I don't really know what I am musing on these days. It's more like an irregular stream of consciousness thing...it seems to be working.


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w January 26, 2009


With the exception of the let's say 8-9 month blip between taking Bean out of it (later than usual due to the developmental issues) and Peabo going in, we have not been without an occupied crib in this house for going on 7 years. That's rather a long time, and it was curious today to dismantle it with no ceremony, by myself, in the late afternoon while the kids watched WALL-E. I had wanted to keep Peabo in as long as possible, mostly for the sanity-enhancing aspects for me, but the universe has a funny way of smacking one in the hind area when one gets complacent; to wit, the heartstopping THUNK! over the monitor, followed immediately by wracking sobs and screaming.

Everyone is fine, all pulses returned to normal, it was nothing juice, a cookie, and Mom couldn't fix, but it did point out the fact that she is definitely now tall enough to slingshot herself over and fall what? 3 feet? Maybe more? Even if that scared her enough to not try it for a while, this is absolutely one of these situations where safe is ALWAYS better than sorry. I ended up putting the crib mattress on the floor, shoved into the corner to allow for some secure feelings, and crossed my fingers. Took everything out of her room that could be used as a ladder to other things (like the top of the dresser), shut the closet door (which is where half the stuff ended up, admittedly), and covered/otherwise hid the outlets. And crossed my fingers.

Thus far, all is quiet over the eastern monitor, and I'm hoping it means she hasn't quite processed her ability to stroll out of bed and futz around her room all night. She's actually not one to wake up midway through, probably because she's just about given up on napping during the day, but I suppose I should remember what I remembered earlier, about the universe and its bitch slaps...

by Heather Hoffman at 7:56 PM

w January 07, 2009

I'm Sure It Will Give My Father Fits

But I found this article really intriguing in terms of the way 'acceptable spelling' and 'accepted words' evolve:


I have had this experience more than once in the last four months, what with the paper writing and such. I can't remember the actual word I used - oh, wait, yes I can. Evidentiary. I was sprinkling fifty dollar words throughout, as one does, and was particularly pleased with the use of this one, at which MS Word balked. Being a good proto-librarian, I did some research on Google and lo and behold, it IS in dictionaries, at least the online versions, especially those of a legal nature. So I used it, and no one batted an eye. Given that there is some friction in the profession over controlled vocabulary versus natural language, I think this is a particularly interesting look at how things are mutating; the more I mull it over, the more I come down on the side of natural language. I'm pretty sure that puts me in the 'rogue' camp for classical librarianship, but as most of you have heard from my frequent soapboxes, I'm not all that interested in being a classical librarian. I don't think any of us should be, frankly - whether we like it or not, things *are* changing, and if we embrace that and tweak it appropriately, how much more effective and efficient could we be? This is the thing I've found - we're all pretty smart people, and we appreciate the power of words and ideas and the information baby of the two - things may be different when we get our piece of paper, but different isn't bad, it's just different. Change means you're staying awake. Awake is good. We can be like the intellectual version of coffee. Coffee is also good.

And just to beat a dead horse, language is organic. It's ORGANIC. How many words or phrases did Shakespeare supposedly coin? How much terminology was pupped from the expansion of the tech world, now completely mainstream? How many current words were once a) taboo or b) no big deal and are NOW taboo? New words aren't bad words, they're just words - we're the ones who slap labels and value on them. I'd rather have patrons be able to search for whatever their organic little brains are thinking of, and get at least approximately close to the right result - makes everyone's life a little easier. And that's the point, because then we can spend the freed up time creating new words.

But my dad can still be the Royal Grammarian. It amuses him.

by Heather Hoffman at 8:23 AM