Thursday, November 18, 2010

Public Speaking / RWA E-Pub News

Public Speaking

Anyone who knows me knows I have some funny pet peeves about the English language. I have no problem with slang and vernacular (like "ain't"), but they have their place. And it's not in the professional forum. There, the rule should be Handle With Care.

Yesterday I was listening to National Public Radio's news, and the deejay was speaking with an (if I recall right) ex-Senator regarding the Arms Treaty. The ex-Senator pronounced the word nuclear as "noo-kyoo-lar" something like fifteen times, and each time she did it, I cringed. This is a serious subject, and a person clearly familiar with the importance of nuclear weapons talks. One might consider how one sounds in such a situation, if one wants to be taken seriously--right? (The deejay, incidentally, said "nuclear" properly during this talk, and that didn't stop the ex-Senator from mis-pronouncing it. Which brings up another discussion point on listening skills, but that's another rant.)

What does this mean to you? Well, sooner or later in your professional career, you will have to write--or speak--publicly. Always, always think about the structure of your words, and if you're speaking, their pronunication and proper use. Language is fluid, and it should evolve--but proper English hasn't changed all that much in several hundred years. If you're hanging with your pals at a casual party, go ahead and use "ain't" if that's in your vernacular. If you're speaking (or writing) in a professional forum, make sure your words reflect that.

Handle With Care.

E-Publishing News

RWA has announced in the Hot Sheet from its November 13-14 meeting that they will be limiting their list of non-Vanity/non-Subsidy publishers to "those that have been in business for at least three years and are currently acquiring romance." This widens their playing field for non-Vanity/non-Subsidy publishers, but RWA hopes to keep its list of said publishers limited to those that have a track record. For more info, check the RWA website.

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