Sunday, 27 February 2011

Tbh, isn’t it time ‘sexting’ and ‘bloggable’ were added to the OED?

Teens SextingFrom PC 26/02/11:

Bloggable neologisms like "tbh" and "sexting" have apparently cyberbullied their way into an Oxford dictionary.

The Oxford Dictionary Online - the modern language counterpart to the traditional Oxford English Dictionary - has added Web 2.0 jargon such as "bloggable," "cyberbullying," "sexting," "tbh" ("to be honest"),"clickjacking," "scareware," "trackpad," and "fnarr fnarr" to its collection.

But wait- fnarr fnarr? We had to look this one up. According to its OD entry, fnarr fnarr (pronounced fna fna) is British texting slang for sniggering, usually at a sexual innuendo.

Don’t worry, PC Mag - I hadn’t heard of this one either, and I’m British.  (I think).

Oxford provides the example: "That's some package! (Said the bishop to the actress, fnarr fnarr)." In America, we'd probably say something like, "That's some package! (That's what she said, LOL)."

Hehe… now ya talkin’ – that’s my kind of humour! Be right back

Spokeswoman Gabby Fletcher told the The Telegraph, "The rapid development of technology creates multiple new products, services, and functionalities, which all need new terms to describe them. We are also seeing the very fast circulation of new vocabulary on a global basis, with the expansion of social media."

Updated quarterly, the Oxford Dictionary Online features a growing number of tech terms. In August it added "tweetup" (a meeting arranged through Twitter), microblogging (posting short blog entries), and paywall (requiring payment to access online content).

But more to the point, when will “blawg”, “blawggable” and “blawgosphere” be added, I wonder?

Friday, 25 February 2011

Workplace Consultancy Services 101 – Lessons in Constructive Criticism

Office Violence

I’ve heard that a lot of commercial law firms who who offer employment law advice to businesses are increasingly branching out into offering a full package of services which used to be the domain of the dreaded ‘Human Resources’ department. You know the kind of stuff: materials for appraisals, psychometric tests, staff-engagement/happiness questionnaires and so forth. Personally, I think these services are a bit of a farce, irrespective of who provides them and commercial firms should know better than to sully their reputation by getting mixed up with them.

Anyhow, there was an absolute gem of a letter in the Digg Weekly Digest this week – a photo of a letter from some company’s human resources department who offered helpful suggestions in putting their constructive criticism across more, well, constructively!

Dear Employees,

It has been brought to **********’s attention that some individuals have been using foul language during the course of a normal conversation with their co-workers.
Due to complaints, this type of language will no longer be tolerated. However, we realize the critical importance accurately expressing your thoughts when communicating with co-workers. Therefore, we provided a list of 18 new and innovative "TRY SAYING" phrases so proper exchange of ideas may continue in an effective manner.




You don't know what the f*** you're doing.

I think you could use more training.

She's a ball-busting b**ch.

She's an aggressive go-getter.

And when the f*** do you expect me to do this?

Perhaps I can work late.

No f***ing way.

I'm certain that isn't feasible.

You've got to be shi**ing me!


Tell someone who gives a sh**!

Perhaps you should check with...

It's not my f***ing problem.

I wasn't involved in the project.

What the f***?!

That's interesting.

This sh** won't work!

I'm not sure this can be implemented.

Why the f*** didn't you tell me sooner?

I'll try to schedule that.

He's got his head up his a**

He's not familiar with the issues.

Eat sh** and die!

Excuse me, sir?

Kiss my a**!

So you weren't happy with it?

F*** it, I'm on salary.

I'm a bit overloaded at the moment.

Shove it up you’re a**

I don't think you understand.

This job sucks!

I love a challenge.

Who the f*** died and made you boss?

You want me to take care of that?

He’s a pr*ck.

He’s somewhat insensitive

Thank You,

Human Resources

Truly inspiring!

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Happy Birthday Law Actually

Happy Birthday Law Actually graphic

Yep, they come around quickly, don’t they? Law Actually is 4 today!

I created and started the blog, Law Actually, on 19th February 2007, and an awful lot has happened in the blawgosphere during these four years. We’ve all seen a lot of blawggers come and go, whilst some of the respected stalwarts have stuck it out and continue to go from strength to strength. I guess Law Actually is somewhere in the middle.

Sometimes, now more than ever, I struggle a bit to find the time to keep updating Law Actually as often as I’d like, but that struggle is worth suffering in my opinion.  Blogging is still something I enjoy and have always found strangely therapeutic for whatever reason.

