Tuesday, December 17, 2013

5 Makanan & Minuman yang Dapat Meningkatkan Daya Konsentrasi Semasa Menulis

Semasa menulis, anda perlu mempunyai daya konsentrasi yang kuat. Jadi di sini, kami kongsikan 5 makanan dan minuman yang boleh meningkatkan daya konsentrasi anda.

Sarapan di pagi hari sebelum memulai aktiviti harian merupakan sesuatu yang sangat penting. Sarapan bukan hanya boleh melancar metabolisme tubuh, tapi juga menjaga kadar gula dalam darah dan membuat tubuh terhindar dari diabetes. Sarapan dengan semangkuk cereal atau oat dapat membantu tubuh untuk mengatur kadar gula dalam darah, menjaga jantung tetap sihat, dan membuat kita lebih berkonsentrasi.

Ikan mengandung Omega 3 dan DHA, yakni yang berperanan penting dalam sistem saraf manusia. Kekurangan DHA dapat membuat risiko terserang/alzheimer menjadi lebih tinggi. Selain itu, ikan juga kaya akan sodium yang dapat membuat Anda lebih tenang. Untuk otak dan jantung yang sihat, makanlah ikan minima dua kali dalam seminggu.

Secawan kopi di pagi hari dapat membuat otak Anda bekerja lebih jernih. Kopi mengandungi kafein yang mampu membuat Anda lebih segar, termasuk jika Anda mengkonsumsi coklat ataupun minuman bertenaga. Namun, Anda harus berhati-hati, karena jika Anda mengambil kafein terlalu banyak, bukan pikiran jernih yang Anda dapatkan, melainkan kegelisahan karena otak Anda bekerja terlalu keras.

Alpukat/Avocado merupakan sumber lemak yang baik untuk kesehatan, termasuk juga untuk mendorong sirkulasi darah agar lebih lancar. Sirkulasi darah penting untuk menunjang otak agar dapat bekerja maksimal. Alpukat mampu membuat darah mengalir dengan baik hingga ke otak, sehingga Anda bisa berkonsentrasi dan berpikir dengan jernih. Jus alpukat biasa menjadi minuman yang lebih sering Anda pilih.

Tomato mengandung lycopene, yakni senyawa anti-oksidan yang sangat berguna untuk melindungi Anda dari radikal bebas yang mampu merosakkan sel-sel dalam otak. Radikal bebas dipercaya dapat membuat Anda mengalami demensia, dan alzheimer, penyakit yang kini kerap kali menghantui masyarakat moden

{Diolah dari Huffington Post}

Monday, December 16, 2013

20 Common Grammar Mistakes That (Almost) Everyone Makes

I’ve edited a monthly magazine for more than six years, and it’s a job that’s come with more frustration than reward. If there’s one thing I am grateful for — and it sure isn’t the pay — it’s that my work has allowed endless time to hone my craft to Louis Skolnick levels of grammar geekery.
As someone who slings red ink for a living, let me tell you: grammar is an ultra-micro component in the larger picture; it lies somewhere in the final steps of the editing trail; and as such it’s an overrated quasi-irrelevancy in the creative process, perpetuated into importance primarily by bitter nerds who accumulate tweed jackets and crippling inferiority complexes. But experience has also taught me that readers, for better or worse, will approach your work with a jaundiced eye and an itch to judge. While your grammar shouldn’t be a reflection of your creative powers or writing abilities, let’s face it — it usually is.
Below are 20 common grammar mistakes I see routinely, not only in editorial queries and submissions, but in print: in HR manuals, blogs, magazines, newspapers, trade journals, and even best selling novels. If it makes you feel any better, I’ve made each of these mistakes a hundred times, and I know some of the best authors in history have lived to see these very toadstools appear in print. Let's hope you can learn from some of their more famous mistakes.

Who and Whom

This one opens a big can of worms. “Who” is a subjective — or nominative — pronoun, along with "he," "she," "it," "we," and "they." It’s used when the pronoun acts as the subject of a clause. “Whom” is an objective pronoun, along with "him," "her," "it", "us," and "them." It’s used when the pronoun acts as the object of a clause. Using “who” or “whom” depends on whether you’re referring to the subject or object of a sentence. When in doubt, substitute “who” with the subjective pronouns “he” or “she,” e.g., Who loves you? cf., He loves me. Similarly, you can also substitute “whom” with the objective pronouns “him” or “her.” e.g.I consulted an attorney whom I met in New York. cf., I consulted him.

