My Ideas

How about a short light post today, after getting heavy yesterday (I mean, Nazis, after all)? A few weeks ago, I wrote about a typical example of how ideas come to me, and make their way onto your screen. Usually ideas come to me like that, just based on my everyday encounters with language. When I start a post with something like The other day I was listening to the radio and I noticed how the presenter pronounced the word haberdashery, it’s usually true, and not some awkward way to introduce the topic. And sometimes I’ll start with something like The other day I was wondering about the etymology of the word hamster because that’s the kind of thing I do when my mind has a moment to wander.

So usually, there’s not a long gap between when an idea comes to me, and when I write about it. Occasionally a vague idea will come to me, and it’ll swim around my head for a long time, occasionally coming to the front of my mind, then receding back again, until the angle I want to take in writing about it comes to me. In those cases of course, it’s handy to note down my idea in case I forget it. This also applies when I get different ideas in quick succession. So when something comes to me I usually make a note in the Ideas memo I have on my phone. For a long time this was actually a text message to myself, because that’s how I used to always record important information like passwords or PINs. Then one day I remembered that it’s 2017 and my phone has a memo app. It still took me a few weeks to bother copying everything over though. When an idea comes to me I type it in quite frantically, in case I forget it (which does happen), and I’m usually too preoccupied to bother putting it all in a memo instead.

This is how I primarily record my ideas, but I also have my Blog Ideas Word document on my laptop. Obviously it’s much handier to use my phone, but I’m still quite sentimental about my Word document. When I first began this blog, I also started the Blog Ideas document, putting in everything I could think of, and panicking that I’d only be able to think of a few ideas and give up the blog shortly after I started. Luckily I managed to come up with a few page’s worth, and after I started writing I kept adding to the document whenever an idea came to me, until I realised it made more sense to use the phone. I also used to delete ideas from the document after I’d written about them to keep it uncluttered, but as the ideas kept coming I stopped bothering. Anyway, without further ado, here, copied and pasted for your pleasure, are my two ideas documents:

 

Phone Memo

English literature, correcting grammar, blueberry smoke, patients, klomp, bilingual, read, word with same meaning, know, gravy train, cup of joe, cricket, spiral staircase,adjective is vrrb, millenial, umlaut, days, fire, reason why, recipe, anger, wonder, tar, sleepers, arguments, besides, cowed, history, savvy, supposably, speak of the devil, boonies fittest, an orgy of evidence, draw, sawhorse , gin rummy , fine, retire, mean, bonnet, black and white as names, mammy, hack, 20 20, afraid, thunk, presume, why learn a foreign language, sentence, belawted, possibility for/of, daybreak, orca misnomer , letters look, saying phone numbers, stationery, mixed conditions , gaslight , roaming; newfie, quieter, health and safety, keep, avuncular , scumbag, book covers, research , stop to buy , hero, superhero, phrasing , un-American , je me suis trompé , advertising, accent marks, grapefruit, have , search terms , cornish, bbc silly words, fix, mind, unknown words, space, bound, but and and, gay, thanks , something and anything , greatuncle, past , littlest hobo, verb patterns, bilingual, what I hate , sociopath , cry, genealogy, writing typing, Harry’s tiles , novel, bonefire, teeth paste , sound, red pill, possibility of, comparative , mistake and error , Italian, responsible , sentence, lying, say what you want, dog days, could care less, song meaning , a wrong, the tennisman and cyclisme , spitting image , learn and teach, throwback thursday, story, italics, trump takes the IELTS, Esperanto, into town, filets mignons, language as a secret code, commas then relative clauses , bananas, athletic bilbao, tourists in a foreign accent, nor, shibboleth, bold, rider, chocolate, pidgin English

Laptop Word Doc

Blog Ideas

Trump https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7EV-7X_-Vxc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJx9QpYugUI

deplane

autocorrect

http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/40922739/german-minister-says-too-many-people-are-speaking-english-in-berlin

