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Are We, Along With Words, Becoming Retronyms?

Evolution happens. Things can evolve over millions of years, or like language, words can change in just a few years, sometimes just a few months or weeks if the usage catches on quickly. While new words spring up all the time for completely brand new discoveries, concepts or things, what happens to the old words for objects that have evolved into similar, but new concepts? They become retronyms.

A retronym is a new word or phrase for an old word that was created to distinguish the old word from its recent form, use or version.

For example, analog watch is a retronym for the word watch. With the advent of digital watches, the word watch could now mean two objects. Therefore, the retronym phrase analog watch sprang up to refer to the old object which was no longer unique.

This change of language happens without most of us even noticing, mainly because most of us are constantly evolving along with language. Although it is happening right in front of our faces, unless we actually pay attention to it, we are blind to it. But it is fun to think of common words that we use now that have changed just in our lifetimes.

Other examples of retronyms would be: landline phone (needed because of the advent of cell phones); acoustic guitar (needed to distinguish from a electric guitar); World War I (needed when the world went to war a second time). We do not think about these changes because we evolve along with them.

Can you think of other retronyms?


How To Learn a Life Lesson from Your Bed Sheets.

We are very pleased to have Leticia Dominguez as a guest blogger today. Leticia is a story teller and in this story gives us all a life lesson which we can take away with us. Enjoy!


Life is full of choices. Our choices along with their consequences can tie our lives into knots. I love this story told to me by Barb, a great friend, who has allowed me the honor of sharing it with others.  

“Make sure you make your bed before you leave”, was the statement heard each morning. It wasn’t really something that had to be repeated; it was however, something that she meant for Barb to do. 

This particular morning, the sun was shinning, birds were chirping and things were going great, so who wanted to stop and make a bed, not Barb. Besides, she saw everyone out early and wanted to join the fun. Off to the bus stop she skipped, bed unmade. 

Barb’s mom on the other hand meant, make your bed before you leave. She had a lesson in store for Barb.  Barb does not know, yet it has been discussed often, how long her mother waited for this moment. 

Mom went through her daily routine, cleaning, dusting, laying out dinner and tying knots. The lesson began with pulling off the bed sheets as Barb’s mom washed them and while still damp she began tying knots. One at a time, she tied a piece of the sheet, pulling and tugging each knot until the sheets were one big ball of mess.  From her perspective, Barb’s mom was just having fun and making an impact on her daughter’s future. Now these were not just loose knots, these were tight, set in, fingernail – breaking knots, get the picture.  

Impact it did. Barb raced into the house as usual and asked for a snack. Without raising a voice or missing a beat, her Mother simply stated “go make your bed, you should’ve done as I asked.” Knowing from the monotone voice, she was not in the mood for argument, off Barb flew. 

Imagine the surprises when she reached her room with knotted sheets lying in the middle of the bed.  Not a sheet in knots, all the sheets, top and bottom, together, in a basket ball size of knots. Barb was not happy. 

As Barb started complaining and looking for other sheets, her mom simply stated. “I asked you to make your bed before leaving, did I not? Now, go make your bed with the sheets that are in your room.” 

“Yes, ma’am,” was the only answer Barb could force. Then, back to her room to untie the knots. After what seemed like an eternity, she finally had the last knot untied and the bed made. She then went to let her mom know she had completed the task. 

Barb’s Mother then began to explain. “When things are left undone, you begin tying knots, one by one. These knots get tighter and tighter, more and more until one day, when the time comes when you are so tied up, you don’t know where to begin to untie. Today was your day to start untying your knots for yourselves; these won’t be the only ones you encounter in life. However, if you are honest and take care of your own tasks you can keep your knots throughout life to a minimum without having to go back untying all the knots you created,” she explained. 

“If I had made your bed for you, you would have half-heartily said, thank you and I would’ve missed the opportunity to teach you a valuable life lesson. So, thank you for allowing me to be your Mother and tie your sheets in knots. Now, tomorrow, will I need to remind you to make your bed?” 

Sure Barb’s mom could’ve simply made the bed, and maybe she should’ve, yet then Barb would’ve been missing a valuable lesson and we would’ve missed a great story…

Leticia G. Dominguez is a Certified Life Coach, Speaker and Author. She recently published, The Little Book of Luck; Luck is Simply a Choice. Leticia G. is best described as an inspiring, understanding, compassionate coach who motivates her clients to create their masterpiece of life by having purpose filled visions, goals with accountability. As she writes and speaks, Leticia engages her audience with enthusiasm and joy. She describes life as a journey and through her personal experiences gives examples with stories that make one laugh or cry. Find out more about Leticia at


2 Ways to Make Sure Your Donation Money is Going to the Real Thing After a Natural Disaster

The Haitian earthquake has been front page for the past week. Radio, TV, and social media have carried the stories and pictures of the tragedy until the pictures of the children on the side of the road haunt our dreams. But the world responded. The statistics on how much money has been raised so far by twitter alone is amazing. People are texting hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations as well as millions more dollars being sent by snail mail.

