A few years ago Frito-Lay introduced a bag for their snack chips that was made from plants, not plastic, and could decompose in compost. It seemed like a good idea – a company putting their environmental foot forward through sustainable packaging – however, the “rip” heard upon opening the bag of chips registered at about eighty-five decibels – equal to the volume level of city traffic. Customers complained and a quieter bag was designed. This amusing dilemma inspired the question: How do you describe these sounds in language? You’ve likely heard “rip,” “pow,” and “snort” described as examples of onomatopoeia, but what exactly does this mean?
An onomatopoeic word is one whose sound is imitative of the sound of the noise or action it is describing. Derived from the Greek onomatopoios – “the making of a name or word” – common onomatopoeic words include animal noises such as bark, meow and roar, and mechanical sounds like click, clank and beep.
Not to be confused with ideophones, which are words that use sound as a means of describing sensory data (eww or bling for instance), onomatopoeic words literally imitate the sound they refer to– they are exactly what they mean.
To some extent, onomatopoeia follows the rules of their linguistic system. For example, the sound of a clock is ticktock in English – the onomatopoeic translation in Japanese is katchin katchin. There are even some words that were named directly as a result of their sound – “zip” and “zipper” are classic examples.
What are some of your favorite onomatopoeic words? Let us know, below.
Efficient meeting agenda leads to productive results.(Workplace)
The Star (South Africa) November 13, 2006 BYLINE: Vanessa Bluen Meetings are expensive and can result in slow decision making and lack of accountability.
Before you schedule a meeting, ask yourself: would any other form of communication and/or interaction better achieve the same result?
When it comes to a meeting agenda – what you put in is what you get out. When formulating the agenda, take into account two essential questions: website meeting agenda template
1. What changes do we want to occur as a result of the meeting?
2. How will we know if it is a success?
Everyone who participates in a meeting is accountable for making it effective.
If you are leading the meeting:
nGain upfront agreement to the agenda and commitment to allocated timeframes nAgree on ground rules and decision-making criteria if appropriate nAgree on positive conflict resolution mechanisms nCapitalise on capabilities nListen first. Speak last nControl the dominant personalities without alienating them nAsk the quieter members of the group for their opinions nPark issues that detract from meeting objectives nEnsure that everyone in the meeting understands the decisions nSuggest follow-up alternatives if no decisions are reached If you are participating in meeting: go to site meeting agenda template
nDo the pre-work – your reputation may depend on it nMake a positive commitment to a positive outcome nExpress your views non-defensively nWhen conflict arises, focus on the problem, not the person nDon’t distract from the agenda nListen carefully – don’t allow breakaway discussions Avoid falling into the following meeting traps:
nSome participants have no relevant reason to be there nPeople are allowed to score points, build ivory towers and manipulate rather than addressing the agenda items nThe chairperson unwilling to discuss viewpoints contrary to their own nDecisions taken on inadequate evidence nIndividual thought is compromised to the average quality of “groupthink” or the most dominant group member nConfusion between Information versus insight – information can be sent out as pre reading – use valuable meeting time to generate ideas or reach consensus pVanessa Bluen is managing director of the Consultant Powerhouse.
For more information visit www.theconsultantpowerhouse.co.za Contact Bluen on 011-234-6127 or firstname.lastname@example.org
STATE CONSIDERS FEE FOR MUSEUM.(MAIN) website detroit institute of art
Albany Times Union (Albany, NY) November 18, 1996 Byline: TOM PRECIOUS Capitol bureau ALBANY — Visitors to the State Museum would have to pay to get in as part of a plan being considered by the Pataki administration.
Supporters of the nation’s oldest and largest state museum fear the admission fee is being looked at as a way to cut state funding. Museum officials, speaking anonymously, said it’s unlikely the museum would be able to take in enough extra money from fees to make up the difference, forcing the facility to cut back on programs and exhibits.
Moreover, they added, unless children are exempted from paying the number of schools that take trips to the facility probably would drop dramatically. Many children who now use the museum as a place to go after school would be unable to continue coming, they said.
Museum officials in New York and elsewhere said it is common for institutions that begin charging to see attendance fall off.