Basque

moonquake

Bent

Subtle and doubt

Silent k

textspeak

parabens

dumb

kitchen

can animals talk

nevertheless

Galway Bay

sponsored posts

mistake and error

anthropomorphism

analogue

none

names with s

incel

work colleague

ladybird

ology or ography

anyway, besides

foreign teachers

Step in law

Circles

How do you draw a circle? We analyzed 100,000 drawings to show how culture shapes our instincts

watch

data mining

meta blogging

plebs and chavs

confidence and supply

advertising

question tag

euphemisms

spin

mean

blunt and sharp

The Emergency

make and do

porn names

hero

by hook or by crook

denizen

simile and metaphor

arms

tv mistakes

belated

hate on

justify

disabuse

clickbait

how we talk online

teacher training

hanged

less and fewer

hope you’re ok

blancmange

blood and fire

hit hit hit

translation

Bloomsday thunk

Thank thunk

20/20

Irish writers

Conditionals

Simile and metaphor

been being

hoary

influencer

entrance

baby talk

teetotaller

hung

quarter

whom

taller than I

default

mongeese and mice

tennis

synecdoche

elbow grease

passive

sjw do gooder

mistake

bar

mate

five-dollar words

get as in understand

mugwumps

finger numbers

stereotypes of languages

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-Dmqrn7_Q4

gravity

bucket list

peter out

banana republic

nitpick

parrot

alphabet

red herring

porn

instead

quarter

lemur

moot

inflammable

mugwump

butler

months and seasons

bargain bin

word stress

country names

bigly, wrongly, hardly

quintessential

canon

genre

curating content

fire walk with me

titles

cross

restaurant

ram

paradise

calque

nines

tit

poach

gone south/pear shaped/belly up/tits up

kettle of fish

gaol

brand new

toponym

wifi

boterham

let it be

peasant and villain

emergency

leopard

grand

great Britain

chicken kitchen

entree

football’s stadium

to

grand

gin tonic

laugh

cowabunga

yeah

hello

dye

geographical names

die

ego

emergency

the uninvited

carnival

basilisk

potboiler

anticlockwise

gotten

storm

the

ring

diminutive

puns

kiwi

googling

swag

stiletto

subjunctive

pseudoscience

pronouncing surnames

odd

eleven

Peter

turkey

I could care less

masculine

confusing words

come and go

wing it

intensive purposes

school/college/university

adbc

Luxembourg

Count

Disambiguation

pantomime

honeymoon

you’re welcome

Latin abbreviations

redundancy

winningest

déjà vu

dates

monsters

zed

robots and zombies

dank

initialism

hot verbs

the blues

red letter day

road street avenue

abbreviations

surnames

neologisms

feels

malapropisms

ambulance

http://www.bbc.com/capital/story/20161028-native-english-speakers-are-the-worlds-worst-communicators

right

genre fiction

thorn

knock up

Cornish

hypernym

How to Disappear Completely

familiar

whatsapp

advice/advise

movie translations

I before e

Who(m)

curry and public house

beg the question

iain banks

banning sarcasm

heart

Orwellian

Homage to catalonia

Googling capitals

Dick

fall

author(ise)

history/story

euphamisms

campaign

clock

legend

division

milestone

Singe

Metalanguage

sombrero

Comic sans

Spider-man’s hyphen

Weasel words

Meme quotes

innit

Lost words

movie

Motherland

Pakistan

Using other national Englishes

Hamster

surnames

Okay

Overture

savvy

adaptation

Acoustic adaptation

thought

Welcome

Children’s learning

That

Pullman

Bury the hatchet

manslaughter

Georgeous

Rain

Country names

Break his duck

Mate

Bands and teams

Grading language

lynch

Business language

literally

How to get rid of your accent

English in other languages

Sorry

Oxford comma

none

Willy nilly

Duolingo

Shakespeare

Embiggens

Drinking the kool aid

cocktail

Like

Dog

Releases

Girl

Guys

Click

Borrow lend

Clickbait

Colours

uncanny

Football

Hashtag

Yes and no

Kick drink eat

Sample sentences

Everytime, anytime etc

Capitals

Comma with money

semicolon

revert

Vestigial words

TV teaching

French fries

Me fail English

What is grammar

irony

Mental masturbation

Whiskey in the Jar

Smash it/beat it

touristic

Most common words

Don’t

scapegoat

Literally

Cloch and fiacre

I’m loving it

Words for love

politics and the English language

orwell

Shakespeare

Dickens

What makes a good language teacher?