Which and That

This is one of the most common mistakes out there, and understandably so. “That” is a restrictive pronoun. It’s vital to the noun to which it’s referring.  e.g., I don’t trust fruits and vegetables that aren’t organic. Here, I’m referring to all non-organic fruits or vegetables. In other words, I only trust fruits and vegetables that are organic. “Which” introduces a relative clause. It allows qualifiers that may not be essential. e.g., I recommend you eat only organic fruits and vegetables, which are available in area grocery stores. In this case, you don’t have to go to a specific grocery store to obtain organic fruits and vegetables. “Which” qualifies, “that” restricts. “Which” is more ambiguous however, and by virtue of its meaning is flexible enough to be used in many restrictive clauses. e.g., The house, which is burning, is mine. e.g., The house that is burning is mine.

Lay and Lie

This is the crown jewel of all grammatical errors. “Lay” is a transitive verb. It requires a direct subject and one or more objects. Its present tense is “lay” (e.g., I lay the pencil on the table) and its past tense is “laid” (e.g.,Yesterday I laid the pencil on the table). “Lie” is an intransitive verb. It needs no object. Its present tense is “lie” (e.g., The Andes mountains lie between Chile and Argentina) and its past tense is “lay” (e.g., The man lay waiting for an ambulance). The most common mistake occurs when the writer uses the past tense of the transitive “lay” (e.g., I laid on the bed) when he/she actually means the intransitive past tense of “lie" (e.g., I lay on the bed).


Contrary to common misuse, “moot” doesn’t imply something is superfluous. It means a subject is disputable or open to discussion. e.g., The idea that commercial zoning should be allowed in the residential neighborhood was a moot point for the council.

Continual and Continuous

They’re similar, but there’s a difference. “Continual” means something that's always occurring, with obvious lapses in time. “Continuous” means something continues without any stops or gaps in between. e.g., The continual music next door made it the worst night of studying ever. e.g., Her continuous talking prevented him from concentrating.

Envy and Jealousy

The word “envy” implies a longing for someone else’s good fortunes. “Jealousy” is far more nefarious. It’s a fear of rivalry, often present in sexual situations. “Envy” is when you covet your friend’s good looks. “Jealousy” is what happens when your significant other swoons over your good-looking friend.


“Nor” expresses a negative condition. It literally means "and not." You’re obligated to use the “nor” form if your sentence expresses a negative and follows it with another negative condition. “Neither the men nor the women were drunk” is a correct sentence because “nor” expresses that the women held the same negative condition as the men. The old rule is that “nor” typically follows “neither,” and “or” follows “either.” However, if neither “either” nor “neither” is used in a sentence, you should use “nor” to express a second negative, as long as the second negative is a verb. If the second negative is a noun, adjective, or adverb, you would use “or,” because the initial negative transfers to all conditions. e.g., He won’t eat broccoli or asparagus. The negative condition expressing the first noun (broccoli) is also used for the second (asparagus).

May and Might

“May” implies a possibility. “Might” implies far more uncertainty. “You may get drunk if you have two shots in ten minutes” implies a real possibility of drunkenness. “You might get a ticket if you operate a tug boat while drunk” implies a possibility that is far more remote. Someone who says “I may have more wine” could mean he/she doesn't want more wine right now, or that he/she “might” not want any at all. Given the speaker’s indecision on the matter, “might” would be correct.

Whether and If 

Many writers seem to assume that “whether” is interchangeable with “if." It isn’t. “Whether” expresses a condition where there are two or more alternatives. “If” expresses a condition where there are no alternatives. e.g., I don’t know whether I’ll get drunk tonight. e.g., I can get drunk tonight if I have money for booze.

Fewer and Less

“Less” is reserved for hypothetical quantities. “Few” and “fewer” are for things you can quantify. e.g., The firm has fewer than ten employees. e.g., The firm is less successful now that we have only ten employees.

Farther and Further

The word “farther” implies a measurable distance. “Further” should be reserved for abstract lengths you can't always measure. e.g., I threw the ball ten feet farther than Bill. e.g., The financial crisis caused further implications.

Since and Because

“Since” refers to time. “Because” refers to causation. e.g., Since I quit drinking I’ve married and had two children. e.g., Because I quit drinking I no longer wake up in my own vomit.

Disinterested and Uninterested

Contrary to popular usage, these words aren’t synonymous. A “disinterested” person is someone who’s impartial. For example, a hedge fund manager might take interest in a headline regarding the performance of a popular stock, even if he's never invested in it. He’s “disinterested,” i.e., he doesn’t seek to gain financially from the transaction he’s witnessed. Judges and referees are supposed to be "disinterested." If the sentence you’re using implies someone who couldn't care less, chances are you’ll want to use “uninterested.”


