Friday, 17 May 2013

My Unclear English Prize 2013: a basic holistic of chunky granularity

When it comes to disentangling jargon, Google is our friend, but even Google struggles with chunky granules:

I don't think I did. So here's Google's next best offer: a piece of Chunky bar, to give you strength for what's to follow. 
Take a deep breath before you read the paragraphs below. They're from a real email, sent yesterday to someone I know. If they make you feel ill, remember the poor sods to whom they were sent - they had to make sense of them and find some way of replying. They weren't allowed to shout, scream or in any way abuse the sender. All I've changed is the names. In case you're wondering, this isn't technical language that made sense to the recipients, it's gibberish. 

On chunky : the principle is not compromised at all, it is the principle of chunky not the principle of “giganagarous”  (very very very large)…  the trick is to be chunky at the right level of granularity for re-use/multi usage, business need and future proofing (chunks at the object level not at the entire data set size)…  it is not about breaking the architecture with giant messages for the sake of it.  In short, we simply need to make sure that the chunks are the right sized chunks… 

D;  please review B’s mail and give me your view of the right way forward and how the data team can support the project to strategic and right sized immediate success. 

B, review with the data and integration team the chunk sizes and ideally we can define a basic holistic of chunky granularity or similar guideline to help people get the granularity right going forward. / or simply the data team can propose the chunks to SIG…
Is this the first time 'holistic' has been used as a noun? A small point amongst such horrors, but it's surely a development that's worth noting and fighting vigorously.

It's stuff like this that makes the job of a writer feel like a noble calling.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

In which I lose my appendix and find a flurry of flowers (and a chilli)

OK, so this isn't my appendix - when I came round from the anaesthetic a couple of weeks ago and the surgeon thrust a photo in my face of what they'd just chopped out of me, I wasn't entirely with it. All I remember is  something blurry and alarmingly multi-coloured. Various people have expressed their disappointment that I didn't ask to keep the offending gangrenous organ in a jar. I'm sorry. I hope this half-mouldy chilli from the bottom of our fridge is an appropriate substitute.

Since my surprise visit to hospital, I've been convalescing. What a splendid word. For the first time I can remember, I've lain in bed or on the sofa doing absolutely nothing. I didn't really have thoughts either, just vague observations - it's raining again, there's the starling in the roof above my head, I wonder what's for dinner. And once a day I'd walk slowly round the garden, stopping every few steps to gaze at the unfurling leaves on the dog rose, the frog spawn wiggling and then hatching, the blue tit starting its nest in the tree by the kitchen. Then I'd head back to the sofa.

I'm recovering now, and yesterday I went for my first proper walk. I  headed out along Burrswood drive and here's what I found along its verge - spring flowers exploding into action, all at once, an awesome display of what's been waiting all these weeks. They're not great photos - I took them on my phone - but I just had to record finding sixteen different flowers in a few hundred yards.


If you're wondering what they all are, here's a list, reading from left to right, top to bottom: wood anemone, cuckoo flower, daisy, violet, daffodil, dandelion, dead nettle, wild strawberry, ground ivy, fritillaries, cuckoo flower again, hawthorn, stitchwort, bluebell, lesser celandine, marsh orchid, primrose, and one final shot of fritillaries, dandelions and violets.

I think I rather fancy being a Victorian lady who reclines on a sofa and sketches wild flowers all day. It won't last, but I'm making the most of this strange and luxurious disconnection from my everyday life.