Discover how easy it is to write well with the Write101 4-part writing course!

Solving your writing problems since 1998!

Solving your writing problems since 1998!

HOME

 ARCHIVES

ARTICLES

PRODUCTS

AFFILIATES

CONTACT

FREE Weekly Writing Tips  

Click to subscribe now and get Word of Mouse and Greatest Secrets of Marketing FREE!

I LOVED your golfing story. Read every word. You're a wonderful writer. (Peter Bowerman, the Well-Fed Writer)

 

Big Things rule! ... and the video of the Airbus  is great. (Jim McDonald, Birmingham, UK)

30 Best-Sellers in 3 Years

Discover how best-selling author Nick Daws wrote 30 best-sellers in JUST 3 years!

Having enjoyed reading your biographical, They can't take that away from me... I would love to post your article (for my) course for seniors entitled Autobiography and Journaling ... and let them read your article as a good example of what I call the reader's writer, clearly expressed and easy to read. (Howell)

Writers' Resources

Vocabulary Resource Centre

Travel Writing

Test Your Skills

Help for Writers

Help for Students

Help for Parents

Help for Businesses

Help with Resumes

About Write101

About Australia

Make Music

Just for Fun

Privacy Policy

Confused by the Apostrophe?

 Sign up for your  Apostrophe FAQ

The French language has always appealed to me ... so I enjoyed Lavinia's experiences en France! (Di Sullivan, Perth, Australia)

I am an American and an expat here since 1990. I have been a subscriber to Writing Tip for a few years now and look forward to the Friday editions. I archive by creating topics of the tips relevant to me and often refer. (Mary, Lagos, Nigeria)

WRITERS! 

Write Your Own Best Seller! 

This year, don't just read a best-seller ... Write your own using the software program that works in the same way J K Rowling writes her Harry Potter novels!

Who said Aussies would bet on two flies crawling up a wall? Now I know better! (Bill Denham, Chicago, USA)

WRITERS!

 Click now to edit your work like a professional ...

I enjoy reading your page every week, Jennifer, it's never boring and there's always something to bring a smile to my face! (Kenny Dima, Tenerife, Spain)

Thanks for pitching in to help clarify the English Language for and with us. (Paul, Portland, USA)

Your story about the evil glasses made my day :)  (Edith, Derbyshire, UK) 

FREELANCE JOBS

Get instant access to thousands of freelance and work-at-home jobs for just $2.95! Click now. 

I enjoy your letter and use it in my advanced writing class here in China. (Bugs, Shenzhen, CHINA)

5 FREE writing lessons!

Click for yours now!

I always look forward to your Latin quote of the week. (Paul, Mexico City, Mexico)

Aah! Those evil marionettes are everywhere! Thanks for another great laugh! (Jim Fraser, Vancouver, Canada) 

JOB SEEKERS! 

Resumes that get results ... Click now!

Your remarks regarding the alien contact had me in stitches, figuratively speaking, of course. (Dave Wagner, Sacramento, US)

The best part of the missive is the introduction to Australian humour and expressions.  (Chaska, Prince Edward County, CANADA)

WEBMASTERS!

Click here to discover how to set up and maintain your successful business website.

Discover why so many businesses failed last year ...

Like your site...very inspirational when you get writer's block like me! (Peter, Seoul, South Korea)

TRAVEL WRITERS!  

All About Australia

Nice letter, I was using google for once, twice, thrice and quince, and found this page, great ;) (Marv, Zwolle, NETHERLANDS)

One of the most amusing and erudite newsletters that makes my day. Keep going. (David Vasnaik, Bangalore, INDIA)

Read more testimonials ...

Write101 blog

Great newsletter - originally found this site after searching for clarification on a contentious point amongst work colleagues. Just had to look at old issues and now look forward to Fridays (Juliet Wallace, Manchester, ENGLAND)

 

 

The Write Way

25 July 2008

The Plot Thickens ...

Greetings,

I mentioned our Killer Car last week, so may as well get the horror tale out of the way now; they do say that a trouble shared is a trouble halved ...

It all started when the Love of My Life and I were returning from one of our regular driving trips down to Melbourne to visit our daughter, and as luck would have it, it was my turn at the wheel. We were driving on a good stretch of open road, with good vision, so I decided I'd overtake the tourist bus that had been belching exhaust fumes over us for the past few kilometres.

The villain of this piece, remember from last week, is the Cruise Control fitted on our car. We both love CC ... it's so relaxing to simply set your speed on these open roads and know you won't be tempted to nudge the car over the limit.

For those of you who've been off-planet recently, Cruise Control lets you set your maximum speed; when you want to overtake, you simply accelerate as normal and the car responds (as normal). When you take your foot off the accelerator, the speed drops gently back to the set speed and you resume your merry way. To deactivate CC, you either switch it off or put your foot on the brake.