Unless you’re frightened of them, you shouldn’t say you’re “anxious to see your friends.” You’re actually “eager,” or "excited." To be “anxious” implies a looming fear, dread or anxiety. It doesn’t mean you’re looking forward to something.

Different Than and Different From

This is a tough one. Words like “rather” and “faster” are comparative adjectives, and are used to show comparison with the preposition “than,” (e.g., greater than, less than, faster than, rather than). The adjective “different” is used to draw distinction. So, when “different” is followed by a  preposition, it should be “from,” similar to “separate from,” “distinct from,” or “away from.” e.g., My living situation in New York was different from home. There are rare cases where “different than” is appropriate, if “than” operates as a conjunction. e.g.,Development is different in New York than in Los Angeles. When in doubt, use “different from.”

Bring and Take

In order to employ proper usage of “bring” or “take,” the writer must know whether the object is being moved toward or away from the subject. If it is toward, use “bring.” If it is away, use “take.” Your spouse may tell you to “take your clothes to the cleaners.” The owner of the dry cleaners would say “bring your clothes to the cleaners.”


It isn't a word. "Impact" can be used as a noun (e.g., The impact of the crash was severe) or a transitive verb (e.g., The crash impacted my ability to walk or hold a job). "Impactful" is a made-up buzzword, colligated by the modern marketing industry in their endless attempts to decode the innumerable nuances of human behavior into a string of mindless metrics. Seriously, stop saying this.

Affect and Effect

Here’s a trick to help you remember: “Affect” is almost always a verb (e.g., Facebook affects people’s attention spans), and “effect” is almost always a noun (e.g., Facebook's effects can also be positive). “Affect” means to influence or produce an impression — to cause hence, an effect. “Effect” is the thing produced by the affecting agent; it describes the result or outcome. There are some exceptions. “Effect” may be used as a transitive verb, which means to bring about or make happen. e.g., My new computer effected a much-needed transition from magazines to Web porn. There are similarly rare examples where “affect” can be a noun. e.g., His lack of affect made him seem like a shallow person.

Irony and Coincidence

Too many people claim something is the former when they actually mean the latter. For example, it’s not “ironic” that “Barbara moved from California to New York, where she ended up meeting and falling in love with a fellow Californian.” The fact that they’re both from California is a "coincidence." "Irony" is the incongruity in a series of events between the expected results and the actual results. "Coincidence" is a series of events that appear planned when they’re actually accidental. So, it would be "ironic" if “Barbara moved from California to New York to escape California men, but the first man she ended up meeting and falling in love with was a fellow Californian.”


Undoubtedly the most common mistake I encounter. Contrary to almost ubiquitous misuse, to be “nauseous” doesn’t mean you’ve been sickened: it actually means you possess the ability to produce nausea in others. e.g., That week-old hot dog is nauseous. When you find yourself disgusted or made ill by a nauseating agent, you are actually “nauseated.” e.g., I was nauseated after falling into that dumpster behind the Planned Parenthood. Stop embarrassing yourself.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

When Authors Engage in Public Speaking

by Patricia L. Fry

It's encouraged. It's sometimes necessary. Authors often engage in public speaking in order to promote their books. But not all authors are prepared and trained for this activity. And not all authors even want to participate.
Let's look at the scope of authors' attitudes and aptitudes when it comes to public speaking. There are authors who:
  • are absolute naturals in the public speaking realm.
  • absolutely hate the thought of standing before an audience.
  • are game speakers, but have poor skills.
Is speaking one of your book promotion activities? Do you hope to start speaking to large and small groups as a way to gain exposure for your book? Please, before you launch out on the speaking circuit, heed the following advice:

  1. Join Toastmasters and actively participate for at least a year. You will benefit in ways that you can't even imagine. Go to Toastmasters International for a list of clubs near you.

  2. Volunteer for opportunities to speak. Take leadership of a project at work or for a charity. Offer to go around and educate citizens on a political issue or to raise funds for the library expansion, for example.

  3. Attend other speakers' programs. If you are observant and alert, you will learn volumes about public speaking by listening and watching. How does the audience respond to the speaker? What techniques seem to work (and what don't work) for this speaker? What would you do differently to put the audience at ease, make this a more pleasing experience for the audience, etc?

  4. Get involved with a storytelling group. This is a particularly fun way to improve your speaking skills. You'll also get some training and practice in using vocal variety.

