12 November 2013

Punctuation Power

As I was driving to work this morning I saw the following written on the side of a white panel van:
‘Kol Noun Surveyor’

As a writer I was naturally intrigued. Kol Nouns, I’d never heard of them.
Were they part of a sub-set of an existing noun group such as pronouns, verbal nouns, abstract nouns or collective nouns? Or were they a group on their own?

Of course, it’s not surprising these nouns were new to me.  Looking again at the sign I could only assume since they had their own specialised surveyors, seeking and scrutinising them, they must be pretty rare.

Sigh – oh, for a single piece of punctuation. A comma, colon, or even a dash would have done much in the interest of clarity.  
‘Kol Noun: Surveyor’
Suddenly, I have a man and his job not  a linguistics problem.
Of course this particular problem was generated because this surveyor’s surname was in fact a noun.

It might be apt to end with an image:

And talking about saving lives....

Don't forget this fun noun post from a few weeks ago :)
Zombie Nouns

05 November 2013

Micro expressions

Ever since I saw a few episodes of Lie to Me, I've wanted to do a post on micro expressions. I just hadn't got round to it until I found a fun little test.

First, what is a micro expression:
Micro expressions are very brief facial expressions, lasting between 1/25th and 1/15th of a second. They occur when a person either deliberately or unconsciously conceals an emotion being felt.
The premise of Lie to Me is the main character's ability to detect these micro expressions & thus determine if someone is lying. In real life we all do it, that is have the expressions and read them, however we frequently do both unconsciously. Ever met someone and after a brief conversation decided you don't feel comfortable with them, but you don't know why. It could be that you unconsciously read a micro expression.

The link below will take you too a quick test. There are images of people, there expressions will change very briefly - can you tell how they're feeling. Press the emotion buttons & find out if you're right.

To find out more on micro expressions:

Or there is this slightly longer test