Posted by: episystechpubs | April 26, 2022

Editor’s Corner: Forest Bathing

Today I received an email containing the term forest bathing. My first thought was of people running naked through Douglas Fir, Redwood, Madronas, and other forest trees in Washington state. Why naked? Because they’re bathing!

My next thought was, “How could I have never heard of this? I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, where there was a lot of “New Age” history, beliefs, and crystal-loving, so forest bathing seems to fit in with the New Age philosophies. One of my stepmom’s friends even built a yurt, where she does counseling in a down-to-earth and one-with-earth atmosphere. A yurt is a circular tent of felt or skins on a collapsible framework, used by nomads in Mongolia, Siberia, and Turkey. [KC – And the Pacific Northwest.]

So, what is forest bathing? The short answer is: it is the “practice of being in nature, especially an area with trees, as an act of sensory immersion undertaken for physiological and psychological health benefits.”

Okay. I personally love being out in nature because it is beautiful, relaxing, peaceful, invigorating, etc. But I’d never heard of this. Well, forest bathing is a thing! Kaiser Permanente, a huge hospital group in the United States, has a Facebook® page and articles about how forest bathing can improve your health. National Geographic posted an article with its top five places to forest bathe (which I couldn’t get to without subscribing). TIME magazine posted an article by a Chinese man, Qing Li, who is the world’s foremost expert in forest medicine and a big promoter of forest bathing.

Here are some details about it from the National Geographic article:

Whether you call it a fitness trend or a mindfulness practice (or a bit of both), what exactly is forest bathing? The term emerged in Japan in the 1980s as a physiological and psychological exercise called shinrin-yoku (“forest bathing” or “taking in the forest atmosphere”). The purpose was twofold: to offer an eco-antidote to tech-boom burnout and to inspire residents to reconnect with and protect the country’s forests.

The Japanese quickly embraced this form of ecotherapy. In the 1990s, researchers began studying the physiological benefits of forest bathing, providing the science to support what we innately know: time spent immersed in nature is good for us. While Japan is credited with the term shinrin-yoku, the concept at the heart of the practice is not new. Many cultures have long recognized the importance of the natural world to human health.

And from Qing Li’s TIME article mentioned above:

The key to unlocking the power of the forest is in the five senses. Let nature enter through your ears, eyes, nose, mouth, hands and feet. Listen to the birds singing and the breeze rustling in the leaves of the trees. Look at the different greens of the trees and the sunlight filtering through the branches. Smell the fragrance of the forest and breathe in the natural aromatherapy of phytoncides. Taste the freshness of the air as you take deep breaths. Place your hands on the trunk of a tree. Dip your fingers or toes in a stream. Lie on the ground. Drink in the flavor of the forest and release your sense of joy and calm. This is your sixth sense, a state of mind. Now you have connected with nature. You have crossed the bridge to happiness.

Whether you decide to try it or not, now you know what it is! My only recommendation is that you don’t bathe in a forest full of bears, at least not with a snack in your pocket!

Kara Church

Pronouns: she/her

Technical Editor, Advisory

Editor’s Corner Archives: https://episystechpubs.com/

Posted by: episystechpubs | April 21, 2022

Editor’s Corner: Thursday Quiz Day!

Good morning!

A lot of you keep telling me you like quizzes—so I’m afraid the rest of you have to suffer. Well, maybe not so much. This is a different kind of quiz than I usually pop on you. This one isn’t about language rules. This one is a test of your knowledge of English-language idioms. I found the quiz on Dictionary.com. They say, “It’s not for the faint of heart.” Get it? Those dictionary.com folks are so punny!

You’ve taken these quizzes before. You know the score. Just take the test, note your answers, and then scroll down to see how many you got right. Remember, I did not create the quiz, so any arguments, complaints, or general dissatisfaction will be summarily dismissed because, as my granny used to say, “It ain’t got nothin’ to do with me.”

