i looked into it (but i forgot to note where i got it from) as i was drafting a document and wanted to know the prescription when to fully spell out a number. as a “rule of thumb”, anything less than 10 (or less than multiple digits) merit using the whole word (although some style guides dictate that ten is still a “small” number but i don’t subscribe to this as it’s more cumbersome to generalise). for example, using one instead of the numerical symbol 1.

that said, you may decide to “break” this rule depending on your actual or planned readership. sometimes you need to know when it’s appropriate to break certain rules: just as when abstract painters eschew fundamental or standard techniques.

i’m not sure of “large” negative numbers though – my hunch is that maybe a “modified” rule applies depending on the number of digits. that is the “rule” for writing but, in my experience, different audiences have different expectations: case in point, writing for the web might require a different mandate. what about those containing decimal points? is there an exception for numbers in tables? variances can lead to strife. if you are aware of these (and other) guidelines, kindly share your knowledge…

i was composing something in Word and was confused in which was the right preposition for a reference to a month so i Googled it.

i used to “Google” (i mainly restored my browser tab) “fun facts” daily but eventually had a “technical difficulties” so i abandoned this practice.

for a specific time, you’re supposed to use ‘at’. referring to days and dates merits ‘on’, and for other units ‘in.’

the common misnomer is that it’s called Black Fridaybecause it’s when retailers are “back in black” due to all the shopping and sales. for a long time, i also believed this but with some digging found out the actual origin.

apparently, a handful of investors were responsible for the U.S. stock market crashing. this made much more sense to me since ‘Black’ as an adjective doesn’t exactly evoke a “positive” association.

for all intents and purposes, people now have a “good” notion of this day. it’s not only an event in America but the day after Thanksgiving ( it would be interesting to get the Wampanoag tribe’s perspective on this holiday) is a thing in other countries that don’t celebrate the preceding event. it’s just interesting how words/phrases/concepts can take on different meanings based on “popular” usage.

true or not, it still is somewhat appealing for me to think that the evolution of the word “aweful” (now obsolete in spelling terms or in technical speak: deprecated) to “awful”. supposedly, the parents used to describe churches as “full of awe” so , eventually, children had a “negative” experience and it took on the opposite meaning.

on our recent trip to New Zealand, we were told we had to take a gondola to the restaurant. we were quite perplexed when we found out it was on top of a mountain – we thought we had to take a boat and wondered what was next. by default, we were all thinking about the “flat” vessel popularised by the canals of Venice.

it piqued my interest so i Googled the term on my phone. apparently, although not as well known, it can also refer to an alternative mode of transport: an enclosed lift or cable car – which made much more sense!

my son and wife also tried riding the luge down. although we were atop a mountain., there was no snow – instead they took vehicle similar to “bikes” which were also “powered” by gravity.

sometimes, we have pictures in our heads that don’t match the reality.

i’ve always been “terminally trivial”. as i am a keen reader (i consume less books now given my vision impairment) and watch a heap of TV/movies (i no longer watch those exclusively with subtitles as the captions are too fast for me to read), the accumulation of factoids can be said to be “eclectic”. sadly, this hasn’t translated to any pub quiz wins and any major prizes in HQ Trivia.

with the advent of Google (and similar technologies) , this predilection for facts seems passé. the ubiquity of search engines and voice assistants like SIRI have resulted in “information at the fingertips” for some. this “JIT” (Just In Time} approach has transformed our relationship with facts – it’s, after all, when (and no longer if) we need it. it’s psychologically more efficient and practical to store information external to your person rather than in your mind (as evidenced by our “over”reliance on our phones). the onus has shifted from the right answers to the right questions. i’ve always believed questions were important but more so now – Jeopardy! was only “tangentially” right.

i asked a former knowledgeable teacher and very smart friend why digital technologies used the Red Green Blue (RGB) palette when i was taught early on that the primary colours were Red Yellow, and Blue – so i was thinking shouldn’t it be RYB instead. i was told that RGB had always been the standard spectrum. i was placated for a while by their answers but it was always in the back of my mind.

one day i was just compelled to do a web search. apparently, RGB are the base additive colours: That is they are “active” and can be combined to form various hues and shades (through the use of such things as lasers). primary colours uses paint and paper to make other colours and are more “passive” – if that makes sense.

it’s no longer just about memorising facts in the digital age as it is, also IMHO, about having the intellectual curiosity to ask “interesting” questions. From now on, i’ll also share the results of my “research” on this blog.