Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Keep your standards up

When I checked my dictionary to see if standardise should be spelled standardise or standardize I found that both versions are acceptable. Either way it means to make something fit in with a standard.  Have you noticed that standardisation often seems to involve bringing everything or everyone down to the lowest common denominator rather than trying to raise them up to the highest possible level?

Standardizes, standerdizing and standardized should all have a z according to my dictionary, although not to the spellchecker on my computer. That's helpful.

A standard is a level of quality, principles of good behaviour or a type of flag or lamp and the way some plants are trained. It can also mean the accepted norm or average.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014


An aphorism is a short statement of fact or opinion. They're often catchy and quotable. If you snooze you lose, All for one and one for all, Forgive your enemies but remember their names, Little strokes fell great oaks. Actually oaks feature quite a lot, From little acorns grow mighty oaks, Storms make oaks grow stronger roots, Today's oak is yesterday's nut which held its ground, The only cure for sea sickness is to sit with your back against an oak tree.

Even when aphorisms are opinion and/or wrong they're stated as facts eg Lightning never strikes the same place twice, Posession is nine tenths of the law, All things come to he who waits.

Sometimes they're designed to encourage better behaviour or spur us to action, If you're not part of the solution you're part of the problem, Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration, Nothing ventured nothing gained. They can also suggest a deeper meaning, All that glitters is not gold, You can lead a horse to water but can't make it drink.

Aphorisms often contradict each other, Oil and water don't mix, Opposites attract, You're never to old to learn, You can't teach an old dog new tricks.

One of my favourites is, Keep your powder dry. It's good advice.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Making a plash

Plash can mean a pool or puddle, or a splashing sound. It's usually used in reference to water and I feel it suggests something gentle and refreshing. A fountain plashing water into a large basin where wearry tourists stop to rest. A beach being plashed by the tide. The sound of oars plashing into a sunlit river overhung with willows.

It's the kind of sound we'd enjoy hearing on a hot midsummer's day.