1. What does “apple of one’s eye” mean?

  • Something is stuck in your eye
  • Someone has green eyes
  • Someone who is very special

2. Which of the following expressions means to get married?

  • To tie the knot
  • To make hay
  • To sit on the fence

3. Choose the sentence that uses “puppy love” correctly.

  • We fell in PUPPY LOVE immediately.
  • It’s only PUPPY LOVE; it won’t last.
  • The dogs PUPPY LOVED one another.

4. True or false? The expression “ride or die” is a reference to Bonnie and Clyde.

  • True
  • False

5. What does “match made in heaven” mean?

  • A couple has died at the same time
  • A couple is perfectly suited to one another
  • A couple is very virtuous

6. Which of the following expressions means to be nervous?

  • To have butterflies in one’s stomach
  • To put all your eggs in one basket
  • To cut someone some slack

7. True or false? “Lovebirds” does not refer to a specific kind of bird.

  • True
  • False

8. What does “to carry a torch for” mean?

  • To lead the way
  • To still love someone after a relationship ends
  • To fall in love with someone

Answers:

  1. What does “apple of one’s eye” mean?
  • Someone who is very special
  1. Which of the following expressions means to get married?
  • To tie the knot
  1. Choose the sentence that uses “puppy love” correctly.
  • It’s only PUPPY LOVE; it won’t last
  1. True or false? The expression “ride or die” is a reference to Bonnie and Clyde.
  • True
  1. What does “match made in heaven” mean?
  • A couple is perfectly suited to one another
  1. Which of the following expressions means to be nervous?
  • To have butterflies in one’s stomach
  1. True or false? “Lovebirds” does not refer to a specific kind of bird.
  • False
  1. What does “to carry a torch for” mean?
  • To still love someone after a relationship ends

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Posted by: episystechpubs | April 19, 2022

Editor’s Corner: Do You Have Enough Spoons?

Have any of you heard someone say that they don’t have enough spoons? Or maybe you read a tweet from someone who said they were having a low spoon day. I just learned about “spoon theory” from Mignon Fogarty, also known as Grammar Girl. This theory is extremely relevant now, with so many people suffering from long COVID and other chronic illnesses or disabilities that leave them feeling persistently exhausted.

It turns out that spoons are a metaphor for energy. If you don’t have enough spoons, you just don’t have the fuel you need to get everything done—or maybe even to get out of bed.

Here is the origin of spoon theory, from Grammar Girl’s recent post:

A woman with lupus named Christine Miserandino came up with the metaphor on the fly when she was a college student, and her good friend and roommate asked her what it felt like to have lupus – not what the symptoms were, but what it felt like to live with lupus.

The two women were in a dining hall, and after casting around for a few seconds, Christine grabbed a bunch of spoons and handed them to her friend. Then she said something like “Imagine that every time you do something, it costs you a spoon.” Getting out of bed? One spoon gone. She took a spoon away. Showering? Another spoon gone. And so on. She went on to explain that people with disabilities or who are sick start with fewer spoons than other people, and some things that wouldn’t cost a healthy person any spoons at all, like maybe getting dressed, can cost someone with lupus a spoon or two.

And the friend started to realize that Christine had to manage her metaphorical spoons because she only got so many each day. When you have a chronic illness or disability, you aren’t going to be able to do every single thing you want or need to do before you run out of spoons.

Wow. What a clear and powerful explanation. I think all of us have had days when we just don’t have enough spoons. This analogy really demonstrates what it’s like for people living with disabilities and chronic illnesses.

I wonder if using spoons as a way to talk about energy levels will become more widespread. Will it become a common English idiom? Will it become a well-known expression in other languages? I guess we have to wait and see.

I hope you all have plenty of spoons today!

Donna Bradley Burcher |Technical Editor, Advisory | Symitar®

8985 Balboa Ave. | San Diego, CA 92123 | Ph. 619.278.0432 | Ext: 765432

Pronouns she/her/hers

About Editor’s Corner

Editor’s Corner keeps your communication skills sharp by providing information on grammar, punctuation, JHA style, and all things English. As editors, we spend our days reading, researching, and revising other people’s writing. We love to spend a few extra minutes to share what we learn with you and keep it fun while we’re doing it.

