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Tag Archive | language

FREE books (2): 20 sites to download free AUDIOBOOKS

Librophile

Librophile provides completely legal free audiobooks for both mobile and PC. You can browse the latest book by keywords, genre or language. Listen to chapters online, or play a sample before downloading it. Librophile offers many free audiobooks and ebooks of different genres from Sun Tzu’s “Art of War” to “Romeo and Juliet”.

Librophile

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Tips to Improve Your Business Vocabulary

Written by Lynn Gaertner-Johnston, Syntax Training

In the business writing classes I lead, people often tell me they want to use the right verbiage to come across professionally. The first tip I offer them is to get rid of words such as verbiage, whose meaning has been muddied and is not what people typically think it is. (Read my blog post “Watch Your Verbiage” to learn the many meanings of verbiage.)

Apply these tips to improve your language:

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15 Phrases That Build Bridges Between People

Business is changing. The experts sure seem to think so. Every day, some new article hypes a brave new world of egalitarian openness and collaboration. That might be true if you work for yourself. For the rest of us, it’s still a winner-take-all, command-and-control world. Always has been, always will be. The experts may own the language, but not reality. When leaders feel threatened or the ink runs red, they rarely tap into their talent for solutions. More often, they cut communication and withdraw behind closed doors. Corporate culture can overcome many hurdles, but never human nature.

In reality, business has evloved little. Work still involves small victories and slow progress, often ambiguous and rarely permanent. That said, what drives workers has changed little too. Besides money, they want a voice. They dream of receiving a fair shot to make a difference. And they long to feel special. And all that starts with communication. These days, we’re taught that tone and body language are the message. But words – and what they signify – matter too. Over time, your character, competence, and caring may be revealed by your actions. In a micro world, it is the right words used at the right moments that spark conversations and build bridges between people.

1) Thank You: Common courtesy? Sure. But tell me this: When was the last time you forgot (or rejected) gratitude? Whether given in private or public, a sincere ‘thanks’ creates goodwill. Don’t forget your mother’s advice: “Say please.” People are always happier doing a favor than taking an order.

2) I Trust Your Judgment: Translation: “You have my permission. I believe in you. Now, go make it happen.” Feels pretty uplifting to hear that, doesn’t it? And I’ll bet you’d do almost anything to please someone who makes you feel that way. Your employees and peers are no different.

3) I Don’t Know: We don’t have all the answers. And it scares us to death. That’s a perfect point to start a dialogue…over facts and fears. Facing the unknown – and seeking assurances and answers – bonds people like nothing else. All you have to do is first admit what you don’t know.

4) Tell Me More: “I’m all ears.” It’s the ultimate conversation starter!  When you signal that you’re open and intrigued, the other party will respond in kind. And who can resist flattery? Use phrases like “What do you think” or “What would you do” to acknowledge someone’s expertise. In doing so, you’re courting authentic suggestions, even if they challenge convention or skewer a sacred cow. If your interest is genuine, you may just fuel a productive exchange.

5) What I Hear You Saying Is: Ever wonder if someone has been listening to you? Be assured the person speaking to you is. So here’s a way to keep the ideas flowing. Step back and rephrase what someone says. In fact, vaguely distort or stray from it. This offers two benefits. It implies that you’re engaged, increasing the likelihood you’ll get more detail. It also helps you gauge the other person’s preparation, reasoning, and seriousness. It’s a win-win for everyone.

6) I’m On It: You’re giving your full attention. You’re saying,Relax. Don’t worry about a thing. I’ll see to it personally.” That response can disarm just about anyone. To express a deeper commitment, use “You have my word.” This makes you more accountable to someone, conveying that you’re on board and will make it happen…whatever it takes.

7) How Else Can I Help You: It takes guts to speak up. People risk rejection, ridicule, or retaliation. Sure, you’ve discussed one issue. Chances are, this was just a test balloon to see how you’d react. This person probably wants to cover more; he’s just hesitant to ask. Make it easy on him. Extend the proverbial “what can I do” invitation to widen the conversation. And don’t be afraid to ask for help occasionally, either. People love to lend a hand. It provides purpose. When you’re humble and vulnerable, it humanizes you. It makes you one of them. And people trust those with whom they can identify.

8) I’ve Got Your Back: We’ve all made big mistakes. When we’ve recognized the gravity, the same question automatically pops up: “Am I getting fired for this?” It’s natural for co-workers and reports to imagine worst case scenarios. In those times, step in with a reassurance: “I’m not judging you. You’re going to get through this. You’re not alone. We’ll figure this out together. It’s going to be OK.”

