Words are Important. I have the best words. Believe me.

By Dana Cobb, TrizCom PR

Words are important blog - Dana pic.jpg

Leonard Stein, one of the original founders of Mad-libs, said that the iconic ad-lib inspiration notepad was directly linked to his inability to spell “hyperbole” in a seventh-grade spelling bee. Humiliated and embarrassed beyond words, he ran home to take refuge in the family dictionary, determined to learn the correct spelling and exact meaning of as many words as humanly possible.

Words are important; they are the most valuable tools in spoken language.

Misuse of these words can backfire on the deliverer in monumental ways.

My biggest peeve is the exchange of moot versus mute in conversation. For the record, a moot point can be either an issue open for debate or a matter of no practical value or importance because it’s hypothetical. The word mute means “silent; refraining from speech or utterance,” and the pairing mute point has no canonized meaning in standard English.

Following is a quiz. Take it and see how you score. I scored perfectly because I have the best words.

Stealing Focus

By Dana Cobb, TrizCom PR

HIYA, ONLINE BLOG WORLD! I don’t know about most of you, but I am woefully unsophisticated when it comes to technology. For being in the field of communications, something about technology befuddles me.

What I do know is what I hate. Pop-ups. Pop-ups that steal focus. It’s like being photo-bombed right on your computer screen. A bit of trivia for you: “Stealing focus” is actually the technical term for when a program window spontaneously appears in front of others.       

It’s annoying, intrusive and literally can slow operating systems to a halt. Stealing focus came to the forefront with the introduction of Windows XP in 2001. It has been determined that focus stealing can be due to malicious programming by developers or buggy software or operating system behaviors that need to be fixed.

Roger from Fix It Fast Computer in Dallas told me that “It’s not possible for Windows to block all programs from stealing focus and still work properly. The goal here is to identify the program that shouldn’t be doing this and then figure out what to do about it.”

Now I’m not going to get all esoteric here on a blog, but that seems like some universally good advice.

You see, the implications of stealing focus are often not felt by the stealing but rather the audience.

We, as consumers, citizens and somewhat intelligent human beings, have seen focus stealing become rampant through the media that we utilize every day on behalf of – and sometimes, in spite of – the client or organization we work for. We are competing with malicious “programs” and buggy “software” (or in our case “who”) trying to steal focus.

But here’s the thing:

You don’t need to steal focus if you can just arrange for someone to give it to you.

Yup. It’s that simple.

You don’t need to steal focus if you can just arrange for someone to give it to you.