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Posted by: episystechpubs | April 14, 2022

Editor’s Corner: Sustainability

Hello and happy Thursday!

Today, I’m going to explore a word we’ve all been hearing a lot lately: sustainability.

Sustainabilityrefers to “meeting our own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” It is not simply caring for the earth and our natural resources; it’s also about caring for our social and economic resources so that we leave everything as healthy and intact as we can for future generations.

Jack Henry recently published our sustainability report. You can see the entire report on jhaToday. This report provides “…insight into our management practices, sustainability metrics, and commitment to corporate responsibility.” Dave Foss says, “Our approach enables our associates, clients, and communities to succeed—not just for today, but for tomorrow.” It’s all about corporate responsibility for the environment and all our shared resources.

According to Wikipedia, a sustainability report is “… a method to internalize and improve an organization’s commitment to sustainable development in a way that can be demonstrated to both internal and external stakeholders. Sustainability reports help companies build consumer confidence and improve corporate reputations through social responsibility programs and transparent risk management.”

As a member of the Go Green business innovation group (BIG), I’ve become pretty familiar with the concept of sustainability. As an avid recycler and “resource saver,” I love this word and this practice. As a parent (and now even a grandparent!), I’m very invested in leaving the earth and all our resources in better shape for future generations.

If you’re interested in learning more about this topic, you can join the Go Green BIG. Just go to Knowledge Drop on jhaToday and click the Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion tile. In the HOW TO tile, you can click Join a Business Innovation Group. While your there, check out the other BIGs too:

  • JHAnywhere focuses on the remote workforce
  • Mosaic of People focuses on multicultural diversity and inclusion
  • PRISM focuses on the LGBTQIA+ community and allies
  • Veterans focuses on military veterans
  • WomenAtJackHenry focuses on empowering women

Each BIG offers opportunities to build community and they support education, development, and innovation. Join as many as you like. They are open to everyone and welcome your support!

Donna Bradley Burcher |Technical Editor, Advisory | Symitar®

8985 Balboa Ave. | San Diego, CA 92123 | Ph. 619.278.0432 | Ext: 765432

Pronouns she/her/hers

About Editor’s Corner

Editor’s Corner keeps your communication skills sharp by providing information on grammar, punctuation, JHA style, and all things English. As editors, we spend our days reading, researching, and revising other people’s writing. We love to spend a few extra minutes to share what we learn with you and keep it fun while we’re doing it.

Did someone forward this email to you? Click here to subscribe.

Don’t want to get Editor’s Corner anymore? Click here to unsubscribe.

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Posted by: episystechpubs | April 12, 2022

Editor’s Corner: Mountweazels

Hello, fellow travelers!

You know how Donna and I like to share new “words about words” with you, such as contronyms or calques, but honestly, I thought we’d reached the end of the list. Au contraire, mes amis! I just received an email from Dictionary.com, and over the next couple of days, I have some surprises for you!

Today we’re going to talk about the irresistible term, mountweazel. A mountweazel, is a fake word or tidbit of bogus information that is intentionally included in reference material (like a dictionary or an encyclopedia) to catch people who try to copy, paste, and steal information directly and then use it in their writing: in other words, plagiarize.

While plagiarism is not a good thing, the word mountweazel makes me smile every time I type or say it. In fact, yesterday I walked around the house all afternoon calling my mom, husband, and dogs “mountweazels,” even though they don’t fit the definition and have never plagiarized anything.

The word mountweazel comes from an entry in the 1975 New Columbia Encyclopedia. It was added intentionally so that if it came up in other documents, the editors would know that someone had copied it from the encyclopedia and committed copyright infringement.

Here is the original encyclopedia entry, and you can read the fake item yourself. As you will see, the notorious Ms. Mountweazel is the source of this term. From ThoughtCo:

Mountweazel, Lillian Virginia, 1942-1973, American photographer, b. Bangs, Ohio. Turning from fountain design to photography in 1963, Mountweazel produced her celebrated portraits of the South Sierra Miwok in 1964. She was awarded government grants to make a series of photo-essays of unusual subject matter, including New York City buses, the cemeteries of Paris, and rural American mailboxes. The last group was exhibited extensively abroad and published as Flags Up! (1972). Mountweazel died at 31 in an explosion while on assignment for Combustibles magazine.

