Mohitoz’ Law #224
Just because I tweet from where I sh*t, it doesn’t mean I’m a twit.
Mohitoz’ Law #224
Just because I tweet from where I sh*t, it doesn’t mean I’m a twit.
Mohitoz’ Law #86
(Decoded for my non-Sindhi friends: the Sindhi word for “let’s go” is “hullo”… I kid thee not.)
They are three characters who have co-existed alongside each other for over a century: two of them are neighbours, the third lives just one row away. But they do meet these days in a manner and frequency that would have surprised Christopher Latham Sholes. He didn’t create these three fellows; merely ordained where they should be.
The ones who are close look down – literally – at their occasional companion with a look that smacks of superiority. Individually, they perform very different tasks and were created for specific roles that have, somehow, lost their meaning in today’s hurly-burly careless world. They may have disappeared from the permanence of paper but have been infused with a new vitality digitally with the poor guy at the bottom jumping out of the keyboard and initiating the existence of all three as one team.
When they do come together, these colourless, cold characters can light up a forlorn face in the twinkling of an eye. Some days, you just wait for them to appear in a rare reply to an email or to an SMS (perhaps it’s the rarity with which they come together that makes the trio even more valuable).
Maybe they should be brought together more often and sent out to someone waiting for a smile.
Or a : – )
A couple of weeks ago, I joined the league of people who tweet away.
It started as an exercise in educating myself to figure out what the 140-character-microblogging syndrome was all about. And to see if it could be put to any productive use because it seemed like an addictive distraction. Some of it is useful – especially if you follow NYT, Economist, Wired, O’Reilly, GigaOm, Guy Kawasaki and a few real-life acquaintances who aren’t busy tweeting about inane stuff like going to the loo or listing out what they ate for breakfast (before they went to the loo)! And it could be more useful if Maruti Suzuki evolved its Traffic Beat service from FM radio to Twitter to tell people which roads to avoid in real time, or if a helpful Jat could update others on shops that still stock beer in Delhi/Gurgaon when the temperature’s hitting 43 Celsius and there’s no Kingfisher to be found nearby…or even the best deals on veggies in the morning (why does Pizza Hut insist on wasting paper slipping in offers into newspapers?).
But, yes, Twitter can be addictive and distracting. In this multi-tasking era of hyperactive thumb-texting, it’s a fad worth considering only if you don’t get carried away: interestingly, a research reports that over 60% of Twitter users drop out after the first month.
On a particularly distracted day – alternating between Facebook and Twitter and between their web and mobile versions – I realised how unproductive life could be. Which is how the term fwittering was coined and submitted as entry no. 13 to Urban Dictionary: ‘a verb which describes the act of frittering away valuable time between Facebook and Twitter by posting status updates or tweets on both.’
No pun intended but go thumb it on UD.
This one’s not just about entry no. 12 in Urban Dictionary… it’s about a few friends as well.
To start with, it’s about Abhijit Pradhan who was a colleague twice over – in two different organisations – and is one of the few people I know who turned a passion into a means of livelihood.
I met him, after a hiatus of a few weeks last Friday, and our conversation turned towards the Microsoft Corporate Challenge where I was fortunate to lead two of the finest teams I’ve ever had. The first in Goa in 2005, the next at Hua-Hin in Thailand in 2007 – and we came third in the inaugural event and second in the 2007 one! I happened to be telling him about the sheer brilliance of the concept, the organisation of the event, the fact that it is arguably the most powerful team-building tool I’ve come across and that it’s mandatory to have at least two women in a team of seven (the inaugural event had one woman in a team of six)… that’s when he quipped “not mandatory, but womandatory!”.
So, this entry to Urban Dictionary is dedicated to Abhijit.
And to Manjula, who made the first year’s triumph possible. As well as to Anupa and Arti who powered us to the runner’s-up position in the last event (sadly, the Microsoft Corporate Challenge doesn’t have a sponsor today, so the Hua Hin one was the last).
It should be womandatory to have more women around…
Another Urban Dictionary entry and this one’s courtesy Garima whose id it is somewhere…
The word is Galbum; it refers to a girl’s album on Flickr; and not her rear :-)
Go, thumb it!
