Arlington, VA – DreamLoom Communications, an innovative public relations and communications firm, is excited to announce the opening of DreamLoom Digital Services, a turnkey operation helping small businesses create and maintain up to date websites and social media campaigns.
Small businesses need to sustain current websites and Facebook pages to generate community and drive sales. At the same time, they need to balance all the other work a small business requires. Dreamloom Digital Services understands this dilemma because we have lived it. We began offering this service because we wished we had it available when we started our business.
With customized service at a customized price, DreamLoom Digital Services will provide clients with regularly updated content to their website, Facebook page and Twitter feed to keep customers and prospects engaged, curious, responsive and coming back for more.
“Having your website and Facebook page up-to-date and engaging has become the 21st century's 'table stakes' of the business game,” explained DreamLoom Communications Founder David Morrison.
“The only thing worse than not having a website or Facebook page is having one that you have not brought up to date since 2009,” Morrison added. “One of the first things we ask new clients is when they last added to their website or Facebook page's content. Some say six months, but many can't even tell us because its been so long.”
DDS will use Google analytics to track and identify your customers and potential customers. Then we will craft posts to your site, FaceBook page and Twitter feed to keep your name at the tops of their lists of retailers, vendors or service providers. Customers don't have to remain customers – a properly executed website and Facebook page can help make them fans.
Small businesses don't need to keep worrying about finding time to update their websites or Facebook pages. Come visit us at DreamLoom Digital Services and let us show you how we can ease that burden and let you focus entirely on the work you most want to do – selling the products and services that started you in business for the first place.
We've had some busy weeks over at DreamLoom Communications. We've been working hard to get our English language tutoring service, WordSmith Academy, up and running. We're still experimenting with marketing approaches, but it's looking more and more like, at least at first, I am going to be selling this thing face to face so it's good I have been hard at work at Toastmasters.
Meanwhile, on the Toastmasters front, Spirited Speakers, my Toastmaster's chapter has been growing. And when the chapter met to elect new officers in July, they voted me Vice President of Membership by acclamation so I am tucking some more skills under my belt. But I'm ok with the additional responsibility, I don't know of any other organization available today providing a better value or venue to anyone looking to improve essential career skills.
I have also taken a part-time job to help make ends meet, stepping onto the lowest rung on the health care industry ladder to work as a "friendly visitor" for a health care company. It's an odd job. Essentially, in the lives of older, or ill people, we "friendly visitors" provide some of the time and services that relatives might if they were geographically or emotionally closer to their loved one
So I take people to appointments, provide a lunch or two, join one or two for lunch out, pick up medications, play cards, and listen. A lot of listening. And managing on the fly. All for a wage that is just over double the minimum, lol.
Recently, a typical assignment, I went to a client's apartment to help her set up her mobile phone. R is about 65, with significant schizophrenia and some other health issues. She is someone else's regular client, but her caregiver was out of town and so the company asked me to step in.
I felt reassured when I arrived at the apartment. R knew who I was and why I had come, But when I showed R that I managed to get a dial tone on the handset, she looked at me wide-eyed and exclaimed: "But won't Emma be angry?"
"No," I replied, willing myself to show the confidence I definitely did not feel. "She already texted me that she is fine with it."
"Oh, that's good," R replied and returned to watching a game show on television.
At the very least it's a job where I am meeting a greater variety of people and bearing witness to a far larger swath of the human condition than I ever have before.
We have a brag page up, so hop on over to our testimonial page and check it out.
Arlington, VA. – The WordSmith Academy, a leading provider of English language learning services, has released three new programs to help clients improve their career prospects and prepare for entrance and other examinations.
The Introductory, Progressive and Horizon programs enlist client's creativity to expand their English vocabulary for life and not just for a few days or weeks.
Working through lessons consisting of 16 words at a time, WordSmith clients first define new words and learn their usage before cementing them into their memory with a creative writing project. The 500-700 word projects can be essays, poems, dramatic scenes, letters, short stories, or any other sort of written exercise that allows the client to use all the words, if possible.
Experienced WordSmith readers than personally review the projects for the clients, praising what they have done correctly and guiding them to a better understanding of their mistakes. This personal attention on each client' work and focus on English that sets The WordSmith Academy apart from other English tutoring or consulting services which treat students or clients impersonally or charge much higher fees for personal attention.
