Author: Michael Kwan

Grammar 101: Every Day vs. Everyday

Every day, I come across all sorts of spelling mistakes and grammatical errors as I make my way across the vastness of the Internet. It’s become an everyday thing to find someone mistakenly writing it’s (with an apostrophe) when they should really be writing its (no apostrophe) instead. The two words sound the same when spoken and they use the same letters, but they are not at all the same thing. The same is true when you add or remove a space, as is the case with every day and everyday. Do you know when to use which? My...

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Vlog #33: 10 Things About Me (You Probably Didn’t Know)

There are some people I’ve known for years, both online and offline, where I still don’t really know for certain what they do for a living. Even among some of my best friends, I know very little about their family situation, whether or not they have any siblings, or if they actually grew up in an entirely different part of the world. And if you’re reading these words, you might think you know a thing or two about me, but did you know that I used to catch houseflies in medicine containers? And that I learned how to do...

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Sunday Snippet: Jill Churchill on Motherhood

The most important thing she’d learned over the years was that there was no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one. Practice makes perfect. If you’re not first, you’re last. Only the best is good enough. We all face a lot of pressure. In school, we endure the pressure of exams and group presentations. In our personal lives, we feel the pressure to find “the one.” In work, we are pressured to perform better and make more. But if there’s one area in our lives where we perhaps face the greatest...

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Does This Make Me a Bad Dad?

People (thankfully) don’t comment on my appearance often, but when they do, it’s to say one of three things: I look tired, I look frazzled, or I look like I’ve aged. Truth be told, it’s likely all of the above. This parenting thing, especially while trying to run a full-time business at the same time, isn’t easy and I often feel like I’m coming up short. Many days, I can feel like I’m not cut out for this at all and I notice all the things I’m doing “wrong.” Do these things make me a bad dad? I Use...

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Idiomatica: Mix and Match

English can be very tricky, as so many words can sound very similar (or even identical). This becomes even more problematic in the context of idioms, since it’s so easy to disregard the individual words that make up the saying. That’s how we end up with incorrect phrasings like “one in the same” and “in this day in age.” People just mix and match what they think are the right words. Or is it mix and mash? Let’s start with a definition. The English idiom “mix and match” refers to the action of choosing and combining items together that...

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Vlog #32: Burnaby Summer Arts Festival

Do you remember that episode of Seinfeld where George is told the ocean called and it’s running out of shrimp? He doesn’t think of “the perfect comeback” until several hours later, becoming obsessed with the chance to use it. When the opportunity strikes, he tells his colleague that “the Jerk Store called [and] they’re running out of you.” To which his coworker retorts, “What’s the difference? You’re their all-time best seller!” What does this have to do with this week’s vlog? And do I ever make it to the Burnaby Summer Arts Festival? You’ll have to watch to find...

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Sunday Snippet: Toni Morrison

At some point in life, the world’s beauty becomes enough. You don’t need to photograph, paint or even remember it. It is enough. Many of us, myself certainly included, suffer from an insatiable desire for wanting more. We want to make more money. We want to buy more toys, take more photos and eat more food. More. There’s always more to be gained and attained, so we’re never fully satisfied with what we do have. We’re ungrateful and that needs to change. Sometimes, enough really is enough. And enough can be beautiful. Born in Lorain, Ohio in 1931 as...

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The Horribly Self-Destructive Meta Game

That’s so meta! Under many circumstances, I revel in playing (and observing) the meta game. I greatly enjoy watching YouTube videos about how to make better YouTube videos, for instance, or listening to songs about the music industry. Given my chosen career, I also enjoy writing about writing, both in terms of the actual mechanics (like grammar and syntax) and the business of writing professionally. I think about thinking and that’s partly why I use Rodin’s Thinker as the logo for Beyond the Rhetoric. I also think that I might think about thinking too much. Don’t you think? That’s...

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Made in Strathcona: A Walkable Neighborhood in Transition

Growing up in Vancouver, I never gave much thought to the Strathcona neighborhood. To me, it was the undesirable, industrial part of town that existed somewhere between Chinatown and PNE. I’d come down to visit the restaurant supply store with my parents once in a blue moon and there was that one time we took a school field trip to the Rogers Sugar refinery. That’s about it. But there is so much more history to this area and, if anything, the only constant for Strathcona over the years has been change. It was the first home to wave after...

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Vlog #31: The One in Seattle with the Ducks

I like to travel. I like to see other parts of the world and experience some of the local culture. And sometimes all that requires is a quick three-hour (or so, depending on traffic) drive south of the border. So, we loaded up our compact SUV with our NEXUS cards in tow and made our way down to the Emerald City for a few days. Welcome to the Seattle vlog. We went into full tourist mode, trekking down to the historic Pike Place Market, wandering around downtown Seattle to look at (but not ride) the Monorail, and gazing up...

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About

Michael Kwan
Hi, I'm Michael. By day, I'm a freelance writer. By night, I'm still a freelance writer. I'm also a proud father, a voracious foodie, an avid traveler, a gadget geek, and a thinker who thinks he might be thinking too much. Beyond the Rhetoric is a reflection of my eclectic entrepreneurial life.

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