Fractured Idiom

As my followers already know, I am a stickler with regard to language.

Listening to MSNBC can be entertaining as well as informative.

Heard Today!

“That nailed it on the head.”

That phrase is a combination of two idioms. One is “You nailed it,” as in a perfect move in gymnastics; the other is “You hit the nail on the head,” as in making your point precisely.


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Idiotic Idiom

Lately, I have been watching a lot of cable news. The thing that gets to me the most is the drivel that is spoken by such a large number of politicians who, one would hope, would have some degree of intelligence.

Heard today:

“You can only get so much blood from a stone.”

I’m speechless!

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Bad Packaging

It seems to me that a seller of art suppliers would be an expert in packaging their products for shipment. Not true.

Recently, I purchased a ruler from an Amazon partner and it came in unusable condition.

What is shown is that the ruler is coated with residual glue from the tape used to affix it to the packaging material. This could have been avoided simply by wrapping the ruler in a sheet of paper before applying the tape.

I informed Amazon and they refunded my money. As for the supplier, who knows?


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Bald is Beautiful

Being bald is not a bad thing. In fact, many men are shaving their heads to look more attractive.

Then, there are many who deny their baldness by using longer hairs to cover their bald spot. Who are they fooling? It’s not funny, even if you are a comedian.

Sometimes, a hairpiece would be better. However, if you can afford it, make it a good one..

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Font Foolishness

Many years ago, before the digital age, there was a clever mechanical way to make small adhesive labels. It was made by Dymo, and I own one.

It provided a very convenient way to identify stuff. And that, alone, was pretty good.

But recently, someone created a Dymo font for use on computers. I do not have a clue as to why. It is being used to promote a current Broadway show.

Whether or not you find that attractive is your call. However, those selections of Dymo-style text seem to be real labels rather than computer-generated text.

The reason is that the font designer created blank spaces between words as empty rather than as solid. This is what happened when I used the font on my computer.

As can be seen on the second line, there are blank spaces between words. This would not be possible on mechanical tape.

The third line shows that additional graphic elements (shown here in red) had to be added to simulate actual tape. The fourth line is the completed simulation.

Another font that bewilders me is



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Digital Printing Can Hurt You

If you are not a frequent user of printed products you may be in trouble when you need to reprint something old. If all you have is a mechanical (pasted up board) it is practically worthless. Commercial printers today require digital files (usually PDF, or a high-resolution JPG for photos) from their customers.

What is also bad is that you may have had a digital file that you sent to your printer originally, but you do not have it now. Your printer may not have it either. It may have been lost or trashed when his company merged with a larger one. Or he may be out of business completely.

While the migration to digital printing has had an adverse effect on buyers of print, it has provided a new source of  business for me. I have been getting more and more requests to digitize documents and art from people who possess little more than a beat up paper copy of an old document from which to work.

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Raised Printing

I am writing this blog to publicize that an old traditional form of printing is becoming obsolete. Recently, a customer asked me to redesign her informal note cards. The printer I used a few years ago was out of business. It took me quite a while to find a new supplier. And that company only does thermography work just one day a week because there is not enough demand for it.

For may years, raised letter printing (know as thermography) has been a popular method of printing business cards, wedding invitations, announcements, and the like. It gives an elegant look to such documents, particularly when printed on quality bond or linen finish paper.



The process is labor intensive and time consuming, so it does not lend itself to modern, automated methods of applying ink to paper. It requires special slow-drying inks that are treated with a special powder and are exposed to intense heat for short time. Individual colors (called “spot” colors) are used, and most commercial printers use only a limited number of colors. Moreover, shades of color must be created artificially by applying a dot screen effect to represent a percentage of the color. It is not pretty.

In contrast, digital printing requires only four colors (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black— known as CMYK colors) which may be mixed in any combination to create literally millions of colors and shades of color. These are referred to as process colors. The orange rectangle (below left) is an example. The rectangle on the right is a 50% tint (note that there is no dot screen).




It makes me sad that this is happening. However, I do not miss such things as flip phones, VHS tapes, black & white TV, cassettes, typewriters, floppy disks, phones with cords and rotary dials, CRT monitors, and the like. But I do prefer to listen to analog (vinyl) music rather than digital (MP3).

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