If they choose, clients successfully completing any of the programs will receive a certificate of accomplishment and a letter, sent to whomever they choose, stating the same.
“Our new programs represent a significant outreach to the millions of Americans who understand that properly spoken and written English provide keys to unlock a better, more successful future,” said WordSmith founder David Morrison. “We look forward to partnering with different organizations and firms to offer our programs to an even broader reach of people.”
The WordSmith Academy – Because Vocabulary Matters
A human being's, dog's or horse's thorax (pronounced Thor-Axe) is the part of their body stretching from their neck to their abdomen, according to both the Merriam Webster's dictionary and the Oxford English Dictionary. In typical fashion, the OED defined it even more closely, adding that the thorax is encompassed by the ribs, breastbone and dorsal vertebrae and usually contains a mammal's heart and lungs.
In insects, the thorax is usually the middle section of many insects' three bodily divisions.
The OED also reported thorax entered written English around 1400 and that its origins rested in Greek and Latin words for breastplate.
Thorax is primarily an anatomical and medical term so many of its uses appear in those contexts, for example: “A number of hospitals in the area lack a thoracic surgeon” (thoracic is the adjective form of thorax). Or “Boxers frequently learn ways of protecting their thorax.”
Our illustration this morning comes from 123RF.com, a source for royalty free images. It depicts a human thorax.
Spate (pronounced just as its appears) is another one of the English words that started meaning one thing and has moved over time towards meaning something else.
The Oxford English Dictionary defined spate as “a flood or inundation; esp. a sudden flood or rising in a river or stream caused by heavy rains or melting snow.” Merriam Webster's dictionary also took up this definition, but shifted it to the secondary spot, defining spate primarily as “a large number of things that appear or happen in a short period of time.”
Spate is also one of the few English words that OED researchers have not been able to pin down, listing its origins only as “obscure” after reporting it had been around in written English since 1425.
Although the MW did not discuss spate's evolution, it seems like a logical progression for a word to go from meaning a flood or inundation of water, rain or melting snow to mean the sudden appearance of many things or many similar things suddenly happening.
Sentences that use spate's newer definition might include: “Last year saw a spate of Asian cookbooks hit the market.” Or, “The City Council expressed concern about the recent spate of police shootings.”
Or, to combine the two definitions, even this one: “The news tonight was all about the recent spate of spates up and down the East Coast.”
Our illustration this morning comes from the Houston Chronicle, depicting some of the repercussions of this Spring's spate in Houston, Texas.
Let's talk about sex. That's what we're going to have to do to discuss salacious (pronounced Sal-Ay-Shus), but with a certain set of nuances and deeper meanings.
Merriam Webster's dictionary's “simple” definition of salacious, “relating to sex in a way that is excessive or offensive,” picked up on some of the nuances, given that the dictionary's primary definition “arousing or appealing to sexual desire or imagination” remained more general.
The Oxford English Dictionary defined the term as synonyms of other words “lustful, lecherous; sexually wanton” and reported the word has been part of written English since 1647. It also reported the word came from a Latin verb salire
Salacious has the nuance of being pervasively sexual, but not necessarily explicit; the barker outside a a strip club might use salacious comments and conversation to lure patrons into an explicit show. Romance novels often have salacious language and covers; other book and magazine covers might be salacious, as well as different sorts of advertising. Salacious material suggests, hints and even promises sex might be taking place without showing or describing it explicitly or in a pornographic way.
Sentences that use salacious might include: “The actor denied rumors of an extramarital affair, calling them 'salacious claptrap.'” Or, “The organization denounced much of the current media culture, calling it salacious and blaming it for the recent attacks on women in the area.”
Our illustration this morning comes from Calvin Klein, a design firm critics have charged often uses salacious images in its advertising.
While its definition and use interests us, the history of sanguine (pronounced Sang-when) provokes even more curiosity.
The contemporary meanings of sanguine are confident, optimistic and hopeful, according to Merriam Webster's dictionary. But the MW and the Oxford English Dictionary also noted the word's original meaning, which was blood red (as in a color) or having a disposition which indicated blood predominated in the body's physiology.
The OED's definition: “In medieval and later physiology, belonging to that one of the four ‘complexions’ which was supposed to be characterized by the predominance of the blood over the other three humors, and indicated by a ruddy countenance and a courageous, hopeful, and amorous disposition.”
