I used to be a prescriptivist…

…but then I saw the light

This post is based on a NaBloPoMo prompt: What was something you once believe was true but now you know is false? How did you feel when you learned the facts?

The early years

From an early age, I learnt to read and write by typing with my tiny hands on the hard keys of a Minitel terminal. In case you don’t know, the Minitel is basically the ancestor of the Internet – and yes, I’m that old. The terminal was my first computer, even though all I could do was type and sort of draw things that I couldn’t even save, and I was sad to see it go.
Continue reading


On the heart’s part in knowledge acquisition

Why can’t I just answer the damn question?

This post is based on a NaBloPoMo prompt: Do you need to have hard-cold facts to believe something, or do you know things with your heart?

Knowledge acquisition

If we only believed with hard-cold facts, there is not much we would accept as true. The way I see it, knowledge comes from two sources: our experience, and accounts of other people’s experience. By “experience”, I mean everything we go through, everything we feel, everything we study closely. And by “accounts”, I mean everything people share about their experience and other people’s experience, whether honestly or dishonestly, and sometimes honestly yet based on dishonest sources.
Continue reading

NaBloPoMo Roundup #01 – New to the neighbourhood

a.k.a. What are other participants blogging about?

This first week back into blogging has been a real challenge for me, not by lack of ideas but because I had too much to write. I hadn’t been in this situation in a long time and it felt great to be inspired! Unfortunately, between blogging and other activities, I didn’t have much time to check out what my fellow NaBloPoMo participants were writing about although I really wanted to. So today, I gathered as many answers to this week’s prompts as I could find and decided to share a roundup of my readings.
Continue reading

I won’t teach you any language…

…but I will teach you how to learn it

This post is based on a NaBloPoMo prompt: What is something you know that you could teach another person if given the chance?

Been there, done that

The first answer that crossed my mind was, unsurprisingly, languages – but to be honest, it is something I have already taught. In college, concurrently with my studies, I tutored a few kids and teens who struggled with English at school. One of them needed help with his homework and grammar in general; a science student needed to get a grasp of scientific English; a girl had changed schools so many times that she had never properly learnt the basics.
Continue reading

On catching clients with food

I swear this is a serious post

This post is based on a NaBloPoMo prompt: If you could connect one-on-one with one expert, what would you want to learn?

On the professional side

With my business in mind, I would like to connect with a communication and marketing expert who could teach me everything I need to know – and do – before I approach potential clients. Some general advice relevant to my situation would be nice, for starters – but I think a hands-on approach would work best. I have read so much on this topic that I shouldn’t need anyone to hold my hand, but somehow applying what I have learnt isn’t as easy as one may think.
Continue reading

The delicate art of advising and being advised

a.k.a. don’t blindly accept the advice you are given

This post is based on a NaBloPoMo prompt: Do you prefer to take advice from strangers or from people close to you?

Before answering this prompt, I decided to focus on a few questions to consider. I tried to think in general terms and distance myself from my current issues, which explains the use of “you” instead of “I” in many sentences. Don’t go thinking that I am trying to make a guide on advice taking!
Continue reading

Everyone’s an expert in their own way…

…in their own not that expert-y way

This post is based on a NaBloPoMo prompt: Everyone is an expert in something. Tell us 3 things you’re an expert in.

What I am NOT an expert in

This first prompt took much soul-searching. My first instinct was to answer “English” or “translation”, as I have achieved a near-native command of the former and have a career in the latter, but I don’t consider myself an expert in either. There is still a lot I don’t know about English and I don’t have enough translation experience to present myself that way. I don’t doubt myself and my skills, but I wouldn’t want to present myself as something I am not by using such a strong word.
Continue reading