Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Oh, it’s Tuesday, where’s my post?

Photo by Heather Ford on Unsplash

   Looks like I broke my habit once again, here it is another Tuesday has passed and no post, how disappointing is that? Very much so . . . but the good news is good, in that it is no longer because of procrastination, it is no longer because I’m too busy with a job that doesn’t exist anymore. It’s not even that I don’t care, because I do care. It’s not even because I’m too busy to write, because that is all I’m about anymore which is good, now I know first questions is if you are too busy writing, how can you not be posting here, well priorities I guess, and not so much in that this place doesn’t matter to me anymore because it does, heck I’ve been here a very long time and still keep pushing out, yes granted should be a ton more content here, but sometimes some of my writing is quite inappropriate for this blog, some of it just doesn’t fit here, it doesn’t fit at all, but that is the way it works sometimes.

                So, don’t get too disappointed if you show up on a Tuesday and there’s not a new post here waiting for you, sometimes, heck most times I think I will be shooting for every other Tuesday. So, don’t fret have faith, have patience.

                I guess the wildest part about it being Tuesday and there not being a blog post here is that, I recently lost my job and so in response I have declared myself a freelance writer, and what happens then, I get too busy with the business end of things, which is necessary too, that I don’t make the effort to write, if you think about it, how insane does that sound, a full time writer who is too busy to write. And I swear it’s not an excuse, it's just the way it has worked out. But all that effort has equated to a good foundation being laid in order to expand my writing opportunities. Heck I’ve doubled my Twitter followers in a short amount of time, built a new web site, (contentconceptions.com) and a bunch of other stuff that you as a reader may not notice because most of it was behind the scenes, but still stuff that needed to be done, but like I said I believe it has given me a solid foundation.

So yea when I realized that it’s Tuesday, I got nervous.  I just hope and pray that you weren’t sitting here hitting the refresh button, waiting for my latest post, because you may have been waiting a while. So instead of arguing the fact, who really wants to argue with a dedicated reader? Not I unless I know I’m right. (Which is usually the case!) So, to avoid an argument what I offer you instead is simply this:

 The top seven reasons why I may not actually post a blog on Tuesday.

1.       It might not be the right Tuesday
2.       I thought I had one scheduled to automatically post . . . oops!
3.       I may have been busy with a PAYING client
4.       I may have been promoting stuff on Twitter and lost track of time (that happens a lot)
5.       Oh, you mean it’s Tuesday again
6.       You didn’t catch my live stream on Twitch, I thought I explained it very well.

7.       I was too busy making a YouTube video

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Doctors, Knifes, and Complications. . .

No, I haven’t abandoned you my loyal audience or especially my beloved blog, first and foremost I want you to understand that. (We have talked about it before, - -  just read the archives. :) The truth of the matter is I’m not going anywhere soon . . . at least that’s what my doctor tells me, but then again you just never know. The point being there’s been a small gap in my publishing schedule, and it shows if you been paying close attention . . . If you haven't noticed all the better, I feel that I could take a small vacation with no retribution, without a handful of fans even noticing.
I wish that was the case but so far it is not . . . because I went under the knife a couple of years ago, and it has been anything but a vacation. The time prior to this was just stressful and took a lot out of me, the time after my surgery was not as smooth as hoped or predicted. Heck, I'm still not 100% (at least at the time of this writing, which was a while ago, but much better now, kinda) but I hope to be there soon. Then after that work took over my life for a long time, but not no more. So, I haven't disappeared, I haven't given up, I haven't abandoned anything or anybody, got distracted with a dead end job and just had very minor surgery, that’s all . . .

What does any of this mean to you? There is a lesson here for everybody just hang in there. . . Be patient and you will be rewarded for that attribute.

The worse part of the whole adventure came totally unpredicted. Forty-eight hours after being discharged from the hospital I started to feel worse than the day before and the more time that progressed felt worse than when I first came out of surgery, oh wait, a bad comparison I wasn't feeling a thing then. I had a severe fever that spiked at 101.7 and it had definitely put me down, to say the least. This caused an undue return trip to the surgeon, and the hospital, for tests to determine if the surgery didn’t work out as planned, or caused an infection or such.  I passed the two major hurdles (which was a great blessing) and was left to fight off a viral infection I had picked up sometime after my surgery, probably at the hospital. Now if you think about it, the place that I went to be made well had the opposite desired effect and made me sick . . . the irony of it all.

