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Showing posts from December, 2008

Some of the Longest Words in English Language

Here is a list of some terribly long words in English language that have existed at some point of time in history.

Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis (45 letters): Name of a lung disease. It is supposed to be a disease that is caused by the inhalation of fine silica dust.

Osseocarnisanguineoviscericartilaginonervomedullary (51) and Osteosarchaematosplanchnochondroneuromuelous (44): Thomas Love Peacock invented both these words through his satirical novel Headlong Hall. The words mean 'related to human features like bone, flesh, organs, etc.'

Praetertranssubstantiationalistically (37): A word first used by Mark McShane.

Aequeosalinocalcalinoceraceoaluminosocupreovitriolic (52): First used by Dr Edward Strother.

Floccinaucinihilipilification (29): Describing something as 'worthless'.

Pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism (30): A gene mutation disease.

Antidisestablishmentarianism (28): A political situation in Britain in the late 19th century.

Honorificabilitudinitatibus (27…

Blogging Tip: Make Your Content Look Better on RSS Feeds

Several of my friends enquired me why I am keeping all my font styling inside the post and not in my external CSS Stylesheet. Here is the answer.

I have been seeing consistently that out of hundreds of RSS feeds that I have in my reader, it's CW that looks the best. It has the just the exact font style and color that I want.

When I have my font style clearly defined in each post, it gets transferred to my RSS feed. On the other hand, external stylesheet doesn't have any effect on feeds. Therefore, all normal feeds will look stale in their universal Arial 10 pt font and bold headings on feeds though they may have individual styles in their blogs, while mine will be the same at both places. I use Verdana 10 pt for body and green color with slightly larger font size for titles. All these will be visible in the RSS feed, making mine very cool on the eyes; you will notice this difference from other professional blog RSS feeds. Therefore, my advice is you not use external stylesheet…

What Is URL Canonicalization (URL Normalization)? And What Are Its Effects on SEO?

Have you ever noticed that when you type in www.twitter.com in the address bar, after Twitter loads, it will be changed to http://twitter.com? In the same way, if you type in bbc.co.uk in address bar, after BBC gets loaded, the URL will be http://www.bbc.co.uk. If you try to browse to microsoft.com you will get an entirely different URL in the form: "http://www.microsoft.com/en/us/default.aspx". You find that certain websites strip off your 'www' prefix, while certain others add it. Yet another set of websites redirect you to entirely different looking URLs.

In this post, we will see more about this aspect of search engine optimization, called URL canonicalization or URL normalization. We will see why it is important and why being knowledgeable about it will reduce duplicate content issues.

Need for Canonicalization

As you have seen above, the following URLs may all be the same in terms of content:
http://website.com
http://www.website.com/index.html
http://www.websit…

Attention Facebookers! What Is Koobface and Why Should You Care?

On a fair new day, you may get this message in Facebook: "You look funny in this new video" or "You look awesome in this new video". See the screenshot.

[Thanks to CNET News for this image]
If you get this message, be prompt to delete it. Keep your virus detector enabled all the time. This message is prompted by a virus called the Koobface worm (Net-Worm.Win32.Koobface.a. and Net-Worm.Win32.Koobface.b). [Read More at Kaspersky Lab].

If you click the message and go to the link given, it prompts you to update the Adobe Flash player to the latest version, even if you already have it in your system. If you allow the download, what actually gets downloaded is a variant of the Koobface virus that will hack into your Facebook account and continue to send messages to your unsuspecting friends.

Koobface had hit MySpace users during the August and had done lot of damage. Now it has come really hard on my choice of social networking site.

The message gets propagated from aff…

Differences Between British English and American English Words

In our recent post, we saw the differences between British and American spelling. The difference between British English (BrE) and American English (AmE) doesn't end only in the spelling. Entire words may be different; a word used in BrE may have an entirely different spelling and set of meanings in AmE, and some words with the same spelling can have entirely different meanings.

For instance, there is no 'ground floor' in AmE, which means 'first floor' is the ground floor itself, and the floor above it is 'second floor', while the floor above the ground floor is called 'first floor' in BrE. Another example is 'bill'. In AmE, 'bill' is a banknote, while in BrE, 'bill' is an invoice of products and services offered.

Here we have a table with several words in the British English and their corresponding American English words.

The Table

British English WordAmerican English CounterpartCommentsaerialantennaanywhereanyplaceThe same g…

Talking Numbers: Some Style Guidelines

I found that when writing and talking in numbers, people tend to make several mistakes. I thought it a good idea to dispel some myths in this post.

Here are some examples of good use:

Five of my friends are coming tomorrow.
He is 14 years older than I am.
The telephone number of John is two oh three oh two one two.
"Wright brothers' flying machine was patented in nineteen oh six," the professor explained.
Numbers in Written Form

Don't begin a sentence with a number in figure form.

Wrong: 20 candidates were selected to go for the trip.
Correct: Thirty-three people in different academic levels were awarded.
If the number is a digit (less than ten), always spell it out:

I have three close friends.
Two of my cousins are in the US.
I gave out five of my books.
If the number is above nine, then you can either spell it out or use figures. But when spelling out numbers up to ninety-nine, don't forget that hyphen.

I wonder how she could run 20 kilometers none-stop.
Seventy-thr…

Differences Between British and American Spelling: Usage Style Guidelines

Americans have definitely revolutionized the way they spell; it makes me doubtful as to whether they are lazy, ignorant, or improvement-thirsty. They drop 'u' from 'colour', 'favourite', and 'honour'; 'e' from 'judgement'; and totally remodel words like 'plough', 'cheque', and 'encyclopaedia' to help their pronunciation. Which version do you think is appropriate? The original but difficult-to-spell British or the easy lazy American?

Here Are a List of Words With Their American and British Spellings Separated

British SpellingAmerican Spellingaeroplaneairplaneaestheticsestheticsageingagingaluminiumaluminumanalogueanaloganalyseanalyzeannexeannexarchaeologyarcheologyarmourarmorartefactartifactaxeaxbehaviourbehaviorcataloguecatalogcatalysecatalyzecentrecenterchequecheckcolourcolorcosycozycounsellingcounselingdefencedefensedemagoguedemagogdependantdependentdialoguedialogdiarrhoeadiarrheadiscdiskdoughnutdonutdraughtdraften…

Situation Profiles in Creative Writing

When you write a story, you will be going through a number of scenes. In novels and novelettes, these scenes shouldn't be undervalued. When cross-referencing scenes, you may miss simple aspects such as the time, characters involved, what exactly happened in the scene, etc. At that time, it is very important to get all attributes of the scene right. For this purpose, you should ideally create profiles for each of your scenes. Here I have some tips for that.

Create a scene record as a separate document, with only the details of all scenes. You needn't write the entire scene down; just record the required attributes and if possible, link to the original scene in the story. Here are the things you need to record.

1. The Time Period

There are stories that happen in two days' time, and there those that happen in 30 years' time. The first thing you need to note down about a scene is the exact time when it happens. Record it as a period. This will help you track the succession …