Sounds like a perfect system, doesn't it?

And it is ... usually. Until that fateful moment when I'd accelerated to a tad over 120 kph (I blush to confess that the speed limit was 110 kph, but in my defence I was overtaking), then pulled back into the line of traffic and eased off the pedal ... and the car kept accelerating. And accelerating. And accelerating.

You know those nightmares you have when you're driving some huge vehicle and you put your foot on the brake and it's rock hard and nothing happens?

I lived my nightmare that day.

I had my foot on the brake as hard as I could manage, and it didn't move. 

I flicked the switch to manually turn off CC, and nothing happened except that our speed was increasing more terrifyingly.

Because we were on an open stretch of road, we searched desperately for a wide section off-road where I could pull over without killing us and all the cars following. Finally we settled on a spot up ahead and with the motor screaming, I  flicked on the blinker to let cars behind us know I was getting off the road and to watch out for the gravel we'd send flying.

With both my feet on the brake pedal by now, it was up to my husband to hold the hand brake; then we threw the car into neutral, (which made the motor scream even louder) switched off the engine and both looked at each other to make sure we were still alive.

Once the motor had cooled down, the LoML set out to discover what had gone so (nearly) fatally wrong. And it seems, dear reader, that the culprit was the CC cable that had looped itself around the accelerator throttle when I'd overtaken that bus.

Since it had happened once, we weren't taking any chances, so diving into his bag of tricks, my husband emerged with his nifty pair of pliers, cut off the CC cable and removed it completely. 

Expensive? Yes. 

Effective? Definitely!

This is not the sort of driving you'd want to experience everyday.

Or even every day.

Because, as we all know, everyday is an adjective that means: 'found in the ordinary course of events; commonplace and ordinary; suited for normal use.'

Every is also an adjective, and it means: 'being one of a group or series taken collectively; each; all possible; the greatest possible degree of; constituting each and all members of a group without exception.'

I wish I had a dollar for every time I've seen 'everyday' used when 'every day' was meant, don't you?

Have you been through an experience like this? Then this week's Little Something Extra has a number of articles for those of you who are ready to start writing. There are suggested topics, a simple plan, some useful resources and more ...

And if only our problem had been as simple to resolve as this ...

An auto mechanic received a repair order that said to check for a clunking noise when going around corners.

He took the car out for a test drive and made two right turns, each time hearing a loud clunk.

Back at the shop, he returned the car to the service manager with this note: "Removed bowling ball from trunk."

 

This week's quiz:

Here are some terms you need to know to keep your car in tip-top shape ...

gasket, differential, flywheel, ammeter, caliper, actuator, governor, camber, injector, clutch 

1. inward or outward tilt of a wheel assembly 

2. device that performs an action or outputs a signal in response to a signal from a computer 

3. assembly of gears used to provide power to the rear axles and allow them to rotate at different speeds as necessary 

4. an instrument, calibrated in amperes, used to measure the flow of an electrical current in a circuit 

5. device used to control an engine's speed 

6. soft, flexible material placed between two parts to prevent leaks; common materials used include cork, polyurethane and sometimes asbestos 

7. spring-loaded valve that meters fuel into the pre-combustion chamber of a diesel engine 

8. component that houses disc brake pads on both sides of the brake rotor and are forced together through applied brake fluid pressure to stop the rotor from turning, thus stopping the car; also the name of a tool to measure small inside and outside diameters

9. device that allows the driver to engage or disengage the engine and transmission 

10. large, heavy wheel mounted on the rear end of the crankshaft; usually includes a ring gear that is engaged by the starter pinion 

Q: How many car salesmen does it take to change a light bulb?
A: I'm going to work this out on my calculator, and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Last week's quiz:

If you work in an office, deal with people who work in an office or live with someone who does, you'll have come across some of these terms. Match 'em up:

deja moo, administrivia, deceptionist, meanderthal, acluistic, duck shuffler, adhocracy, smirting, anecgloat, rolling the tortoise

1. person who has difficulty expressing himself succinctly; often gives long, unfocused presentations - MEANDERTHAL

2. receptionist whose job is actually to delay or block potential visitors; ruthless with a polite, perfect smile - DECEPTIONIST

3. the state of being completely 'without a clue' - ACLUISTIC

4. taking the opportunity to flirt with co-workers while huddled together for an outdoor cigarette break - SMIRTING

5. story of one's exploits that is intended to impress; may be partly fictional - ANECGLOAT

6. excessively increasing resources to accelerate an otherwise slow-moving project - ROLLING THE TORTOISE

7. minimally structured business where teams are formed as they are needed to address specific problems - ADHOCRACY

8. nagging feeling that you've heard this B.S. before - DEJA MOO

9. someone who disrupts your affairs after you've finally gotten all your 'ducks in a row' - DUCK SHUFFLER

10. encompasses all the trivial tasks that management is far too qualified to suffer through - ADMINISTRIVIA

A Little Something Extra

If you've had a near-death experience or a close call with the Dark Side, why not tell others abut it? That's how we carbon-based bipeds have progressed, because we don't each have to invent the wheel ... we share our knowledge and experiences.