So, no excuses, I had a good reason not to publish any blogs lately, (my tendency to procrastinate hasn’t helped much either) the takeaway lesson for all of us involved, and you too is simply this. The stuff I’ve learned since then. If you or a loved one is looking at a hospital stay soon, try to keep the hard-learned lessons, I had to endure, in mind and hopefully, your experience will be a better one than mine. Who really needs to fight a viral infection after surgery anyway.

Hospitals are not as clean and sanitary as they would have you believe they are.[1] Be proactive instead of reactive, assume the worse and the better off you will probably be.  A byproduct of surgery is a weakened immune system,[2] which makes you more susceptible to viral attack and bacteria. And trust me there is plenty of those suckers to be found in the hospital and your room may not have been as thoroughly cleaned as you would expect.

Alcohol wipes . . . Bed rails, call buttons, remote controls bed adjustments. It is much better to be safe than sorry.[3]

The worse part of this whole story is that I even had some alcohol wipes with me, intended for the touchscreen on my phone and I thought it would be kind of anal to wipe down some surfaces I would be in contact with, well folks trust me that thought was not anal at all, and now I’m left to ask what if. You would think that at my age I would have learned to trust my gut, intuition told me beforehand, I failed to listen, and paid the price! I guess you could say that I learned the hard way, but even worse than that would be if you decided to not learn from my mistakes, I hope that is not the case because all that suffering would have been for naught if you don’t become proactive.

[1] Every year some 1.7 million people in the U.S. who are admitted to hospitals hoping to get well instead end up getting sicker after picking up infections during their stays, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease 
  Hospitals are pooling places for sick people and all the germs they carry; just walking into one a puts everyone at a greater risk than normal of contracting an infection. But you're particularly vulnerable if you're immunosuppressed, elderly or an infant—or if you are there for surgery, because cutting the skin and sticking various tubes into the body provides germs new means of access.

[2] Any type of major surgery can stress the body and suppress the immune system. The reasons for this aren’t fully understood, but we do know that surgery and the anesthesia medications given to help make you sleep can be hard on the body.

[3] Your best protection against infection is to make sure everything you come into contact with is clean. If that means reminding your doctor to wash his hands or the equipment he uses, don’t hesitate to do so.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

What's Your Roar?

flickr / Steve Wilson
When I had finished writing the first draft to this blog post, I thought to myself that it seems like a waste,  this is my manifesto, and there’s no point in really sharing it with anyone. Then I thought, well who really cares I guess the only advantage is that it is out, it is on paper, it is out in public for all to see. Maybe I am overly presumptuous in assuming that there holds no value for anyone in it, but only for myself. I’m not a selfish person, or at least I would not consider myself to be (I guess with further reflection we could see how selfish we can be sometimes as individuals, but this is neither the time or the place, that would just ruin this conversation). I cannot on my own merit judge the value, if any, that may be presented before you through this effort. I guess all I can do is hope that in some way it’s value is revealed to you through encouragement, motivation, dialog, and even a call to arms.

 This is my story, this is my call to arms, this is my manifesto.

Too often in life, we have to deal with “others”, those who hold intentions that are not honorable, not only because they are self-serving, but also because they feel bad enough that they don’t want others to feel good. They want the warm fuzzies for themselves, they do not want to share, and they are more than willing to take yours away from you. They do so because in one form or another they don’t feel as if you are deserving enough, or at least as much as them, and they feel that it is their decision to make whether or not you are deserving. I heard it once said that “hurt people are the ones who hurt others”.
In case you didn’t know they have a name, we call them haters, they suffer from, among other things, self-delusions brought about by a self-serving ego, which causes their ego to trip out, on a regular basis.  Empathy is not a concept they understand unless it relates to them. Not only are the haters off center, but they are also just plain Jane out of whack! We have all been there, me and you, (you and I) we both know, we have at one time or another fell victim to one breed of hater or another.

Then for some of us, myself included there are the times when we do the pushing down, the holding back, the self-inflicting, self-defeating nonsense that we have all fallen victim to at one time or another. Then when we get tired of pushing ourselves down we put ourselves into positions where we will let others do it for us . . . Regardless of who the perpetrator may be, there comes a time as individuals that we must dust it off, to quit bellowing in the dirt and let out a mighty roar for all to hear. 

