A new book by David Shipley and Will Schwalbe’ on e-mail etiquette, Send: The Essential Guide to Email for Office and Home is already billed as the “genre’s Strunk and White,’, but proposes that we use exclamation marks willy nilly.

Because email is without affect, it has a dulling quality that almost necessitates kicking everything up a notch just to bring it to where it would normally be.

Please. God. No!

On the overuse of exclamation points. – By Jacob Rubin – Slate Magazine

Go on then, you can have it…

Naboo and Bollo decide that INSIDE the couch is funOriginally uploaded by bounder
My mate just asked if I had any pictures of the cats with ‘green eye’ (like red-eye, but for cats) for a book on photoshop he’s writing (not these, but one like them he does loads) and I sent him a couple. Of course you wouldn’t charge a mate, but quite a few of my pics from flickr have been purloined (with permission) for magazines (and no doubt a fair few I don’t know about) and I haven’t asked for more than a credit there either.

Then I think of all the free writing I do as well, snippets for The Birmingham Post and some charity magazine this month alone.

So I suppose the question is, do you have to start charging or do you have to say no?

logic failure in folk tales

I’ve been worrying about what some fairy stories are teaching our young. In particular wildly inaccurate versions of the food chain, where they seem to suggest that any animal will consume a smaller one.

The old woman who swallowed a fly is a case in point, the fly seems to be an accident – I mean I don’t know why she swallowed a fly, but you’d think it unlikely that she did it on purpose.

The spider, well again an accident perhaps? I remember reading in some horrific fact revealing magazine that you swallow a number of insects and arachnids while you sleep. Then again, she apparently swallowed the spider to catch the fly – possible, but misguided to say the least. The spider will have to spend ages spinning an in-stomach web. It can’t be good for her.

A bird is a little more stupid. To “catch” the spider you might have poured a load of hot water down your neck, like you do when there’s one in your bath. Or simply caught it under a glass and thrown it out of the window.

The cat I understand a little – what better way to get rid of a bird than a cat? She might have thought ahead a little and swallowed a scarecrow, but you can’t get it right all of the time.

The dog is where the food chain stuff starts to get odd. Dogs just don’t eat cats on a regular basis, in fact I’ve no idea which animal has the dog as its main predator, but it has a lot more chance of being ‘the dustbin’, or ‘the can of dog food’ or even the chav baby than the cat.

Next she swallows a goat, no mean feet. But what makes anyone think that a dog will be disposed of by a goat – I know they eat anything, but… I’m worried for her mental health as well as the physical implications. The governments obesity drive is well founded if this glutton is anything to go by.

You may have wondered where Shergar has got to, and carry on wondering. The woman has swallowed a horse, but I doubt it was that one. No problems with this you might think, after all the French do it all the time. Okay, but why? In history, as far as I’m aware there have been no recorded incidents of horses disposing of goats.

The woman’s dead, of course, and that has to be a good thing – removing her from the gene pool.

And the less said about that woman with the pig the better.