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Merriam-Webster Tabs ‘Culture’ as Word of the Year

In General on December 28, 2014 at 8:24 am

CultureMerriam-Webster has announced that “culture” is the English dictionary’s word of the year for 2014.

The company selects its word of the year based on number of online searches, and overall presence in the media, among other criteria.

The definition of “culture,” according to Merriam-Webster, is the “beliefs, customs, arts, etc., of a particular society, group, place, or time.”

Among the other most notable words of the year included “feminism,” insidious,” “innovation,” “morbidity,” “autonomy,” “surreptitious,” “nostalgia” and “je ne sais quoi.” The Merriam-Webster 2013 word of the year was “science.” “Capitalism” and “socialism” shared top honors in 2012.

“Culture” was not connected with any single event in 2014, but rather dominated the news headlines on a consistent basis due to its many uses. Popular topics this year included “company culture,” “rape culture” and “celebrity culture.”

Online searches for the word “feminism” remained strong throughout the course of 2014, according to company leaders. “Feminism” was used in correlation with the Gamergate controversy and the Hobby Lobby decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. When Time Magazine released its annual list of the “100 Most Influential People” – featuring Pharrell Williams, Miley Cyrus and Beyonce – the word saw another major spike in online traffic.

Along with its main publication, Merriam-Webster has published dictionaries of Spanish/English, slang, sports terms, medical terms, proper names, biography, geography, English usage and synonyms.  Non-dictionary publications available around the world are Encyclopedia of World Religions Collegiate Thesaurus, Encyclopedia of Literature, Manual for Writers and Editors, Secretarial Handbook and Collegiate Encyclopedia.

Merriam-Webster was created by researcher Noah Webster in 1828 as a way to expand the conversation about language among cultures around the world. In his quest for greater knowledge, he learned a total of 26 languages, including English, Sanskrit, Arabic, Persian, Aramaic, Hebrew, Russian, Welsh, Dutch, French, Spanish, Italian, Latin, Greek, German and Gothic.

Big Data Proves Beneficial for Small Business Owners, According to Harris Interactive Study

In Business on November 24, 2014 at 4:29 am

Technology-SavvyIn today’s global business world, it’s essential for small companies to be technologically savvy and up-to-date on the newest trends in order to remain relevant and stay competitive. Data analysis has become an increasingly powerful tool that helps CEOs and top executives make key decisions and offer more educated predictions about their company’s future. Data can allow these leaders to adjust marketing strategies, control inventories, establish target markets and boost sales.

Small businesses have a wealth of information in their hands including Google Analytics, Facebook Insights and sales receipts. The term “big data” is popular among businesses, used to describe the availability and exponential growth of data, both unstructured and structured.

According to the results of a new Harris Interactive study, big data was shown to have a wide range of definitions including:

  • The requirements to archive and store data for the purposes of regulatory compliance
  • The emergence of new and improved data sources, including mobile devices, social media and machine-generated devices
  • Challenges associated with big data
  • The significant growth and development of transaction data

The same survey suggests the top competitive advantages gained by using big data include:

  • Increasing sales (54 percent)
  • Retaining and attracting customers (46 percent)
  • Reducing IT costs (50 percent)
  • Improving efficiency of internal business operations (59 percent)
  • Becoming more flexible and agile (48 percent)

Most importantly, 76 percent of small business owners say Big Data is an enormous opportunity for their executives and employees. Over 70 percent believe that a return on investment occurs within 12 months. Data brokers like DataLogix, Kaggle and Acxiom can offer businesses valuable data analysis that shares informative insight into a company’s current activities.

Marla Ahlgrimm on Indoor Gardening

In Health and Beauty on November 14, 2014 at 7:39 pm

Marla AhlgrimmMaintaining a garden throughout the winter months is challenging, acknowledges Marla Ahlgrimm. However, gardening can be a mentally and emotionally stimulating activity that provides joy even in colder weather. Recently, Marla Ahlgrimm spoke with the staff of Presentation Solutions to offer suggestions on the indoor herbs and plants that provide the most health benefits.

Presentation Solutions: Good morning to our green thumb expert!

Marla Ahlgrimm: That’s quite a title!

Presentation Solutions: We invited you here to talk to our readers about indoor gardening…

Marla Ahlgrimm: Yes, and thank you so much for the invitation. As we approach the end of the year I thought I would mention that around the holidays, gardening can be a relaxing and affordable pastime that’s fun for the whole family.

Presentation Solutions: Does indoor gardening yield the same results as the outdoor version?

Marla Ahlgrimm: In many cases, yes. Proper technique is key.

Presentation Solutions: In your experience, what herbs and plants work especially well in indoor conditions?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Basil, for one, springs to mind.

Presentation Solutions: How can basil improve someone’s health?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Basil is a source of dietary fiber, potassium, magnesium, calcium, zinc and vitamin K.

Presentation Solutions: Isn’t growing basil indoors a major challenge?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Although basil generally requires four hours of sunlight per day, fluorescent bulbs can be used as a substitute.

Presentation Solutions: How long must the bulbs be lit?

Marla Ahlgrimm: The recommended time is 12 hours. Remember, too, that plenty of clean water is also necessary to guarantee success.

Presentation Solutions: Which are the best uses for basil?

Marla Ahlgrimm: I love to use basil in soups, salads and other vegetable dishes.

Presentation Solutions: What other herbs might you recommend?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Peppermint features copper, manganese, vitamin C, and a host of other natural oils with anti-microbial properties.

Presentation Solutions: In your opinion, what’s the best way to use peppermint?

Marla Ahlgrimm: One of my favorite uses for peppermint is preparing a cup of tea.

Presentation Solutions: How do you grow peppermint at home?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Mint performs best in indirect light and prefers less water and more shade.

Presentation Solutions: Besides peppermint, what other herbs and plants are suitable for indoor growth?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Thyme is another perfect example.

Presentation Solutions: How would you incorporate thyme into a healthy diet?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Thyme can be used in marinades, dressings and sauces, among other delicious dishes.

Presentation Solutions: What health benefits are associated with thyme?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Thyme has been proven to protect people from cancer-causing toxins while improving mental sharpness and relieving digestive and respiratory problems.

Presentation Solutions: Does thyme feature many vitamins and minerals?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Absolutely! Thyme is an excellent source of fiber, vitamin K, chromium, manganese, iron and calcium.

Presentation Solutions: Hopefully more people get in on the act and start gardening!

Marla Ahlgrimm: I wholeheartedly agree.

Presentation Solutions: Thank you again for sharing your thoughts.

Marla Ahlgrimm: Anytime!

As a premier women’s health leader, Marla Ahlgrimm knows how proper nutrition is an important element in the lives of all women. Marla Ahlgrimm encourages a diet rich with fruits, vegetables and lean protein as a way to ward off potential health complications.

 

 

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