So for me and the purpose of this blog entry a mighty
roar equates to whatever your passion and talent may be. In the simplest of terms, a roar is when we as creative beings have held the creation in for so long that we can no longer contain it, no matter what the critics say. It is when we get to the points in our creative life’s where we have no choice to let it out, a mighty roar. This roar comes from a passion that has a little bit of attention gaining quality to it. After all, if a lion roars in the jungle, all creatures happen to take notice.

If it needs to be said I will say it now, my roar is writing. The written word on the computer screen in order to come to various ends. Such as to encourage, to educate, to inform, to edify, to entertain, and to contribute to the great conversation, whether it be through the art of fiction or a simply spun essay. They say that “the pen is mightier than the sword” (1)  and I believe it to be true, I’ve been moved by the written word, and I hope to move others. That is my manifesto to move others, that’s it, it is that plain, it is that simple. The presenting of value in a simple essay, to move you. It is me presenting value to you in a challenging medium in order to move you . . .  that is the value of what I offer to you, and that is the value contained in the written word.
As I do so I am able to sit back and watch the others who thought they knew, and watch the shocked expressions on their faces as they hear me roar!!!! I encourage you to roar along with me in whatever method you choose, and together we can, and will, change the world.

So what’s your “Roar”? What is your passion, what makes you tick, makes you want to get out of bed in the morning? What is it that you are able to hold up to the world and say look here? For some, it might be a song, for others like me its words on the page, for others maybe marketing, or still leadership, maybe you are a follower, a transcriber, a speaker, an Uber driver or a babysitter. You have a roar and I want to know what it is, please share it in the comments below, and tell us how you plan to change the world.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Five-Hundred Words Just Ain’t Enough!

flickr / Nina Jean

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Years ago when I was learning about this new digital medium that people like to call blogging I was continually bombarded with articles and titles of articles suggesting, no almost demanding, that a digital article, blog entry, or any form of writing on the web should be limited to 500 words. I’ve seen it stated time and time again, heck if you even ask Goggle this is what you get . . .

My first reaction is oh my gosh, if that’s all it takes for online writing is 500 word articles then I’m in. I can produce those in my sleep, with hands tied behind my back, and more than several times a day, or so I thought. That was the best part about the 500-word limit, it was nonintimidating, short, quick, easy. In theory, it holds true . . . But in reality, it just doesn’t hold up, why? Because I tried it and if you are sharing or creating anything worth value it must be well defined. To have a subject that is well defined, you must give it more than 500 words, I tried, I mean I actually tried . . . and I very seldom can make it work, well only on days like today. Yes, I like to clutter up my writing with excessive verbiage. It is a fault and yes sometimes I just like to ramble on. I do agree with other writers to “trim it out, if it doesn't make a necessary contribution to the piece,” it’s just that 500 words is just not enough space to say anything at all, heck look at my word count I’m over halfway there now.

For a writer like me the 500-word rule just can’t apply, and I know what the supporters say which is usually two things, people don’t have enough time to read anything more than that . . . and search engines are more friendly to small pieces. Well maybe so, but search engines are more friendly to sites that receive high traffic too, and if the 500-word post is true than all viral posts should be 500 words or less. Well, we can put that fallacy to rest. The part about people not reading longer than 500 word posts, well I can kill that argument.

Take a look at War and Peace by Tolstoy, 587,287 words, and people still make the time to read it, yes, it is a classic, but it is so long . . . and still, people flock to it in droves. The way I feel about it, especially as a writer is this . . . Don’t limit yourself or your audience’s attention span, give them something to read and sink their teeth into, distract them with powerful and influencing writing and what they will not have time for is to count words, their mind will not even think about how many words they are reading if their mind is intellectually involved. Give them great, mind stimulating writing and let the word count take care of itself.

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My Disclaimer: Well my word count up to this point is 511 words. I just proved my own theory that I was trying to prove. OUCH! Maybe what we should be asking instead of “How long should a blog post be?” But we should be asking is “How good should a blog post be?”

