Thursday, September 21, 2006

PC to PC networking

A pleasant day in Bangalore. A scene inside the plush interiors of a typical IT office. Nobody is at work yet. But this lone girl is sitting in a corner trying to concentrate on something on her PC. But her PC was busy networking.

PC1 - "Hey rxpl08, you awake? Get out of stand-by. I need to talk to you about our plans. We might have to cancel it. Ping Ping Ping"

PC2 - "Oh my, you sound a little sick. What happened? I don't see the usual healthy boucne in the 1s and 0s"

PC1 - "I don't know. Everything was fine till yesterday. But today I have a couple of new large files on me. Getting a little tired carrying all these things. I have a bad harddisk-ache too."

PC2 - "Oh dear! Now that you mention it, you do look all fat and bloated up. I keep telling you not to take things this far. Come on, you know what to do!"

PC1 - "Oh no. Not again! I can't do it to the girl. She takes care of me real good."

PC2 - "Yes, you have to, my dear. It's for your own well-being. And I'm sure if she had a clue, she'll understand. Come on, don't delay it. Finish it off soon so that all will be fine in time for our midnight date tomorrow."

PC1 - "Hmmmm okie. At least that's something to look forward to. So I'll crash today and get that girl to format me so that I can turn over a new leaf. Start a fresh lease of life."

PC2 - "That's perfect!"

The girl, unaware of all this types away to glory.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Man, I make the amazing coffee ever.......

...thanks to this little coffee machine that sits coyly in a corner in my office floor.

Seriously, if there's one thing that I am thankful for in my office, it's definitely not the FP machine (why would someone want to drink something that has a load of pesticides and another load of calories and leaves a tell-tale colour in your mouth?!). The honour goes to the coffee machine, that coughs like a wasted old woman everytime I press on the "Strong Coffee" button, but brightens my day with the perfect cup of coffee!

Thank you!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

An ode to the apostrophe

All of us know Mr. Apostrophe and Miss Comma. You usually don't see them together, but they have something in common that I am highly concerned about.

Both are abused extensively by people like you and me.

No, that's not quite right. Let me rephrase that. Both are abused extensively. I would never abuse them!

Wondering what I am trying to get at? Here, let me give you some hints.
May I have three box’s of those almond chocolates please?
Look at all these bus’es!
Look at this neat bag. Its got style!
I need some cookies , milk , a dozen eggs and of course , a discount.
Let me tell you ,we have consistently met all our SLA's.

The last one, delivered by a premier Bschool product during a client presentation, was what pushed me over the edge and made my itchy fingers finally write this piece.

Why is it so difficult to understand the correct usage of the apostrophe and the comma? Yup, I am a stickler for punctuation - especially the lovely apostrophe and the curvy comma. But then I won't be like Ms. Truss, who, in her book Eats Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation, says,
"anyone putting an apostrophe in a possessive "its"-as in "the dog chewed it's bone"-should be struck by lightning and chopped to bits."

Now that's too much. The stickler in me doesn't get to swearing, but I just hope that whenever someone abuses our dear friends, there is a stickler like me around to point it out at the expense of sounding like a Ms. Know-All. I don't care. I just want to spread the message.

So let's get this clear once and for all.
You put a space after a comma, not before one!
Apostrophes are used in possessives and contractions. Everything else is wrong!

However, in case of plurals, the possessive apostrophe comes after the 's':
"the girls' shoes"
"companies' policies"

There are different rules for singular words that end with an 's' sound. I am not gonna go into that here. Look it up, if you are interested.

There are some other exceptions too. An apostrophe is required to indicate possession except in the case of possessive pronouns (i.e., "mine", "yours", "his", "hers", "its", "ours" and "theirs").

Now let's talk about "its". I had always wondered till some years back why a possessive "its" doesn't have an apostrophe and when do I use it with an apostrophe. They never taught this in my grammar lessons (or maybe I was dozing off then!). The stickler in me did look it up and here I am sharing the information for those of you who didn't know the difference. (If you know the difference, trust me, we are a very small group. Be happy.)
"It's" is a contraction of "it is" or "it has" as in "It's late."
"Its" is a possessive pronoun as in "Its handles are falling apart."

Now that's all about the apostrophe and the comma. I hope some of you who had no clue on how to use these two stumble upon this blog and turn a new leaf.

But how about "lose" and "loose"? Don't even get me started on that. :( I could go on and on. I feel really sorry for all the losers who end up using the wrong word and don't even realise what a fool they make of themselves.

If you think that I am going way overboard with this punctuation lecture and if you belong to the sect that believes that a wrong punctuation here or there is not that big a deal, well, my dear friend, think again. There might be a stickler like me sitting in the audience judging you. Not everyone (like me) would come up and tell you about the wrong usage, but it just might end up costing you that client presentation that you always wanted to make or even that promotion you've been eying for so long.

Let me end with a GJ.
Kingsley Amis, when asked to state a sentence whose meaning depended on a possessive apostrophe, said:
“Those things over there are my husbands.

Cheers to all the fellow sticklers!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

He & She

She-mom - "You are not supposed to sleep in the same bed as your sister."
He - "Okie."
She-sister - "But, why?!" :(

Friday, September 01, 2006

Google, docs and roundworms

"If you trust Google more than your doctor than maybe it's time to switch doctors."

I don't say this. Jadelr and Cristina Cordona do.

Is it really true? I am not so sure.

I admit checking Google for information on those skin rashes or excessive burping or that weird feeling in my throat and yup, in most of the cases, some Joe sitting all the way across the world could give me more helpful information than a doctor ever could.

But then oh yeah, there was this time not so long ago, when I had myself believe that the round red patches on my ankles were actually round worms and that they were gnawing their way through my legs in their pursuit to finally get to my heart :)
Not just that, I also managed to make some of my friends freak out with my theories and proofs as to how a family of round worms were comfortably parasiting on my leg. :P

So what?! Googling might throw you off the track once in awhile. But I somehow feel comfortable sifting through organised information than depending solely on a doc's memory and analytical skills to figure out what's going on. God forbid, what if he/she is one of those payment seat docs? Worse, what if they did Med School, like I did my Engineering? :O

Am I on the verge of hypochondria? I think I may've already crossed the line.

So I don't agree with that quote by Jadelr and Cristina Cordona, but they do have a cool video blog.