I amn’t

Distance

Directness

Apostrophe

Hyphens and dashes

Tenses

News language

Present perfect

Komedy k’s

Ye olde

Embarrassing pronunciations

Conditionality

George Orwell

(S)he

Olaf Stapledon

China Miéville

In the Penal Colony

How languages sound

You know what

A few quick notes: Clearly it’s a lot easier to space things nicely in Word. If you’re a somewhat regular reader, you might recognise some of these that made it to the screen. With others, you might not have a clue what they’re supposed to be about. With a few, I have no clue what they’re supposed to be about. Some of them I’ve already tried writing about, but couldn’t find an interesting angle, and gave up, so they’ll now only ever exist as ideas. And yes, some of them are typos (don’t bother googling belawted to see if it’s some obscure word with a fascinating etymology: it’s just meant to be belated, which is one of those swimming-around-my-head words I mentioned earlier).

Obviously these documents are reassuring resources, especially on the rare days when I want to write but don’t have anything particular in mind. Usually though, I don’t need to dip into these two for an idea, as I generally have something to the fore of my mind when I sit down to write. But, perhaps by perusing these two lists, you’re lucky to be getting a preview of some future posts, as well as a glimpse into my “creative” “process.” I bet you can’t wait for that post about none!

30 thoughts on “My Ideas

    • Absolutely, these days I’ll usually have something in mind, but then Trump will say something absurd for me to analyse. He just did it too late last night as I’d already almost finished writing this.

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  1. I store my memos in the Keep app found in the android playstore because it syncs everything to my google account.. used to only use the memo apps but they never wanted to work properly so I lost everything when I purchased new phones 😦 It’s nice to get a look into other’s creative process though, it’s a nice feeling that I’m not alone when it comes to writing down ideas and keeping somewhat confusing lists of possible blog topics! — I also have a question; Have you ever done/thought about doing a post like syntax for dummies? I’m not sure if your English teaching goes to that extent, but the English course I took in Uni barely touched on it and I can’t make sense of it at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad I’m not alone too 😊. Looking at syntax would be interesting actually. I haven’t done it yet, and we don’t tend to focus on it in English teaching. It’s important though, especially for people who speak languages with very different syntaxes. And it’s interesting for native speakers to learn about the basics of English too.

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      • Ah, I see! The course i took was “Advanced English grammar and language” so it dipped into syntax, phonetics and all that. It is important indeed! Sadly, I have no knowledge of syntax in my native language, never really had an interest in learning it either, I supposed it would have helped to have that knowledge first. But I do see the importance in learning the language itself before diving into a subject like that. 🙂

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  2. That list will keep you going for a while! I am a spreadsheet fan, so both blogs have a spreadsheet with columns for the date, idea, and link when it’s published. I’ve filled in the title column for my beauty blog until the end of December, but my teaching one is more spontaneous because I get ideas from my classes or from things that I read or hear. I think the most important thing is to write the ideas down when we get them so that we don’t forget them – how we choose to do that will be different for everyone.

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    • Absolutely! I’d love to be organised enough to have a spreadsheet like that, but I wouldn’t keep it up to date, especially because of, as you said, all the spontaneous ideas that can come up.

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  3. I find using a mixture of using phone notes, laptop documents a d old school oen a paper best simply because im so forgetful and should one break or go missing i have backup. You’ve got a lot of ideas remember inspiration can strike anytime 😉

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    • It certainly can! It was interesting to look at my lists actually, as it made me realise how long it’s been since I’ve had to use them! Just keeping my eyes and ears open gives me lots of ideas 😊.

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  4. I still use post it notes. Don’t even know where the memo or note thing a ma bob or is it thing a ma jig is on my phone. Happy to see chocolate made the list . I will be borrowing pear shaped. Yes siree! 😊

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  5. That´s a god method, Niall… I also write notes on my tablet. I like to record them too, as audio messages to myself.
    I guess there is always order amidst chaos… Or so they say… each one of us can only fully understand our own ideas, at least “in depth”, and that´s even more true when it comes to Creativity, as it entails a process somehow, chained ideas, perceptions and feelings.
    Have a great day ❤ xx Best wishes.

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    • Audio messages are a great idea, I think the sound would help me remember what the memos refer to, and go into more detail (I’m a lazy note taker when writing!) I’m often amazed by other people’s notetaking systems and can’t imagine how they work, but there’s always a logic only that person can see 😊.

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