Friday, August 26, 2016

Rough Drafts, Sisters, and the Creative Process

flickr /  dvortygirl   

It’s an artistic thing, plain and simple, nothing more. I know that it is an artist thing and not just me . . .  I’ve read time and time again how artists will not share their work before they feel it is complete.  But it’s a family thing, time for a little compromise, ha, not a good thing, compromise, well at least when you are talking about the creative process.

There are reasons for artists not wanting to share their work with others until the art is in a phase of completeness. Which of course the artist’s work is never done. Yes, the time eventually comes, it is a time to let go, a time where the artist’s child must be stripped bare and meet the world and either be received with great fanfare, or a toast of mediocrity. Yes, it is a painful process that is accompanied by many a doubt, and fear, accompanied with strong hopes that it won’t be rejected. And yes for most artists we hang on longer than we probably should, we are driven with a certain sense of perfection, of completeness, always the nagging questions; Is that everything I wanted to say? Is that said the way I wanted to say it? Or even better yet, is it said in the best way possible? Is it too long? Is it too short? Is it too narrow or just a bit too wide? The endless nagging persists even when the time is complete and even when it’s still in development.

The reasons for not sharing work are countless, they are endless, sometimes fabricated and sometimes justified, but the major point is that they do exist. It is as integral to the creative process as the first draft or even the initial idea that even hasn’t had time to ferment.  It comes down to a certain ability of treating new creations as a possession. One that is held close, that is heavily guarded, a possession that is so valuable that it can’t be shared, it’s like the feeling when you bring home that brand new car home and your best friend asks for the keys. It is meet with the same type of hesitation, that overly protective sense of possession, but trust me it is so much stronger for a new piece of art than it could ever be for some silly shiny new car.  If we continue with the car analogy for a moment it will be easier to enlighten the non-artist to the way the artist’s way of thinking.  We are scared to hand over the keys for that new car for several reasons, our first thought, no what if they scratch it, what if they wreck it? What if I want to look out the window at it and it not be there?

                Even more so than the fear that our piece of art might receive a scratch on it, is the fear of letting go too early, it’s the best way to jinx a project. So it becomes necessary to stay clear of the unsolicited advice in order to protect the integrity of the work of art. A partial vision that is shared is only a partial vision, which may or may not look like the masterpiece that it will finally become, only time will tell. But therein lies the biggest dilemma, to share an incomplete vision is not to share a vision at all, but more of a revealing of an idea.  That idea, once it is shared, is forced to bend and sway to more forces than if it wasn’t shared at all.

What about that killing process where a decision is made that this big portion over here just doesn’t fit the whole, an independent observer may suggest to leave it, not to slash it to pieces often as an artist does. It is then that the creative process and the art itself would become damaged, scratched, or worse yet sabotaged or tainted. The piece of art is then doomed, paralyzed, permantly placed in a state of never achieving completeness, of never being done, of never being right

And those are the reasons my dear sister that you even tho you are family you will and must wait till the child is ready to be released into the world before you or anyone else can see it. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Hi how you been, I’ve Been Scared


          Hi how you been.  Yea I know it’s been a while . . . but... I thought you should know I have been busy, but not too busy to do some writing, actually quite busy writing, probably still not producing what I’d like to be, but that whole job thing does get in the way sometimes. I know to the outsider it looks as if I have abandoned this blog, but I haven’t. I just temporarily shifted my focus and what a shift it has been. Soon I will be publishing a series of essays that I like to refer to as the five in five, in that I will be publishing five essays in five days, perhaps that is just a working title (catchy tho) for my writing portfolio that I’ve been working on for quite some time now. Maybe, “Shaken to the Core: A Writing Portfolio to Challenge Your Worldview” would be a better title, wouldn’t you say? The location of publication of said essays as of this writing is undetermined.    (If you don’t follow me on Twitter you probably should now (@muselinguis is my handle, convenient hey?) I will try to post information here too when that happens, but if you really want to be the “first to know” just follow me on Twitter, or heck even if your sub conscious will not allow you to do that then just bookmark my feed and refresh it ten times a day.

