Are You Sure?
➔ They say you can’t believe what you see and hear on the Internet. They (whoever “they” are?) may be right. At the end of the day, the savvy surfer should consider the source.
Who better to trust than academia? (Maybe, yes. Maybe, no.) Advice from Michigan State University reads, “The Internet is a valuable source of information, however caution must be taken to assure the information is correct.”
Caution indeed. Like this web page from the library at Georgetown University which offered considerable guidance on the reliability of web-based information which began with, “Unlike similar information found in newspapers or television broadcasts, information available on the Internet is not regulated for quality or accuracy.”
Really? Television (and radio) broadcasts come under the regulatory thumb of the Federal Communications Commission, so they are regulated. There is, however, some debate as to how far the federal arm extends into cable television, satellite and streaming. On the other hand, aside from copyright and libel laws, and the like, newspapers are generally unregulated.
The page goes on to say, “Ask yourself these three questions before using resources from the Internet.” What followed were sections labeled “Author” with nine questions; “Purpose” followed by seven questions; “Objectivity” followed by six questions; “Accuracy” followed by five questions; “Reliability and Credibility” followed by six questions; “Currency” followed by two questions; and “Links” followed by four questions. Apparently those “three questions” were hidden in the following seven sections sporting a total of 39 questions. Sounds like, “Physician, heal thyself.”
That section did conclude with some insightful advice: “Be very critical of any information you find on the Web and carefully examine each site.”
Ah, concurrence. Michigan State and Georgetown do seem to agree on something.
All of which leaves the basic question unanswered. How much information found on the internet is accurate? How about this? The website businessdit.com states that almost 62 percent of the internet is made up of unreliable information. This according to data they collected from Ireland’s Center Statistics Office (CSO).
One of the biggest developments in technology is the emergence of artificial intelligence (AI). Interestingly, a considerable search of the internet (including AI prompts) yielded no hard numbers about the accuracy of AI. The closest thing to a definitive answer was “it varies.”
“Care more for the truth than what people think.”
– Aristotle, ancient Greek philosopher
Inflation is everywhere. Two British men set out to demonstrate the impact of inflation on groceries in the U.K. They flew to Poland to purchase the same items at a Polish food store in Poznan. Even accounting for airfare, extra luggage, an overnight stay and public transportation, they still managed to save more than £11 (U.S. $13.74.)
Share and share alike
➔ It’s no secret that the United Kingdom and the United States share a common linguistic heritage, dating back to the colonization of North America by English settlers in the 17th century. Some estimates claim that more than 80 percent of words being common to both dialects.
While various reliable sources abound, diffen.com includes the most common differences between American and British English as pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary (lexis), spelling, punctuation, idioms and formatting of dates and numbers. Aside from those few trifles, they’re exactly the same.) a vast majority of their vocabulary, with over 80% of words being common to both dialects.
Just a few examples:
Different Words: There are numerous instances where American and British English use different words and phrases to refer to the same thing. In America, it’s an "elevator"; in Britain it’s a "lift." Americans call it a "truck"; Brits call it a "lorry." America’s "apartment" is Britain’s "flat." Britain’s “cash points” are American "ATMs.” If an American asked for “potato chips” in Britain, he’d receive “crisps.”
Spelling: The most common spelling differences are: color/colour; labor/labour; theater/theatre; center/centre; defense/defence, etc.
Past tense of verbs: To an American, the past tense of learn is “learned”; to a Brit, it’s “learnt.” The same with the verb burn. In the U.S. it’s “burned,” but in the U.K. it’s “burnt.”
Despite the differences, it’s rare when Americans and Brits genuinely have trouble communicating. These differences are not strict and can vary within each dialect due to regional accents, personal preferences and evolving language use. But in the end, we’ve all been poured into the same mold.
"Americans and British are one people separated by a common language."
— Winston Churchill,
British statesman, soldier and writer who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom twice
Shrinkflation, also known as the grocery shrink ray, deflation, or package downsizing, is the process of items shrinking in size or quantity, or even sometimes reformulating or reducing quality, while their prices remain the same or increase. The word is a portmanteau creation of the words shrink and inflation. First usage of the term "shrinkflation" with its current meaning was in 2019 and has been attributed to the economist Pippa Malmgren.
Better set your alarm. Above the Arctic Circle, Barrow, Alaska – now known as Utqiagvik – is the northern most town in the U.S. This year the sun will set there on November 21 and not rise again until January 21.
Alternate universe. Roblox, an “ultimate virtual universe company,” will require all its employees to be in the office three days a week in 2024.
— HR Brew
Very a-PEAL-ing. Banana skins can be used to remove warts, treat bug bites, shine your silverware and more.
This burns us up. The International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature has yet to respond to a movement to change the name of “fire ants” to “spicy boys.”
Pepperoni. The latest space station delivery rocket includes an order for pizza for seven.
What’s that smell? Unilever reported deodorant sales are up, which the company partly attributes to recent return-to-the-office mandates.
— The Guardian
Blue with envy. Mostly for linguistic (?) reasons, on traffic signals in Japan, “GO” is signified by a blue light, not green.
Mellow yellow. It is recommended that the yellow caution signal on stop lights in the U.S. should last between three and six seconds.
— U.S. Department of Transportation
False alarm I. Police in Lincolnshire, England responded to a report of a “ritual mass killing” that turned out to be a yoga class.
False alarm II. Firefighters in Glens Falls, New York responded to an emergency call of a house fire, but the flames turned out to be an elaborate, non-threatening Halloween display.
The Month of November
Month of the Month
It’s November and while your thoughts may turn to turkey, keep in mind that it’s also Teff and Millet Month. Would we kid you? No one’s laughing because there’s no joke about this also being National Peanut Butter Lovers Month.
Today is November 15th. We know that you’ve been waiting for it. It’s time to celebrate Roc Your Mocs Day. It’s also a day made for the Tearsheet: I Love to Write Day.
Question of the Month
Taken in 1932, what building is being constructed in the iconic photo “Lunch Atop A Skyscraper.”
If we gave you three guesses or 30, you probably wouldn’t guess correctly.
Quote of the Month
When his accountants told him to cut back household spending because of his debt, he replied, "I'm thirteen million dollars in debt. What do you want me to do, smoke cheaper cigars?!"
— Mike Todd Jr.,
American film producer
Todd with his then-wife Elizabeth Taylor
Get a Headstart
If you have ever thought about including a newsletter in your marketing communications toolkit, before you begin, download our free digital booklet – Getting Started with Your Newsletter – to get some basic questions answered as well as a little inspiration to nudge you forward. Be sure to check out “Something Special” at the end. Download your copy.
A Gridiron MBA?
Maybe that’s not possible, but there is much you can learn about business from football in the book, Hard Hitting Lessons. The subtitle says it all, “Some not-so-obvious business lessons learned from playing football.”
Get your copy here!