During medieval times, people's personalities or dispositions were supposed to be closely linked to one's physical state and, in particular, which of the four humors predominated from one's physical state.
The four humors were phlegm, black bile (also known as melancholy), yellow bile (also known as choler), and blood.
People with a large supply of phlegm were believed to be characterized by calmness, slowness, reserve and,unflappability and were therefore phlegmatic (another word we still use). Individuals with a bad disposition were said to be that way because of the large amount of yellow or black bile in their system and those were said to be bilious or choleric (two more contemporary words). But individuals who were strong, confident, and ruddy were said to be governed by blood and were called sanguine.
Of course, progress in biology and medical science eventually debunked the physiology-based approach to personality, but the words largely remained. The OED reported that sanguine meaning confident and optimistic dated to1398 in written English.
Contemporary sentences using sanguine might include: “The coach advised the sprinter not to become too sanguine about the impact of weather on the race.” Or, “Looking back, I recognized I let myself become too sanguine about my home's ability to withstand the storm.”
Our illustration today represents another definition of sanguine, the use of reddish or reddish brown as a dominant color in which to depict different artistic subjects. This picture is called Portrait of a Man with Sepia, Sanguine, White Pastel and it was done by an artist named Rita Foster.
Ambient (pronounced Am-Bee-Ent) means “surrounding on all sides” or “lying round, surrounding, encircling, encompassing, environing,” according to both Merriam Webster's dictionary and the Oxford English Dictionary.
Thus its possible to discuss ambient air, water and light as well as ambient temperature, moisture, humidity and sound. This makes it appear the word can seem to belong entirely to the worlds of science and technology. Except that poets, playwrights, novelists and other artists have also made liberal use of the term in phrases like “the ambient light in your eyes” or the ambient colors in a given landscape painting.
The OED reported that ambient has been a word in written English since 1596 and that it came to English from the Latin verb ambire, meaning to go round about or surround.
Sentences which use ambient might include: “The pub's ambient sound was loud enough that I could not hear or be heard, so I gave up trying to communicate.” Or, “despite the lake's somewhat chilly ambient temperature, I found the early morning swim entirely refreshing.”
Our illustration today depicts an example of ambient advertising, which consists of advertising which makes an impact from being placed somewhere unexpected to because it is made from an unexpected medium. This example is from Austria.
Dastardly (prounced Das-Tard-Lee) provided another one of those English words we hope none of our readers have to use to characterize anyone they know.
Despite the Oxford English Dictionary's obsolete primary definition of “inert of mind or action; stupid, dull,” both it and Merriam Webster's dictionary agreed on dastardly's contemporary definition: “characterized by underhandedness or treachery.”
The OED took it a little further, adding: “one who meanly or basely shrinks from danger; a mean, base, or despicable coward; one who does malicious acts in a cowardly, skulking way, so as not to expose himself to risk.”
In short, a truly dastardly person is not someone you want to encounter in a situation where you might be weakened or incapable of defending yourself, because a dastardly person is not the noble criminal. Dastardly evil-doers are never going to be the ones who, bound by a sense of fair-play, kick the rapier or firearm back over to the hero after she drops it. Or leaves her victims bound and gagged instead of killing them. A dastardly villain will press her advantage to victory if she can get away with it.
Evil characters from literature which qualify as dastardly might include Monsieur Thénardier and his wife, the innkeepers from Victor Hugo's Les Miserables; the two cobras, Nag and Nagaina from Ruyard Kipling's Ricki-Ticki-Tavi; or Fagin from Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist.
The OED reported dastard, meaning a dull or stupid person, has been part of written English since about 1440 and dastardly, meaning the despicable and dangerous coward since about 1576. Despite having some likeness to similar words in French, OED researchers also believed dastard and dastardly to be of entirely English origin.
Sentences which use dastardly today might include: “In a dastardly attack upon an upscale restaurant in Dhaka, Bangladesh, terrorists killed 20 and injured 13 today.” Or, “I think we might get along better of they didn't suspect me of such dastardly motives,” she laughed.
Our illustration today is of John Wilkes Booth who is widely considered to have committed a most dastardly act by assassinating U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, from behind, while Lincoln and his wife attended the theater on April 15, 1865. Photo courtesy U.S. Archives.