“An admission (charge) would reduce attendance dramatically,” said State Museum Deputy Director Cliff Siegfried. He said studies have shown that visits drop off by as much as half when fees are imposed.
Siegfried said there are no specifics on what the admission fee — if any — would be. The idea came up in talks between museum officials and the governor’s budget division, which is preparing for the January release of next year’s state budget.
“We’re still having some discussions with (the budget division) about whether an admission fee would be a reasonable thing to do here or not. We’re just weighing the pros and cons. At this point, nobody’s made a decision one way or the other,” Siegfried said.
Budget officials, however, downplayed the possibility, though they didn’t rule it out. “We’re not aware of any proposal that would charge for the State Museum,” said John Signor, a budget division spokesman.
The idea of an admission fee has been quietly discussed in past years when state budget crunches have forced cutbacks at agencies. But lawmakers always killed the proposals.
The administration faces another expected shortfall in the 1997-98 fiscal year budget, and the governor and his aides are looking at ways to cut expenses or raise revenues without boosting taxes.
One state lawmaker suggested an admission fee would face difficulty in the Legislature. “It’s a terrible idea,” said Assemblyman Steven Englebright, a Suffolk County Democrat who has worked for years in the museum field, including a stint as a museum director on Long Island.
“If this is a plan that is designed to mask or obscure cuts to the State Museum’s operational support, or a method by which to justify such reductions, that is completely wrongheaded and inappropriate,” he said. Because the museum is one of the Capital Region’s top tourist spots, Englebright said, a reduction in visits also could affect local restaurants and hotels.
But Sen. Charles Cook, a Delaware County Republican who, like Englebright, sits on the museum’s visiting committee, said a modest fee “wouldn’t be unreasonable.” “We have admissions at state parks and other facilities that help pay for the cost of maintaining them,” Cook said. He added, however, that school-age children should not have to pay and that admissions money should not result in a state funding cut for the facility. “We’ve had enough trouble just trying to maintain the quality that it’s always been. I wouldn’t want it used as a substitute for state funding,” said Cook, who is chairman of the Senate Education Committee. detroit institute of art
Museum officials said the budget division has been asking them to look at the impact of admission fees on public museums in Michigan. Pataki’s budget director, Patricia Woodworth, came to New York from Michigan, where she held the same job.
In 1991, Woodworth angered Michigan museum officials by helping to push through a 40 percent cut in funding to the Detroit Institute of Art, one of the nation’s top art centers. That led to the imposition of an admission fee.
Marci Raver, a spokeswoman at the Detroit museum, said it’s unclear what impact the admission fee had on attendance because the funding cut also forced the museum to slash its operating hours in half, cut educational programs and reduce staff. She said the museum has seen a big drop in attendance, however.
New York puts about $1 million into the State Museum to pay for operations ranging from maintenance of existing exhibits to construction of new showings to rent in private space for holding some of the museum’s vast collections of artifacts.
Another $3.7 million goes to salaries and benefits for about 100 employees, a staffing level that has been cut by one-third over the past several years. The museum also makes about $150,000 a year from fees charged for some special exhibits and from sales at its shop.
Museum sources said state funding cuts could lead to reducing the hours the facility is open. Last year, the State Museum was forced to close its doors on Tuesdays when Pataki introduced budget cuts. It returned to its normal schedule when the Legislature restored the funding.
“I think it will be most unfortunate if the State Museum does have to have an admissions fee and I’m sure it will reduce the number of people who will have access to it,” said Christine Miles, director of the Albany Institute of History & Art and president of the Museum Association of New York. Miles, whose own museum began charging admission last year, said fees aren’t unusual.
“In times like these, institutions are looking for different ways to fund some of these resources,” she said. Miles thinks the the public won’t be too happy, either. “I think the public will think, `Gee, I’m paying taxes for this museum and now they’re going to charge me for walking in?’ ” According to a survey this year by the Museum Association of New York, most museums now charge admission fees, averaging about $4.
The State Museum now has boxes at its entrances for voluntary contributions, but officials couldn’t immediately say how much is raised.
Times Union/Luanne M. Ferris
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