9) My Pleasure: This subtle reminder reinforces a key point. You’re here to help others. You have all the time they need. And you’re happy to do it.

10) What If: Call it whatever you want: Imagination, wonder, inspiration, or vision. It’s that “why not” spirit that’s driven men and women to dream, create, and push limits. How often do you channel this force to hit it off with others? When was the last time you used a phrase like “How can we make this happen” or “Let’s try this out?” Go ahead. Open the floor to everyone. Put every option on the table. Don’t judge them based on budgetary, time, labor, or cultural considerations.  Sure, most ideas won’t be feasible or relevant. But you’re seeking that nugget that makes your organization just a little more competitive and enjoyable. You can find the means another time.

11) Let Me Play Devil’s Advocate: Looking for a subtle way to critique? Turn the conversation into an exercise where you’re a detached party performing a function: Poking holes in the logic and plan of attack. Maybe you need to reel the other person back to the big picture. Maybe you want to direct him towards missing pieces, pros and cons, or alternatives. Either way, you use this strategy to stress test ideas without making the process personal.

12) Let Me Think About That: Yeah, it sounds like a cop out. And it is…sometimes. Fact is, we don’t always have the authority or expertise to make decisions. This phrase buys you time and breathing space. It intimates that you’re open-minded and the request merits consideration. Then, set a date and time for follow up so the other person knows you’re taking him serious.

13) Well Done: It’s a cliché, no doubt. Sometimes, it isn’t enough just to say thanks. People want to know what they did was great and why. They pour so much sweat and soul into their projects. They need more than recognition that a task or goal was completed. They need to know their work was special and had meaning to someone.

14) You’re Right: Want to get someone’s attention? Tell him that he’s right. Once you yield the high ground, it’s much easier for the other party to swallow that the right plan and sentiment can’t always overcome the absurdities and restraints we face every day.

15) I Understand: People have such an innate desire to connect. They long to know they’re not alone, seeking others who’ve been where they are – and have successfully made it through. Helping someone doesn’t always involve making suggestions or calls. It may just involve being there, paying attention to what a person has to say. Most times, that’s enough to show you understand.

What phrases do you use to make people feel more comfortable, motivated, and appreciated?

Via http://www.forbes.com

Do you speak ‘Project’?

Project management is a specialty, and it has its own language. Resistance is futile.

  • Scope – It’s what has to be done. Always too general for some and too specific for others. Never right.
  • Resources – Funding and people authorized for the project. Never enough and always in the wrong denominations.
  • Schedule – How much time you have to get it all done. Never enough.
  • Project Manager – You. The person responsible for everything, and in control of nothing.
  • Sponsor – The one that wanted it in the first place. The one that shudders when you walk in because you always bring a problem, and give them way too many details.
  • Customer – The group that want things their way.
  • Vendor – The other group that wants things their way.
  • Users – People addicted to the old way.
  • Escalation – A process that defies gravity, and moves problems uphill.
  • Documentation – The last task in a project, or later.
  • Flowcharts – Cubicle art.
  • Team – Your best friends. The group that, when asked who caused a problem, forms a circle and each person points to the left.
  • Work Group – An oxymoron.
  • Oxymorons – People that take more than their share of oxygen from a project.
  • Project Plan – A deliverable assigned to the most annoying person on the project, who doesn’t recognize his or her work is done after the project has started and is going according to plan.
  • Almost Done – Where you are after Day 1 of the project. What you say when the “80% done” answer quits working.
  • RFI – Request for Information. A request for a customized marketing document.
  • RFP – Request for Proposal. A request to take a monkey off a customer’s back.
  • RFQ – Request for Qualifications. A request for a customized marketing document. A good source of boilerplate information for the RFP.
  • RFQQ – Adds a price quote to the RFQ. Generally from a vendor that has too little information from a customer that has too little understanding. Binding.
  • RFK – An important reminder that even the best project managers can find themselves in a bay of pigs.
  • Proposal – A document of sweeping generalizations.
  • Testing – What development is called after the development schedule has passed.
  • Testing – What the end-users do when the testing schedule has passed. Sometimes called Post-implementation Support.
  • Process Reengineering – Today’s processes, turned sideways.
  • KPIs – Key Performance Indicators. Objective measures of failure, most often advocated by opponents. Never tracked.
  • CSFs – Critical Success Factors. An early view of the blunders you will certainly make. Always tracked, but never called CSFs.

If this sounds familiar, you are an experienced project manager, undoubtedly overworked, underpaid and not appreciated. Get a dog.

