Beyond the Rhetoric

 
 
 

Sunday Snippet: Robert Frost (1874-1963)

June 26th, 2016 by Michael Kwan

Sunday Snippet: Robert Frost (1874-1963)

“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”

Life is too short to live in regret. I’ve always been my own worst critic and my toughest boss. I had a particularly challenging evening last night with my daughter and I was almost not able to get today’s blog post up at all. I felt an intense pressure to complete this post, because if I missed writing it, it would be the first time I’ve missed a “Sunday Snippet” since starting the series.

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Grammar 101: Another Comma Demonstration

June 24th, 2016 by Michael Kwan

Grammar 101 with Michael Kwan

Punctuation is a funny business. Put a different mark at the end of a word or sentence and you can completely change its perceived meaning. Whereas “hello?” has an inherent questioning tone, “hello!” is much more forceful and “hello…” is more tentative. I’ve written before about the power of the comma. Yesterday, I inadvertently came across another shining example of how the addition (or omission) of a comma can really alter what you’re trying to say.

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What’s Up Wednesdays: Distracted Driving

June 22nd, 2016 by Michael Kwan

Distracted Driving

Every Wednesday, I share a collection of fun and interesting blog posts from around the web. Today, we start off with Stacey Robinsmith in the ‘burbs with his thoughts on local law enforcement focusing on catching distracted drivers. He was sitting at his favorite diner when he noticed that the police were quick to pull over anyone looking at their phones whilst behind the wheel, but they ignored the drivers who would sail through red lights. What is actually more dangerous?

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On the Directionality of Progress, Success and Happiness

June 21st, 2016 by Michael Kwan

On Directionality of Progress and Success

We all want to be happy, whatever that means. If you boil down all of life’s struggles and aspirations, it really just comes down to happiness. That’s the ultimate end goal and everything else is just a means to that end. You seek happiness through home ownership. You seek happiness through a successful career. You seek happiness through meaningful relationships, listening to great music, and enjoying the sunshine.

Curiously, assuming that you’ve reached some sort of minimum threshold, the actual objective reality of the situation is rather inconsequential on a subjective level. What matters much more is your sense of perceived progress. Are you moving in the right direction? And are you moving quickly enough?

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Sunday Snippet: Harlan Coben on Great Fathers

June 19th, 2016 by Michael Kwan

Author Harlan Coben by KoS

“This is the price you pay for having a great father. You get the wonder, the joy, the tender moments – and you get the tears at the end, too.”

When I was younger, I connected much more strongly with my dad than I did with my mom. It’s not like we had any common interests, really. He was in the restaurant business by trade and he enjoyed spending time at the horse track. I was a kid. I watched cartoons and played video games. I’m not really sure what it was. And today, being Father’s Day, I can’t help but to reflect on our relationship.

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Foodie Friday: A Guide to Montreal’s Restaurants

June 17th, 2016 by Michael Kwan

Foodie Friday: A Guide to Montreal Restaurants

As you might recall, I was over in Montreal with my family last month. We wandered around town, soaked in some of the Quebecois culture, and ascended Mont Royal to get a bird’s eye view of the city. Some have said that the biggest tourist attraction is the food you’ll find at Montreal’s restaurants.

I’ve already shown you around where we stayed and wrote about our visit to the Biodome, but where did we eat? Here are some of the highlights.

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What’s Up Wednesdays: Father’s Day

June 15th, 2016 by Michael Kwan

What's Up Wednesdays: Father's Day

With Father’s Day coming up this weekend, I’d like to dedicate today’s speedlink to all the great dads out there. We start off with Jay Wisniewski, a father who has been struggling with depression. His personal essay provides incredible insight into what it’s like when you feel “stuck behind the window… covered in cobwebs and splintered boards that choke and steal the sparkle” hidden from view beyond its panes. Sometimes, being a man means asking for help.

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Grammar 101: Might as Well (Not Minus Well)

June 14th, 2016 by Michael Kwan

Grammar 101 with Michael Kwan

In my experience, many of the mistakes that people make with spelling and grammar are caused by the great divide between spoken and written language. Many common phrases are spoken far more often than they are found in everyday print. That’s why people come to write about how to “make due” or that time they hit the “mother load.” When I was a kid, I misheard “might as well” to be “minus well” and it was years before I learned the error of my ways.

“Might as well” (which is functionally identical to “may as well” in casual speech) is a phrase used to indicate that given the circumstances, taking a certain action is in your best interest. You will be better off if you take this action than if you do not. There are currently no better alternatives. In other words, an opportunity would be wasted if you don’t take this action. This is perhaps best illustrated with a few examples.

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