  5. Hire a voice coach. If you have a soft voice that doesn't carry well or a voice that is not pleasant to listen to, a voice coach might be able to help. You'll find voice coaches listed under music teachers in the Yellow Pages.

  6. Find a mentor -- someone whose speaking abilities you admire.

  7. Start locally. Before heading out to parts unknown to speak about your book in front of huge crowds, plan speaking gigs locally. Speak to the women's group at your church, your local Optimists or Rotary Club, a gathering at the museum or bookstore or even a group of neighbors, for example.

Public speaking rule breakers.

  • Many speakers let their voices trail off at the end of every sentence. The audience can hear the first part of their sentence, but they have no idea what pearls of wisdom might be lost in the whispers at the end. Sometimes this speaker will deliver complete sentences inaudibly while looking down -- obviously not interested at that moment in engaging the audience.
  • Some speakers are not good readers. If you are not skilled at reading something out loud, don't do it while speaking. Especially avoid doing this secretly. In other words, if you plan to deliver your speech by reading all or part of it, and you do not have good out loud reading skills, forget it.
  • Mumbling is not cool. Inexperienced speakers will often speak at conversation level, not giving any thought or consideration to the people in the back of the room. Recently, I sat in on a panel discussion at a workshop. The panelists chose to sit instead of stand to address the standing-room-only crowd, which I thought was rude. And one man, whenever it was his turn to speak, would rest his elbows on the table and fold his hands in front of his mouth during the entire time that he was speaking.
  • Inexperienced or thoughtless speakers leave members of the audience out. When an audience member asks a question, it is rarely heard in the back of the room. I've seen many expert speakers respond to the question by engaging in a one-on-one conversation with this person while the rest of the audience is left wondering. Speakers, I urge you to repeat the question so everyone is on the same page. And then respond to the question so that everyone in the room can hear it.
  • Some speakers choose to sit down on the job. In a very small, intimate group or when the audience is sitting in a circle of chairs or on the floor, for example, speaking while seated is generally okay. But if you have a room containing six rows of chairs or more, you really should express respect for those in the back of the room by standing so that you can be seen as well as heard.
  • Even some professional speakers still use too many filler words. It takes practice, but you can rid your vocabulary (especially while speaking in public) of those filler words like, uh, ah, er. Also avoid connecting sentences by overusing "and."
  • Many speakers have trouble staying within the time allotment. Most programs or presentations are carefully organized. Each segment is designed to fit into a specific time slot. I've seen speakers completely disregard their time constraints and foul up the entire evening's program. Not cool.
I've written many articles on the topic of public speaking. The following is excerpted from one of them. This list offers specific tips to help get your started on your way to successful public speaking:
Speak out. Many inexperienced orators speak too softly or they allow their voices to drop toward the end of their sentences. Practice speaking up and speaking out. Whether addressing a large audience or a small group, always speak so that you can be heard even in the back of the room.
Repeat audience questions. When someone asks a question during your presentation, always repeat it before answering it. This ensures that everyone hears it.
Make eye contact. Move your attention around the room as you speak, making eye contact with each person.
Don't apologize. Avoid sabotaging your presentation by making excuses for not being well prepared or for poor speaking skills. Stand tall, appear self-assured and you will gain the confidence of the audience.
Use vocal variety. Make your talks more enjoyable by using an assortment of vocal tones and pitches rather than speaking in monotone. If you need help developing vocal variety, practice reading to children. Use your highest and lowest voice and everything in between.
Eliminate non-words. Inexperienced speakers generally use so many filler words that Toastmasters actually have an "ah counter" at every meeting. This person counts the number of filler words each member uses in the course of the meeting. Filler words include uh, ah, um, er and so forth.
Eliminate poor speaking habits. Rid your vocabulary of stagnant verbiage. Break yourself of those mundane phrases you like to repeat, such as, "yada, yada, yada" or "know what I mean?" Likewise, watch the overuse of words like "really." Saying "I was exhausted" is a stronger sentence than saying, "I was really exhausted." You can explain how exhausted you were by saying, "I was exhausted beyond anything I'd ever experienced before," or "I was so tired I could have slept for a month."
Be prepared. You will be more at ease if you know what to expect. Find out if there will be a podium or microphone, for example. How many people do they expect? How will the room be set up? Also, have your props or notes organized so there will be no annoying fumbling during your presentation.
Know your audience. And gear your speech to the needs and interests of this particular audience. When I talk about the local history, I give a completely different talk to students at local elementary schools than I do when addressing civic organizations or historic society members.
Anyone can get up in front of an audience and speak. How well you do it is what counts.