Via http://www.pmhut.com

Photo credit: http://www.study-habits.com

Character Feelings

You can describe your character’s feelings in more exact terms than just “happy” or “sad.” Check these lists for the exact nuance to describe your character’s intensity of feelings.

Intensity of
Feelings
HAPPY SAD ANGRY CONFUSED
High Elated
Excited
Overjoyed
Thrilled
Exuberant
Ecstatic
Fired up
Delighted
Depressed
Disappointed
Alone
Hurt
Left out
Dejected
Hopeless
Sorrowful
Crushed
Furious
Enraged
Outraged
Aggrivated
Irate
Seething
Bewildered
Trapped
Troubled
Desperate
Lost
Medium Cheerful
Up
Good
Relieved
Satisfied
Contented
Heartbroken
Down
Upset
Distressed
Regret
Upset
Mad
Annoyed
Frustrated
Agitated
Hot
Disgusted
Disorganized
Foggy
Misplaced
Disoriented
Mixed up
Mild Glad
Content
Satisfied
Pleasant
Fine
Mellow
Pleased
Unhappy
Moody
Blue
Sorry
Lost
Bad
Dissatisfied
Perturbed
Uptight
Dismayed
Put out
Irritated
Touchy
Unsure
Puzzled
Bothered
Uncomfortable
Undecided
Baffled
Perplexed
Intensity of
Feelings
AFRAID WEAK STRONG GUILTY
High Terrified
Horrified
Scared stiff
Petrified
Fearful
Panicky
Helpless
Hopeless
Beat
Overwhelmed
Impotent
Small
Exhausted
Drained
Powerful
Aggressive
Gung ho
Potent
Super
Forceful
Proud
Determined
Sorrowful
Remorseful
Ashamed
Unworthy
Worthless
Medium Scared
Frightened
Threatened
Insecure
Uneasy
Shocked
Dependent
Incapable
Lifeless
Tired
Rundown
Lazy
Insecure
Shy
Energetic
Capable
Confident
Persuasive
Sure
Sorry
Lowdown
Sneaky
Mild Apprehensive
Nervous
Worried
Timid
Unsure
Anxious
Unsatisfied
Under par
Shaky
Unsure
Soft
Lethargic
Inadequate
Secure
Durable
Adequate
Able
Capable
Embarrassed

Via http://www.sff.net

Word of the day: n00b

 

A. INTRO
I. What is this?
II. Defining ‘Noob’

B. COMMON NOOB CHARACTERISTICS
I. Noobish
II. Where to find noobs
III. Behavior of noobs
IV. Noob religion
V. More about noob habitats

C. AVOIDING NOOBS
I. Make sure you aren’t one
II. Major noob avoiding strategies

————————

A. INTRO

I. What is this?
This guide is designed to give you a better understanding of what a noob is, how to recognize them, some details about them, and how to avoid or get rid of them. It mostly applies to online forums, which are the main targets of migrating noobs.

II. Defining ‘Noob’

Contrary to the belief of many, a noob/n00b and a newbie/newb are not the same thing. Newbs are those who are new to some task* and are very beginner at it, possibly a little overconfident about it, but they are willing to learn and fix their errors to move out of that stage. n00bs, on the other hand, know little and have no will to learn any more. They expect people to do the work for them and then expect to get praised about it, and make up a unique species of their own. It is the latter we will study in this guide so that the reader is prepared to encounter them in the wild if needed.

Noobs are often referred to as n00bs as a sign of disrespect toward them, and it’s often hella funny, but I will refer to them as noobs during this reading.

* Usually the topic at hand on an internet forum.

B. COMMON NOOB CHARACTERISTICS

I. Noobish
Often, but not always, noobs will attempt to communicate in their own primitive language, known as “n00bish.” It is a variant of the hacker language that exposes them as having little intelligence or will to learn. Here is an example of some noobish. Do not attempt to comprehend it: it cannot be discerned without professionals at hand.

stFU /../..an, i r teh r0xx0rz liek emin3m, u cna go tO EHLL OR ATLE4St help m3 wit hthIS!!111!!!!!!!1~~1!!“!! LOLLOLOLLOLOLlOoLLOlollLLl u n00b

Although you may find this unbelievably funny and/or annoying, it is best to restrain yourself and keep from talking back to them, as they are very territorial and easily angered. This will result in their attempted verbal abuse of you, possibly backed up by other noobs, because they work in packs when doing offensive tasks. It is not an easy task to learn this language because our intelligent accent will keep it from sounding quite right when spoken. You can write some simple noobish of your own, however, by slamming your face into your keyboard repeatedly.