And for your viewing pleasure, Lilian Virginia, the mountain weasel:

Kara Church

Pronouns: she/her

Technical Editor, Advisory

Editor’s Corner Archives: https://episystechpubs.com/

Posted by: episystechpubs | April 7, 2022

Editor’s Corner: Robots and Mixed Drinks

It’s been some time since I’ve shared the Chicago Manual of Style Q&A with you, but this month’s topics could not be ignored: robot names and the names of mixed drinks. You never know when you’ll need to know these rules. Isn’t it Spring break somewhere? From CMOS:

Q. Robots are being named and even developing personalities, not just in fiction, but in the real world. Should their names be italicized—i.e., “I told Benjamin to wait at the coffee shop,” where Benjamin is a robot with artificial intelligence?

A. Italics for robot names could be fun in fiction; however, that doesn’t seem to be the convention either in fiction or in real life. (An exception is generally made for named spacecraft and the like, including the robotic Mars rover Perseverance.) Before you decide what to do, consider asking some robots to weigh in. [KC – My
Roomba®
says he prefers being called Steve McQueen the Clean Machine; no italics necessary.]

Q. Do you recommend capitalizing named cocktails or other things that are given whimsical, as opposed to utilitarian, names? I’m thinking of things like “Sex on the Beach” or “Florida Tracksuit” that are not strictly proprietary. My inclination is to capitalize to highlight that the phrase is not to be read literally, but is in fact a name, like Coca-Cola, even if it isn’t trademarked.

A. We agree with both your inclination and your logic. Whether you name your cocktail or your cockatoo, that name generally gets treated as a proper noun and capitalized. As you suggest, readers will be less likely that way to get the mistaken impression, however fleeting, that something intimate is happening on the sand or that someone might be about to drink a workout ensemble.

Florida Tracksuit? I had to look it up because it cracked me up! The recipes are as follows:

Sex on the Beach

Ice

1 1/2 oz. vodka

1 oz. peach schnapps

2 oz. orange juice

2 oz. cranberry juice

Orange wedge, for garnish

Florida Tracksuit

1/2 oz of orange vodka
2 oz of Red Bull energy drink
1/2 oz of Sour Puss raspberry liqueur

Kara Church

Pronouns: she/her

Technical Editor, Advisory

619-542-6773 | Ext: 766773

Editing: Symitar Documentation Services

Editor’s Corner Archives: https://episystechpubs.com/

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Posted by: episystechpubs | April 5, 2022

Editor’s Corner: The Ellipsis

A few months ago, one of you wrote to me about an article in which “millennials” were accusing “boomers” (yes, those were the terms) of being haters because they text and use the ellipsis (…) so much. I couldn’t believe using that particular punctuation mark was considered “angry.” The writer’s millennial children told her that “It is offensive to use it at the end of a sentence, because it can be dismissive or passive/aggressive. But using it in the middle of a sentence…connecting thoughts, is just fine!”

Hmm. Well, that may be the current thought on the ellipsis, but I certainly don’t think people from that generation (or mine, or even the one after mine) are using ellipsis marks to be spiteful. We use it because, like the exclamation point, comma, and other punctuation, it serves a purpose.

The official job of the ellipsis is to signal a pause, some uncertainty, or an omission. At the end of a sentence, it can also indicate an unfinished thought. Perhaps some unfinished thoughts, like “My life would’ve been different if I had never given birth to you…” could be considered pretty darn horrible. I agree. But ending a text with an ellipsis isn’t inherently dismissive. “Maybe I’ll see you at Tony’s later…” just indicates that you might see your friend at Tony’s, but you might not.

From GrammarBook.com, I have a list of official uses for the ellipsis, and some examples.