Okay, so AIG’s been a bit obtuse and sent Obama and Co. into another tizzy.
More important, it’s led to an OUTRAIG: Public anger directed at corporations like AIG which blow up taxpayers’ funds for self-gain… go thumb it on Urban Dictionary.
(By the way, Lehman Sisters had made it to the Word of the Day on March 20; but it does look like it’s disliked more than it’s loved! Which is also okay I guess – at least it evoked a response.)
In 2003, I left not just the advertising agency that had been home for 16 years, but also the industry. And I’ve watched award parades turn into painful charades, with a handful of agencies fighting like children to win trophies for campaigns that get published in obscure media for non-existent brands.
One part of the advertising industry calls them scams. I thought I’d call them scampaigns – and tried my luck on Urban Dictionary. Now, it’s entry number nine in there :-)
A college friend and confidante, now a schoolteacher in Calcutta (strange how most of the college gang started working either as teachers or journalists or in some form of the communications industry) sent this SMS last night:
Remember lines from Daffodils? Kids insist on writing: “A poet could not but be ‘a’ gay in such a jocund company…”
I owe her much of my sanity for she was the one who stood rock-solid by my side at the most turbulent time of my life – way back in the late ’80s. Am not sure I was there for her when she went through an even-worse calamity almost a decade later but we’re still there for each other when we need to be… that, however, is not the point here!
A few days ago, I’d stumbled on the fact that, while I remembered every line of almost every nursery rhyme I’d read over 40 years ago, I was aghast to discover that my children – 10 and a-week-away-from-nine respectively – couldn’t remember Humpty Dumpty or Hickory-Dickory-Dock or Twinkle-Twinkle… I could’ve cried!
But something told me that something had changed: children, these days, don’t learn as much by rote as we used to. More important, they’re exposed to so much more, that inane nonsense like “three bags full” is quickly transferred to the mind’s trash folder.
The not-so-gay schoolteacher from Calcutta confirms this but it does leave me wondering whether another literary genre is headed for extinction.
When one half of your team operates out of the US and starts work around the time you’re supposed to be logging out, the better part of your evenings is usually spent on trans-continental conference calls. Doing serious business, negotiating royalty payments, running through presentations on an hour-long phone call takes some getting used to, but once you’ve figured it out, it can be fun as well.
Sometimes, the team at one end of the call goes into a huddle discussing something that just can’t be deciphered by the other party. This happened earlier this week, prompting me to create ‘mumble-jumble‘: Intense mumbling that some people do in a conference-call when they start discussing something at one end, oblivious of the fact that it can’t be heard – or understood – by participants at the other end.
And, like always, I submitted it to Urban Dictionary… where it now rests, waiting to be voted. Go, thumb it!
Every day, one reads of jobs disappearing by the thousands as entire companies/industries/countries go under… that’s what led to the creation of Jobsolence on, where else but… Urban Dictionary.
Soon after Lehman Brothers started to go down, and panic buttons were being hit, I happened to be far from the crowd – in Berlin. And, that’s where it struck me that while most people were wondering what the ‘poor’ investment bankers would do, how come no one was thinking of their kith and kin? That’s how, in this once-devastated capital, Lehman Sisters was created. It’s taken Urban Dictionary four months to publish it but, then, all good things do take time :-)
Updated March 20: Lehman Sisters makes it to Urban Dictionary’s Word of the Day…
Sorry but the break from UD will have to wait; this is getting a bit too easy though, Go ogle…
In October 2008, reporting for afaqs from Berlin, where O’Reilly’s Web 2.0 Expo was on, I coined the term ‘netvangelist’ to describe what I did as one of my passions. The other day, on an off-chance, I submitted it as an entry to Urban Dictionary. And for the fourth consecutive time, made it! Chirag, another former colleague and fellow netvangelist feels I’ve been OD’ing on UD… so, time to give my etymological indulgences a break, I guess.
This must be my lucky week…first Nightling makes it to Urban Dictionary. And now Huesday! Incidentally, it was first conceived of by the Indiatimes Art team in 2007-08 as a series of art shows to be held on Tuesdays which, sadly, has been discontinued. If only all good things didn’t have such early endings…