Along with the gruesome pictures of the victims, the requests for donations seem endless. We all want to donate, but how can you avoid being ripped off by unscrupulous charity fraud scam artists trying to take advantage of anyone they can, through any way they can? It is an unfortunate aspect of human nature, but after a natural disaster such as the Haitian Earthquake, there are some people that immediately set out to con you in order to enrich themselves. How then can you protect yourself from these people if you want to contribute after a natural disaster?

  • Analyze your emails.

You may receive legitimate emails from charities requesting donations for Haitian relief. However, there is also a very good chance that they are fake, no matter how "officia" they look. Before you go sending off your hard earned money, take the time to check it out. Never click on a link within the email that takes you to the organization's "alleged" website as many scammers have sophisticated websites that look very legitimate. Do a simple Google search to investigate the organization. Check with your local BBB.

Some scammers are not looking for money. Rather, they just want to collect your private information for later use in an identity theft. Never give out your personal or financial information to anyone soliciting you for donations.

But the email looks so real, and it says it is from the Red Cross. It must be legitimate, right? While again, it very well may be legitimate. Still, in your haste to help, do not immediately click on the “donate” money button. In fact, do not click on any links in the email until you are absolutely sure it is from who it says it is. Probably, the best advice is not to even open an email from someone you do not know and you may save yourself much grief.

  • Donate directly to a charity.

We all want to help people in need but the safest way for you to do that is to make a donation directly to the charity by making the initial contact yourself. Call the local office of the charity you want to donate to and ask them the best way. Do not let the scam artists take advantage of your good will. It is the Haitian children who need your money, not some made up charity.


Your Twitter Avatar. How Important Is It?

 What is the first thing you see when you start tweeting? That little square that has some picture, logo, or tweety bird in it. The tweety bird has no attraction because they all look alike and certainly do not define the tweeter. A logo is a bit more exciting, however again, you can not really get a feeling of who is tweeting. A picture however, if it is fun and appropriate, can make you immediately want to know more about who is tweeting, and that is where it all starts.

Twitter is all about building relationships. That little square with the picture, logo or tweey bird in it is your avatar. Your avatar is the very first step in building that relationship because it is the first thing someone sees as you tweet. That is why it is so important to have an avatar which correctly projects who you are.

An avatar is a person's alter ego. You could have an avatar of a very sexy woman and actually be an 80 year old man. Or your avatar could reflect a very muscular and handsome man and the person behind the picture could be a 100 pound weakling. But if you want to be successful in building relationships and getting business through twitter, you want to have your avatar truthfully start your conversation and be a picture of you.

How about a business logo as an avatar on twitter? While in some instances this may be appropriate, generally people do not want to do business with a logo. They want to do business with a real person. Business logos may define what your business is but not who you are. People ultimately do business with you because they trust and respect you. They do not do business with your business.

Some sort of full body or head shot picture of you is ultimately the best avatar. It should be professional yet fun and reflect who you are as a person and as a business person. It should attract a reader's eye and make someone say, "hey, I want to know more about that person"

And that is the beginning of building a twitter relationship! Because they want to know more about you, a dialog will start. The dialog then will turn into a conversation. The conversation will ultimately turn into business. But it all started with the avatar which got their attention.


4 Tips to Good Self Editing

Editing is a necessary self-evil. When you take the time to edit your work, it will look professional, without mistakes and reflect the quality of your services.

Here are some tips to help you become a great self editor.

1.  Know what you are trying to say.

If your writing tends to ramble, you will quickly lose your reader's interest. Make sure you know what the goal of your work is and write that down before you even start. Then when you are editing, take a look at your writing goal and see if your work follows what you set out to accomplish.

2.  Take some time away from your writing. 

It is highly recommended that you take some time away from working on your writing after it is done. This can be from a few hours to several weeks. This will make sure that fresh eyes will review the writing and things you did not see yesterday you will pop out today.

3.  Read it out loud. 

When we read to ourselves, our minds tend to gloss over mistakes. However, if we read what we have written slowly and out loud, reading every word, then it is amazing how we can catch errors that we may have never seen before. 

4.  Print it out so you are not reading it off a computer screen. 

Print out your work rather than trying to edit it on a computer screen. Using a hard copy allows you to mark it up and see what you have written. When you change the medium, your eyes get to see your writing from a different viewpoint. You are more likely to pick up errors, or see how you can make your work even tighter when you have it in hand. 

These are just 4 tips to help you get going in self-editing your work. Editing is not easy. It takes practice but the result will be well worth it when you see your published work.