning, in less than the blink of an eye. This alone is a good reason to maximise your message with the use of images and graphics.

Colour

Colour is another huge factor. Since the beginning of time, our species has associated aspects of life and survival with specific colours. For instance, red is associated with danger and fire. Blue is synonymous with water, the sky and oceans. Traditionally, colours were stereotyped – pink for girls, blue for boys, and so on. However, we live in an age where colour is pivotal to experiencing and expressing everything around us, and thankfully, all colours belong to all people:-).

Memorable

Essentially, we are wired to respond to visual content. More importantly, we remember visual information more easily. From a marketing perspective, this is crucial. I am not saying that written content is obsolete (of course not! I am a writer:-). No, I am simply saying that graphics are equally important when trying to convey a message. Warning signs work, because we can quickly see, process and apply the visual information. Road signs are the same – we know that some signs with different shapes and colours represent different kinds of information. So, we process them accordingly, without a second thought.

Infographics are magical images that make modern marketing and design exciting and highly effective. They are visually appealing tools for explaining, summarising and presenting concepts. Now, processes and products are conveyed quickly and concisely in ways that are memorable.

 

https://crmrkt.com/mJwqyInfographic Tools

There are amazing infographic tools out there for people who enjoy being creatively involved in their own marketing content. If this is you, check out this amazing mega infographic bundle. It offers a wide variety of very useful and descriptive graphics that will help you to convey your visual message in the most meaningful way. It is available at a massively reduced price for a limited period.

https://crmrkt.com/zyPgo, InfographicsIf you prefer a more vintage look, consider this bundle of vector elements  in colour and chalk images.

Whatever you choose, infographics will open a whole new market for your business, because they are mobile, web and print friendly.

Freelancer.com, https://www.freelancer.com/affiliates/titiamattiOutsourcing Infographic Creation

If you are not really into DIY design, then head on over to Freelancer.com, where you can enlist the services of highly professional, gifted designers who can translate your concepts into stunning graphics. You have the freedom and flexibility to negotiate your deadline and budget.

Inforgraphics are proven marketing tools, that are increasingly being used to maximise brand power and exposure. See what they can do for your business today – you won’t be sorry.

 

 

Creative Content, Freebies & Commercial Licences to ROCK your world!

My first love has always been writing. Over the course of my creative journey, I also discovered the joy of photography and the delight of design. I am secretly addicted to beautiful fonts and naturally, they need design elements to keep them company! If you also love to create, you’ll identify. As I feed my addiction, I come across some incredible sites that are home to exceptional design resources. Some of these sites have mind-blowing freebies and sometimes they even come with extended licences, which means you can use them for commercial projects.

If this news is as exciting to you as it is to me, I want to share a great site with you, where you’ll find AWESOME resources – FOR FREE! There are no tricks and no hidden costs – just loads of spectacular designs resources, add-ons, graphics, photos and fonts, that are your’s for the taking. The Deeezy team have put together an incredible range of goodies that will get your creative juices flowing – go on, check it out! Please come back and comment – I would love to see what you downloaded or even what you created:-).