I’ve tried to ‘do my bit’ in reinforcing the camaraderie in the UK blawgsphere over the last 12 months.  I’ve continued to flag-up newbie bloggers as I stumble across them (check out the previous post for the latest) and my blawgin’ lovin’ campaign, remote interviews and co-hosted 2010 Blawggies (with Andro and Law Minx) all went down a storm.  Well, kind of.

I still intend to be about and actively blogging for a while yet. Will I make it to the big 5 years in 12 months’ time? Who knows?  I hope so. 

But what ever happens, I hope you, faithful reader, will be tagging along for the ride.

Be right back

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Spring arrives early… new shoots in the blawgosphere

spring arrives early

I’ve tried to wind down the amount of negative posts in which I bemoan the current dearth of new blogs and general state of the blawgosphere. Still, I might as well say it: 2011 has gotten off to a slow and worrying start for the UK blawgosphere, with activity levels falling to their lowest for perhaps 4 years or so. And this time, I haven’t been the only one to comment on it.

Anyhow, right on cue, I’ve discovered an excellent new bunch of UK law student blogs, which are collectively helping to take up some of the slack.  Here’s my take on them.

How to be a bad law student

Created right at the end of 2010, HTBABLS is penned by a 19 year old self-proclaimed day-dreamer, who’s in her first year studying law at uni and freely admits to being ‘very bad’. In quite what sense remains to be seen, but I’ve seen enough of this blog already to realise we’ve a good-un on our hands. More to the point, the author’s got a whole lot of love to give and affectionately finishes each post with a couple of kisses.

Perhaps a little ominously, HTBABLS’ posting habits has been a tad spasmodic, but with healthy dollop of tlc, I’m sure she’ll be around for a long time to come.

Legally Screwed

The rather negatively named Legally Screwed is written by a first year law student with a penchant for large bars of galaxy and bottles of Lucozade, which helps make contending with the day-to-day traumas of studying law that little bit easier.

Besides ‘battling the concrete jungle that is Central London’, LS likes to give out sage and trusty advice for surviving a law degree and is rather sweetly reminiscent of the typical blawg that seemed to be sprouting up every which way a few years ago. There’s a lot of good content well worth a look here, and I look forward to reading more from LS as we’re led on a helter-skelter trip through the trials and tribulations of life at the cutting edge of law school.

Posting frequency looks good, too, so I’d highly recommend adding this one to your blogroll.

Lost Receptionist /

LR has bounded onto the scene with all of the flair and enthusiasm that only a newbie blogger can muster. Artsy, quirky and optimistic, LR has had to recently adjust her posting frequency as she struggles with the workload as a first year law student. Hmmm - we’ve all been there!

A self-styled fashionista, LR frequently posts pictures of herself posing in her latest get-up; it’s certainly a different approach to blawgging but I guess that’s a good thing. 

I sense LR has real staying power so I’m optimistic that this one won’t be dropping out of the sphere anytime soon. And that’s great news for all of us!

Look Good Legally

Kate, the author of LGL has been blawging less than a month but is clearly a natural and is already making it look oh-so-easy to keep readers coming back for more. Highly readable and varied posts mean that you never quite know what’s coming next.

I did wonder whether Kate was planning on going head to head with her fellow countrywoman, Andro? Perhaps we could host a live blawg-off between them both later in the year? ;-)

Also like Andro, Kate has her naughty streak and has already developed a habit for blogging from her land law lectures, sharing her nuggets of wisdom with the world.

Whatever Kate’s blawgging plans, the signs for LGL becoming a much-valued member of the blawgosphere are all good so far. Yes, this is the real-deal, folks. You should add Look Good Legally to your blogrolls today!

Monday, 14 February 2011

Great Valentine’s Day Card

CollegeHumor‘s amusing line-up of Valentine’s Day cards might not be up to the standard of these which I posted a couple of years ago, but some are still worth a look.

My favourite cover:


valentine's day restraining order cover


And the loving message inside:


valentine's day restraining order 2

Classy.  Be right back

If only Funky Pigeon had this design!  I don’t know if anyone else in the blawgosphere is a customer of Funky Pigeon but I’ve placed a couple of orders recently and when I chose to opt for a more natural, informal font for the greeting inside, the top line always arrives printed in the default font.  That’s certainly not how it appears on screen when you’re designing it.

That said, their selection of cards seems much better than Moonpig’s, so you can’t have everything I guess.

Maybe I should just customise the cover and hand-write the greeting inside anyway?

