If Only I Could Make It So

It came to me while I was marvelling at my laptop: Why don’t desktops come with internal batteries that can keep a computer running for an hour or so if power is suddenly lost?

There’s really no reason that a desktop computer should shut down as soon as the power is cut. What’s holding desktop makers back from installing a basic battery?

Shaking Things

Most of Australia stared on nonplussed when confronted with Kevin Rudd’s repeated fair shake of the sauce bottle, but he has literary precedent: the supreme PG Wodehouse gave us two shakes of a duck’s tail in his classic Right Ho, Jeeves:

“And in two shakes of a duck’s tail Gussie, with all that lapping about inside him, will be distributing the prizes at Market Snodsbury Grammar School before an audience of all that is fairest and most refined in the county.”

Wodehouse’s meaning comes across effectively despite the use of idiom, and in the mouth of Wooster it’s rather hilarious. In the PM’s mouth, a firm shaking is also hilarious, but the meaning effectively eludes entrapment.

The Workplace and Talk

In the workplace more so than anywhere else I imagine, someone uses a word or expression — often inelegant, sometimes a solecism, other times cute — in a particular situation and it becomes the de facto lexical standard for analogous situations from then on. Cases in point currently:

  • agreeance, as in “Are we in agreeance?”;
  • visibility, as in “What’s the visibility on this process?”;
  • heads-up, as in “I just wanted to give you a heads-up on this before you met with the client”;
  • offline, as in “Can we take that offline?”, which means “Can we not talk about that in this meeting?”;
  • socialise, as in “Has this process been socialised throughout the team?”; and
  • consume, as in “Who are the consumers of this document?”.

The Sinking In

Despite the November election, I had been reading and hearing the word prime minister and John Howard would spring to mind.

Over the past week, though, I’ve heard or read prime minister and Kevin is the mental jack-in-the-box that pops up.

It’s a small victory, but a decidedly happy one.

Will Fado Save the Music Industry?

After perhaps two years of the entire cost of my musical acquisitions being bound up with my monthly broadband connection fee, I’ve finally paid directly for music.

Blessed youtube had the glorious Amália Rodrigues singing Barco Negro, a song I had heard first sung by her musical heir, Mariza, and I just had to get it.

Maybe if more people liked fado, more people would end up actually paying directly for music?