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January 18, 2003 15:14 IST

Sylvia D'Souza

What's common between 'Make no mistake about it' and 'Weapons of mass destruction'? Well, it's not September 11 by a long shot! Both these phrases appear in the Lake Superior State University's (LSSU) 2003 list of banished words along with others like 'material breach', 'untimely death', 'having said that' and 'peel-and-eat shrimp'.

The University compiles a 'List of Words Banished from Queen's English for Mis-Use, Over-Use and General Uselessness' and releases it each year on January 1. Nominations are invited throughout the year from all over the world.

The custom of compiling the annual banished list began in 1976, when the Public Relations Director Bill Rabe dreamed it up as a publicity gimmick for little-known LSSU. Rabe retired in 1987, but the concept had by then caught on so strongly, that the University copyrighted it and continued with the tradition. It's still going pretty strong if one were to go by the number of nominations pouring in!

Check this archive  for all-time banished words. 'Yuh know', 'time frame', 'do-able', 'no problem' all figure in it. If you're wondering why, read through for a few laughs!

Willing to Try

Click on 'start' and embark on a journey with the main character in the animation. The character is confronted with various choices along the course of the journey and you the user, have to make those choices for him. To give an example, two parallel lines will appear on the screen. You have to say if those lines look like Trees, Mirrors or Rain. Your choice will determine the next step in the journey.

While this looks like just another animation game, the idea behind it is very different.

Willing to Try is the brainchild of the TRY Group based in Japan, an organisation that seeks to find new methods for teaching children and one that stresses on individualism over academics.The site reflects the philosophy of the group. It encourages children to explore and discover a whole world on their own and in the process, learn.

"Just as the animated character sees that there is more than one way to look at objects in life, children are encouraged to see that there is more than one answer on the path of knowledge and each answer contributes unique and important information."

The Original Tipping page

Supposed to be the first page of its kind and why not, you say? You might wonder why one would make a site on tipping. But after going through this site you might be thankful that someone did!

Check out the various definitions of a tip. Also considered an acronym by some, standing for 'To Insure Promptness'. Read these guidelines to know what are generally considered as adequate amounts to tip people for various services rendered. The suggestions vary depending on the country you are referring to, as a large tip in India might be deemed a paltry tip in the US  and vice versa.

Have something to share or want to know more? The message board would be the perfect place. Also browse through previous discussions on subjects as interesting and diverse as 'Do you tip based on looks or gender?' to 'Should singles tip more?'. The Dumbest Customers' Questions is particularly hilarious. A waitress relates one out of her personal experience to a question she was asked: "Do you serve children?" She replies: "Sure, how do you like them cooked?"

The Ticketstub project

The idea behind this project was born long time ago, when its creator, Matthew Haughey saved ticket stubs to relive events or memories. He kept up with the habit of saving the ticket stubs, until one day he realised he had so many of them and each one, with a story to tell.

He decided to scan images of the ticket stubs, write up the stories to go along with them. In the December of 2002 he finally completed what he set out to do. Except, he now wished to open his efforts and encourage others to tell the stories behind their saved ticket stubs.

If you have a scanned image of your ticket stub and also a related story to share, consider posting it here. You can also read these instructions for getting the image of your ticket stub onto your computer. And last but not the least, don't forget to read these nostalgic stories. The heart does have a way of clinging on to memories, ticket stub or not!



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