Found here.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Valentine’s warning – love bites, paralysis and… lawsuits?

lawyer on speed dialLest any of members the blawgosphere should get a bit carried away with Valentine’s Day tomorrow, the following should serve as a grave warning.

From FoxNews 21/01/11

A New Zealand woman was temporarily partially paralyzed by a hickey on her neck from her amorous partner, AFP reported Friday.

The 44-year-old woman went to the emergency department of Middlemore Hospital in Auckland last year after experiencing loss of movement in her left arm while watching television, doctors reported in the New Zealand Medical Journal.

Doctors concluded the woman had suffered a mild stroke but were puzzled about its cause until they found a small vertical bruise on her neck near a major artery, a hickey, she received a few days earlier.

"Because it was a love bite there would be a lot of suction," one of the doctors who treated her, Teddy Wu, told the Christchurch Press.

Oh yeah?  That’s what they all say!  Be right back

"Because of the physical trauma it had made a bit of bruising inside the vessel. There was a clot in the artery underneath where the hickey was."

Wu said the clot dislodged and traveled to the woman's heart, where it caused a minor stroke that led to the loss of movement.

"We looked around the medical literature and that example of having a love bite causing something like that hasn't been described before," he said.

I sincerely hope the ‘amorous’ lover was warned off from giving any repeat performances as well.

And is it just me, or is ‘hickey’ just the worst word ever? I’m sure the French have a better name for it. 

While I’m on the subject, Valentine’s Day has always struck me as being painfully clich├ęd but that doesn’t stop me joining in with the traditional rituals – in a romantic kind of way, of course.

Plus, I’ve never understood why some offices and other workplaces choose to mark the occasion with dress-down days in aid of charity, cheesy ‘auctions’, and God knows what else.  Thankfully, we’re not doing anything like that at work, and being the slightly grumpy and unadventurous sort, that suits me just fine. 

But on a serious note, I’m really not sure employers should be doing anything to encourage their more lecherous employees to enjoy a good ol’ grope whilst the going’s good. I suspect Valentine’s Day is second only to Christmas ‘mistletoe incidents’ for surges in workplace sexual harassment complaints. 

Still employment lawyers will no doubt welcome the business, as will those specialising in family & divorce when the inevitable catastrophe fully unfolds. 

Oh I’m such a cynic!

Monday, 7 February 2011

SRA passes up chance of aptitude tests for LPC

From Roll on Friday 04/02/11:

Kaplan Law School has had its proposed aptitude test for the LPC squashed by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). That's despite hopes that an entry test might raise the quality of the LPC intake and stop less able students throwing away good money on a course that would not ultimately lead anywhere.

Amen to that.

Sadly even [the] mildest of barriers to entry was too draconian for the SRA, which has refused to validate the move. So, rather predictably and depressingly, just about anyone with a degree and a pot of gold will still be able to start the LPC this year.

I realise that entry tests have been mooted for the LPC for years – and even more so since the massive supply/demand quotients of students / training contracts fell so far out of kilter. But this just seems like a really, really good idea. Yes, it might mean more stress, it might be gruelling, it might slap some people down and prevent them from immediately progressing to the next stage in their careers. But let’s face it: if it saves a bunch of students from blowing 8 to 15 grand for a big fat nothing, maybe it’s better being cruel to be kind.

Just a thought.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Sex dolls as lifeguards in raging river rescue

sex doll lifeguardI’m a bit late with this one, but it’s too good to pass up.

From: 17/01/11:

A couple floating down Melbourne's Yarra River on inflatable dolls have been rescued after getting into trouble.

Police say the 19-year-old couple had just passed Pound Bend Tunnel at Warrandyte North when the water became turbulent and the woman lost control of her grip on the doll about 4.30pm (AEDT) on Sunday.

The woman grabbed hold of a tree that was floating in the river.

The man stayed with her and they yelled for help, police say.
A passer-by contacted triple zero and police and SES went to the scene.

A kayaker took life jackets to the pair and the SES attended with a boat and rescued the pair.

They were checked by ambulance officers but did not require medical attention.

Police say the fate of the dolls is unknown.

Who knows what happened to them; maybe they’ll wash up off the coast of France? ;-)

I notice the story didn’t venture whether the dolls were male or female, or if they were clothed at the time. Perhaps they were dressed in Baywatch style swimsuits?  Hmm… disturbing thought!

It also didn’t say how the couple happened to be in the company of the dolls in the first place. I’m letting my mind fill in the blanks. 

Either way, it must have made for quite a sight!