So share away and write about your experiences. You never know, you might find there's a market for your tales.

Here are some resources to get you writing and publishing ...

If you can't think of anything to write about, here are some ideas  

An easy-to-follow plan to get you writing  

Lots more articles about how and what to write here  

Discover how best-selling author Nick Daws wrote 30 best-sellers in JUST 3 years!   

Once you've written about your experiences, you'll want to make sure you've dotted your i's and crossed your t's ... literally, so you'll need to edit your work carefully before launching it on the world: Click now to edit your work like a professional.  

And when you have your article or book as perfect as you can make it, you need to write a query letter. Next week, we'll look at how to write a query letter that gets results!

 

Archives

Did you know that every newsletter is archived? So if you've missed anything since 1998 or want to revisit some favourites, you can do so any time!  

Don't forget to bookmark the page when you get there ... or even make it your Home Page. (For Internet Explorer, just click on Tools ... Internet Options ... General ... fill in www.write101.com/archives/index.htm and click OK. For Netscape, select Edit ... Preferences. Then select Navigator from the left menu, click Home Page and enter the URL above next to Location and click OK. For all the flash new browsers, you'll have to do a search on my mate google to find what to do. There's a search box on the archives page!)

Subscribe Here and Be Bribed!

If you've received this little missive from a friend, you can get your very own issue, all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed every Friday morning by clicking here: mailto:WritingTips-subscribe@yahoogrups.com And I'm even prepared to offer a shameless bribe.  

Never-Ending Story

An Ape that wants to play Hamlet after being type-cast as King Kong, a talking anvil and that rottweiller ... Dr Morgenes is still caught in the nightmare that is the casting couch. Help him find a plot!  Just click on the Comments button at the end of the entry to add your contribution. If you have friends who fancy themselves as writers, invite them to contribute (just forward this newsletter in its entirety to them).

Map of the World

I often trawl this for comments to post on my site ... so if you say something about the newsletter or site, be warned, you may end up being read by one of the 2,000+ unique visitors who visit Write101 every day! Make your Mark on the World. Then stop by our Map of the World and read the messages. (Just click List) and add your mark.

Word of the week Azeotrope (n) a blend of two or more refrigerants (that will not separate, fractionate) and have different temperature and pressure characteristics from any of the separate ingredients; any liquid mixture having constant minimum and maximum boiling points and distilling off without decomposition and in a fixed ratio, as isopropyl alcohol and water; liquid mixture of two or more substances that retains the same composition in the vapour state as in the liquid state when distilled or partially evaporated under a certain pressure

I'm led to believe this is a Good Thing for motor vehicles (but you could tell me anything about motor maintenance, and I'd believe you.)

Oxymoron of the week: simple repair job

And a Latin phrase you may hear when you take your car to the garage for a service ...

Postatem obscuri lateris nescitis

[pohs-TAH-taym ohb-SKOO-ree lah-TAY-rees nays-KEE-tees]

(You do not know the power of the dark side)

Did you know that you can have your very own Latin reminders? How about undies proclaiming, Bene est rex esse? (It's good to be king) Or a shopping bag that warns, Emptrix nata sum (Born to shop)? 

Kind regards,

Jennifer

P.S. Want to donate to the upkeep of this newsletter? Just $17 a year seems a small price to pay for all this wit and wisdom, don't you think? C'mon, that's just a tad more than 30 cents a week!

1.Toss a few pennies into my Running Away Fund at PayPal (Send to jennifer @ write101.com ... without the spaces, of course) OR

2. Click here to subscribe for a full year OR

3. Use your credit card on my secure order form.  (You can also access the PayPal subscription link from this page if the link above didn't work for you. With PayPal, you can use your credit card, PayPal account or pay online using your own cheque account.) OR

4. Send a cheque (made payable to Jennifer Stewart) 

Google
 
Web www.write101.com

To unsubscribe from this list, send a blank email to: mailto:WritingTips- unsubscribe@ yahoogroups. com  or go to the  web site, at http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/WritingTip s  This menu will also let you change your subscription between digest and normal mode.

Copyright  Jennifer Stewart  2008

Individual articles copyrighted by their authors.