          So yea, it has been a while and I have been somewhat busy writing, but not so busy that I’m happy with the amount of production, or on most days the lack there off. I hope once this is posted that I don’t procrastinate and keep you hanging for too long. Cliffhangers are nice, but white noise for extended periods of time is something else that has no dramatic effect at all and just leads to forgetfulness.   The very last thing I want you to forget about is my writing portfolio that is coming soon, which will overwhelm your senses, challenge your thought patterns and hopefully shake your world view to the core.  After all who doesn’t need their world view to be shaken some times.

                   *                           *                           *
So I find myself in a state of self psycho analysis once again, if you could know my private thoughts processes, you would know that I'm there a lot, heck if you even read my blog you might come to see how much I overly analyze every breath. (Ok maybe not every breath, but most of them.) Maybe I’m on the right path after all, wasn't it Socrates that said “the unexamined life isn’t worth living”?
          Regardless, the point I’m trying to get at is that I was trying to figure out why it has taken me six months of spare time work to get this done, when it could have been finished in half the time, then on top of it was the shut down as I call it, the point where for whatever reason I just stopped producing for a while, it was as if I shut down on all fronts. Perhaps I just needed a break. 

                             *                  *                 *
          So my psycho analysis is nowhere close to complete on this one (so oh so much to analyze) , but when I’m able to pull a moment for myself from my conscience mind, I am then able to consider some of the facts. This here is what has been extracted from my consciousness so far . . .  Perhaps I just needed a break from the pressure I so often put on myself or . . .
          A more plausible explanation could have something to do with that article I read this morning about how hatting your job can be exasperating, and that can pretty much sum up how I feel on most days is exasperated  (what a word that is).  First I read it, then just thought so-so, but then I contemplated on it some, and then contemplated on it some more and considered how much truthfulness was there. Was my job actually killing me and my dreams? If so, then I really need to abandon any type of employment as an occupation or career goal.  It goes along the same lines of those in poverty and how studies have shown that those in poverty are so preoccupied with wondering where their next meal will be coming from, or how they are going to simply keep paying the rent, or worrying about their lack of health insurance.  They no longer have the mental energy to expend on getting out of poverty when they are cognitively spent on figuring out how to survive. Yes, a vicious cycle, and perhaps that is why I feel the way I do about my job, it is such a viscous cycle that still leaves me exasperated, and spent. It doesn't leave me with much energy to move my writing career forward to an acceptable position.  Seems plausible enough, heck almost believable until you look at the bigger picture, yes being exasperated from work has significantly limited my art, but not so much as I may have because . . .  I’m thinking perhaps I just needed a break from all the pressure I put on myself, or maybe I was just plain scared.

                             *                 *                 *

          Gee I’m scared to admit to it. I have nothing left to blame but me myself. I am the cause of this lack of production. I became scared when I actually had a productive couple of weeks, enough production that my main project for the last six months was nearing completion, which means a lot of things: I’d have to find a new project (scary). I’d have to put the project out there for others to see (even more scarier).  It is simple to see how this could cause a shut down in production. So then, there is this contemplation of fear that has been brought to the surface, making it a situation that needs to be dealt with and not be ignored.
          When I first think of fear, I think of the word itself which can be intimidating of its own accord. Just the way the word sounds can invoke trembling in your boots, throw in the fact of it being used in a sentence that happens to be discussing your mental state and the sound of the word can be real intimidating. I mean first off who really wants to acknowledge their fears, and even when we do acknowledge their existence we don’t choose to deal, because we are scared to deal (great more fear on top of fear). Just the sound of the word, the mention of the word has the capabilities to invoke a spirit of fear.
          But it is in those times of acknowledgment that we may also get a glimpse of the impact that those fears have on our daily lives. And out of the shadow creeps all types of fears, fears that affect our relationships, and family. Fears that affect our social standings, fears that affect our cognitive abilities, fears that hold us back, fears that keep us from achieving all we were meant to be, fears that keep us from being successful in whatever our calling may be, heck even fears of living out that calling itself.

          So fear is an ugly, crippling monster that should not be subdued, that’s not good enough, fear must be destroyed, much like that awful dragon outside the castle, the only way to  really fix the problem is total annihilation. We shouldn't try to limit our fears, or even overcome as some say, I believe nothing less but total annihilation will do.

          . . . And if this is so my only option is to finish it and put it out there.

Now I have decided to overcome those fears and show the world my blog, call it a day view, if you will. Fear may have held me back ever so lightly, but also the fact that there really wasn't much to share except for a couple small days of rambling . . . But now there are more and more ramblings for your entertainment pleasure, enjoy, criticize, and interact with, it is the Internet after all.