1) To suggest faltering or fragmented speech accompanied by confusion, insecurity, distress, or uncertainty

"I…I…it’s just…I can’t believe you just said that," Bartholomew said. [KC – That is one ugly sentence.]

"The book…where is the book?" Donetta said.

If other punctuation for expression or emphasis is used within a fragment of the quoted material, the mark is kept before the ellipsis:

"The storm clouds…my goodness!…look!…there in the distance!" Ned said.

2) To conclude a quoted sentence that is deliberately and grammatically incomplete

Most Americans are familiar with Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech in which he begins multiple statements with ‘I have a dream…’

As shown in this example, when an ellipsis concludes a sentence in this context, it does not have another space or period after the mark.

If the fragment is not included as part of a sentence but rather as a prompt or a beginning, its fragmentary character does not need to be identified with ellipsis periods:

My goal is to memorize several of MLK’s statements starting with "I have a dream" before the end of the semester.

3) To show an omission regardless of whether it comes in the middle of a sentence or between sentences

If the omission is within the same sentence, we use only the three-period ellipsis. If the omission is within wider content, such as a paragraph, we include a period before the ellipsis to show the current statement with the omission has ended.

Original paragraph: Rosetta would like all of you to know before she retires that she appreciates your many years of dedicated hard work for the community. You have shown what can be achieved when people believe in a purpose and apply the best of themselves to bring it to life. She thanks you, and she will always remember you.

Omission same paragraph: Rosetta would like all of you to know…she appreciates your many years of dedicated hard work for the community. …She thanks you, and she will always remember you.

As you can see, the ellipsis is not used to cause hard feelings. It’s just punctuation, plain and simple. If younger generations criticize you, I’d say it is time for a teaching moment from the inner English major in all of you.

And don’t forget to enter the haiku contest! You can enter more than one—they just have to be your own. I’ll publish them and announce the winners on April 26.

Kara Church

Pronouns: she/her

Technical Editor, Advisory

Editor’s Corner Archives: https://episystechpubs.com/

Posted by: episystechpubs | March 31, 2022

Editor’s Corner: Haiku and Contest!

The other day I mentioned a Japanese poetry type called waka. Today I want to go back to the other type of poetry from Japan that many of us are more familiar with: haiku. As I mentioned, haiku is three lines with the pattern of five syllables for the first and third lines and seven syllables in the middle. Traditional haiku was restricted to one of the seasons or topics in nature. Since we are getting closer to the weekend, I thought we should look at some more modern haiku, which are comedic. I hope you enjoy the ones I selected from Your Dictionary.com:

Haiku for Room Cleaning Motivation

I hid a twenty

In your messy room somewhere.

Just clean to find it.

Birthday Haiku

For your birthday, friend,

I wrote this haiku for you.

Worst present ever.

Haiku for Sweet Corn

The joy of sweet corn,

Taste of summer and butter.

I forgot to floss.

Haiku for Babies

You’re so cute, but why

Should I write a haiku for you?

You can’t even read.

T-Rex Hug Haiku

The T-Rex likes you,

But he can’t give you a hug.

His arms are too short.

Haiku for Bacon

That’s too much bacon.

Please just bring me some kale chips.

Said no one ever.

Good Morning Haiku from the Cat

In the morning light,

You sleep despite my meow.

I stand on your face.

You know what? It’s been a long time since I’ve had a contest. Let’s do one now! Here are the rules:

Who: You, Editor’s Corner readers (and any new folks you get to subscribe to Editor’s Corner).

What: Write a haiku following the 5-7-5 syllable rule. Funny ones would be delightful, but more traditional are okay, too. And please don’t plagiarize, we’re using the honor system here.

What Else: For prizes I will draw a winner randomly from each category. The funny one wins He Smokes Like a Fish and Other Malaphors; for the more serious winner I will send The Disheveled Dictionary. Both books are “slightly used” because I buy used books when they are available, for the environment’s sake. Don’t worry, they don’t have any blood or coffee stains on the pages.

Where: From your office or your house, just send me your best.

When: Get them to me by Friday, April 15, 2022. I will announce the winners on Tuesday, April 26, 2022.