II. Where to find n00bs
On the internet, n00bs make their colonies on forums. They migrate in waves, usually on weekends, and proceed to clog up bandwidth with stupid questions and sometimes even stupid answers. If you happen to be unfortunate enough to be on a board large enough to attract migrating noobs, there will hopefully be authority in charge who is smart enough to take extermination measures before they can make nests and larger colonies. THE BANNER HAMMER is one form of authority.

Larger colonies can result in the mutation of some into spammers. Not commercial spammers, but pointless spammers. A noob can become one of these at any point, but the larger the amount of noobs, the more chance pointless spammers will appear.

Off the internet, noobs appear anywhere the focus is on learning or discussing something specific.

III. Behavior of noobs
Since noobs are basically ignorant bastards, they have a lot in common. The most often seen characteristic is their fluency in noobish, which is why it got its own section. They will also be very self confident as if they were the absolute best at what they are in fact the worst at. Also, they are quite agressive and self-centered, and tend to laugh a lot using many L’s and O’s in rapid sucession (the noobish word for laughing like an ultimate retard).

It is their instinct to assemble in packs for defense, and they often attempt to organize packs that they call teams. Unfortunately for them, teams usually result in a total loss of communication and they can often begin to fight amongst each other. These teams are quite unlike those formed by non-noobs.

Noobs have difficulty reading English and cannot comprehend the idea of authority.

Therefore, they have an all-out disregard for rules, basic or not. A good way to identify a noob (bad) vs. a newb (good) is to tell them (or have an authority tell them) which rule they are unknowingly breaking. If they respond with an apology and fix it, they are probably not a noob. If they react by insulting everything around them in rapid noobish and causing general mayhem, it is because they are a noob and have had a small seizure due to their inability to understand what is happening.

IV. Noob Religion
Noobs follow a variation of the 1337 (sometimes 7331) religion, in which they worship the number in odd rituals and put altars in their forum avatars and signatures. They often call themselves 1337, which experts say is somewhat like calling themselves godly in a human language. It’s best to not interfere with their religious fantasies and practices because that can lead to a noob uprising, which can turn a forum to mush in less than a week.

V. More about noob habitats
Noobs often attempt to maintain their own web pages. Some common features of these lairs are a terrible lack of content, background music, lots of pointless animated gifs, and pages that say some variation of ‘tHEir isnothinG H34r yEtt LOLLOLOL!111!1!!~~~!!`! 13371337’, which means ‘Nothing here yet’ in noobish.

They will also have large, seemingly infinite marquees of 88X31 affiliate buttons replaced with red X’s scattered here and there, and possibly a hit counter showing a number less than 100. These habitats are numerous but fairly easy to avoid because only noobs link to them. So if you can identify a noob, don’t go to its homepage. Simple as that.

C. AVOIDING NOOBS

I. Make sure you aren’t one
Note: This section is bilingual so even noobs can make the discovery if they haven’t already.

English (T4lk)-

Read the above parts of this guide carefully. If you find yourself unable to comprehend any of it but are instead beginning to think about how great you are and how awesome ‘teh 1337’ is, you might want to take one of the many available online quizzes to check your noobancy.

Noobish (133713371337)- Liek, u gott4 re3D teh gudieCAREFUl1y and tehn OMG LIEK I AM R0XX0RZ ya anD ify 0u turn into teh reTARDED u gota go 2 MY WEBP4GE LOLLOLOL!!111~11 ad check 4 warez n stfuu. if u r a n00b go2HELL LOLLOLOlROFLMFAO11!!!11!!!! a/s/l pos gtg n00b suxx0rz ur b0xx0rz OLOOOLOLLLL HELP HELP HELP 1337133713371337

II. Major noob avoiding strategies
The main factor in attracting migrating herds of noobs is a large, active forum. If you find one of these, look to see if it has the management to avoid noob infestation. If not, look for a small or mid-sized forum that covers the same topic so you can enjoy your time there before the noobs find it.

Another way to keep noobs from interfering with your life is to become part of the authority on one of these forums. But that’s often hard to do so you’ll probably be better off avoiding larger forums first off. If you do manage to become part of the authority, however, take full advantage of it and establish extermination policies so that normal people can have a nice time without noob infestations.

Noob Talk: LAlWAlwalwalWAWLAWLAWA!~!~!~!!!11!!! 1M NOtttt N0000BZ
Definitely not one of them,
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