Perhaps I just needed a break from all the pressure I put on myself, or maybe I was just plain scared, so my most logical action would be to throw my writing out there and let the world be my critique, don’t worry you can’t be any worse than my internal critic. So thus here it is my most recent blog post. So that’s what I’ve been up too lately, besides learning not to procrastinate, how to fight enormous distractions that are fighting for my attention every minute when I should be working, oh yea and been playing video games which I will never give up.  

Friday, August 12, 2016

What's A Muselinguis and Can I Find It In Pokémon Go?

flickr / Bureau of Land Managment
No not Moose-lings, it’s Muselinguis

I know, I know that’s the question everyone asks when I use my online identity. First they ask what is that, then a who is that, and then usually a what the heck? And then, who the heck again? It always ends up coming down to a why the heck?  So since you tuned in today, and hopefully other days too, I feel as if I might owe you some sort of explanation.

One Hundred Great Ideas

Besides the other reasons that I may cover here in a bit I would have to say why not? The domain name was available, which was a big plus because the other one hundred great ideas were already licensed. So I grabbed it when it was hot and when it was cheap, but that was just one of the reasons.

I wanted a name that I could brand. I definitely wanted something unique, something somewhat memorable, and something that could establish meaning, with a little bit of word play, and something that didn’t have twenty syllables, I don’t appreciate long names when it comes to domain names, or characters in video games. I feel the shorter you can make it the easier to say, easier to remember. Besides it is less letters to look at when your running down the road. So yes, I like short, maybe it’s a psychological thing since I’m physically shorter than average, but tall, very tall in statue.

So without using Latin, and just using a little bit of word play I could not only give Muselinguis meaning, but create my mantra which I believe communicates not only what I am, but what I want to become, when we pick it apart we get:

Muse - the inspirational guide that endows the receiver with a sense of creativity

Linguist – (yes I know this part is a stretch) a linguist is one who studies history of language, but if you shorten the word and remove the t and change the sound and cross your fingers really, really hard you can have it mean just words . . . or language, Heck it’s my domain name, I’ll let it mean whatever I want it too . . .

So if you stretch it just a little bit it is representative of my mantra for this writing life . . . which is simple . . . it is what I wish to provide to my clients, my publishers, and you my readers, it is simply this:

Muselinguis - Taking an inspired approach to the written word

So yep that’s my mantra, that’s what I hope to accomplish anytime I sit down to write. It is to be inspired in a heightened sense of creativity in order to reach out to others and inspire them, motivate them, make them think, challenge their norms, entertain and sooner or later in the process, I hope it’s even able to put bread on the table.

About the uniqueness . . . I struggled to keep it short, I really struggled on something that wasn’t used. . . but eventually settled on it. I wanted a name I could brand across several networks, uniqueness helped here; it is my Twitter handle, my Hub Pages handle, my Blogger handle, heck I even got a character in World of Warcraft that goes by that name. (Oh my what I nerd I am!) But hey, I guess it’s free advertising :)

Did I mention Pokémon Go?

     After all it’s all the hype now days, but I am so sorry on two accounts, the first is to the best of my knowledge there is not a Muselinguis in Pokémon Go, if there was though I would be honored. It would be awesome to have my digital persona represented in such a way that the world would stand up and take notice (interesting if I do it right I won’t even need Pokémon go to accomplish that).  A worthwhile goal . . . maybe someday. . . and the second account is I haven’t played as of yet, it’s scary after all I would have to go out and meet people, not this anti-social persona. Ok, the real reason is that I am somewhat of a gamer, or at least a game enthusiast, and when hearing of the addictive qualities of this game it scares me, it would most likely take over my life . . . I will admit thou that it is on my wish list in the app store, I hesitate every time I want to hit the download button. Maybe one day I will get brave and then I could even blog about my Pokémon Go adventures, kind of along the vein of John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charlie.

Did I mention it was on sale?

The best part of all this is that from this point forward you can choose to be smarter than the rest of the people you know because when you see this . . . #Muselinguis . . . You will automatically know what it means and where it came from, I’m not British but I just feel like wrapping this up with a cheers mate!