Why: Because it doesn’t take long, it gets those creative juices flowing, and it’s fun!

Kara Church

Pronouns: she/her

Technical Editor, Advisory

Editor’s Corner Archives: https://episystechpubs.com/

Posted by: episystechpubs | March 29, 2022

Editor’s Corner: Waka

Good morning!

Todays topic is more about literature and writing than it is about English. I was just excited to learn this new word, and thought Id share. Most of you are probably familiar with the term haiku, which is a three-lined Japanese poem. The first and third lines are five syllables; the second line has seven syllables. What Im here to talk about today is waka poetry.

Waka is also a Japanese type of poem. A waka has five lines, and each line has five or seven syllables, like the haiku. A waka starts out the same as a haiku (5-7-5 syllable pattern), but then the last two lines are both seven syllables (5-7-5-7-7).

Here is an example of a haiku:

The Old Pond by Matsuo Bash

An old silent pond

A frog jumps into the pond

Splash! Silence again.

And here are some examples of wakas:

The heron pauses
In solitary vigil
Eyes a falling leaf
The dusk comes so early now
At the Sandy Bottom lakes

(by Otagiri Tatsuzou)

When cool breezes blow
portending the changing leaves
ladies fan themselves
in shimmering colored silks
…one cannot but enjoy life

(by Date Saburou Yukiie)

The flowers withered,
Their color faded away,
While meaninglessly
I spent my days in the world
And the long rains were falling.

(by Ono no Komachi)

I hope that you all

Have a happy, joyous day

At work or at home

Staying cozy, safe, and warm

As the sun sets on the day.

Kara Church

Pronouns: she/her

Technical Editor, Advisory

Editors Corner Archives: https://episystechpubs.com/

Posted by: episystechpubs | March 24, 2022

Editor’s Corner: Whoever Heard of Dr. Soice?

Good morning, readers and writers!

I have some surprising information for you today (at least it was surprising to me!). Did you know that most of us have been pronouncing Dr. Seuss’s name incorrectly? Dr. Seuss’s birthday is this month, so I thought we’d take this opportunity to clear up the mispronunciation.

As you probably know, Dr. Seuss’s real name is Theodor Geisel. Seuss is his mother’s maiden name, and the correct German pronunciation rhymes with voice, not moose. From the beginning, the mispronunciation was so widespread, and it went on for so long, that the good doctor eventually just accepted it. However, Alexander Lang, a college friend who worked with Geisel on the Dartmouth Jack-O-Lantern commemorated him this way:

You’re wrong as the deuce

And you shouldn’t rejoice

If you’re calling him Seuss

He pronounces it Soice (or Zoice)

Early on in his career, Geisel illustrated many political cartoons and worked in the animation and film department of the U.S. Army. He even won an academy award in 1947 for Best Documentary Feature. Geisel published over 60 books, which have been translated into many languages and adapted into 11 television specials, five feature films, a Broadway musical, and four television series. National Read Across America Day, a reading initiative created by the National Education Association, is celebrated on his birthday each year (March 2).

His work is not without controversy, though. Although Dr. Seuss portrayed many positive values in many of his books, and while he remains popular, last year, six of his books were pulled from publication due to racist images. When the books were pulled, Dr. Seuss Enterprises said, “These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong.” They said they are committed to ensuring that the Suess catalog represents and supports all communities and families. 

We can all take a lesson from Dr. Seuss’s book The Sneetches, which sends the message that all people are to be valued, just the way they are: “…no kind of Sneetch is the best on the beaches.” 

Donna Bradley Burcher |Technical Editor, Advisory | Symitar®

8985 Balboa Ave. | San Diego, CA 92123 | Ph. 619.278.0432 | Ext: 765432

Pronouns she/her/hers

About Editor’s Corner

Editor’s Corner keeps your communication skills sharp by providing information on grammar, punctuation, JHA style, and all things English. As editors, we spend our days reading, researching, and revising other people’s writing. We love to spend a few extra minutes to share what we learn with you and keep it fun while we’re doing it.

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