Based on years of informal polling of friends and family, most everyone has pet peeves about words, phrases or expressions that leave them feeling like they’ve just heard chalk squeaking across a blackboard.
(I don’t know if teachers still employ chalk and blackboards, but baby boomers will remember.)
Words that irk. Phrases that irritate.
Many have to do with the workplace. For example, my daughter once had a friend who was a chef and couldn’t stand the word “meat.”
One of my brothers-in-law who works in business hates jargon-y business words like “parameters.”
My wife, a longtime magazine editor, is driven up a wall by nouns turned into verbs, such as “impact.”
A friend who is an avid cook despised the word “dollop,” to the point where he almost refused to serve sour cream… Continue reading
As reported by travel guru Arthur Frommer and others, the U.S. travel and tourism industry — one of the nation’s largest economic engines, which contributes more than $1.5 trillion to the U.S. GDP annually — is taking a potentially devastating hit in the wake of the Trump Administration’s attempted crackdown on travel from seven predominately Muslim countries as well as on immigration in general.
The statistics are stark. According to Travel Weekly magazine, a prominent trade publication, there has been a nearly seven percent decline in foreign tourism to the U.S. since late January, when the President issued his controversial (and legally questionable) executive order.
The seven percent drop-off hasn’t been limited to Muslims or to those from the seven named countries — it’s occurred across the board. In one survey,… Continue reading
You may have read recently that a group of eminent geologists now believe there is a land mass that should be regarded as the earth’s eighth continent, based on scientific studies of the nature of its continental crust.
They’ve dubbed it Zealandia, partially because it includes the island nation of New Zealand in the western Pacific.
The term “Zealandia” was actually coined back in 1995 to describe a number of islands in the region (of which New Zealand’s three main islands are the largest) and what were believed to be submerged fragments of continental crust that broke off from Australia in the distant past.
Now the evidence is that Zealandia is all one big piece stretching from north of Antarctica almost all the way to the east coast of Oz. That would make… Continue reading
If you can write a convincing 200-word essay on “How would owning the Lakefront Dream Home change your life?,” you just might win a very nice Lakefront Dream Home in New York’s Catskills Mountains.
Entrepreneurs Andrew Bares and Kelly Livorgna are offering up their 5.5 acre retreat featuring more than 250 feet of lake frontage on Swinging Bridge Reservoir in the town of Bethel, NY, to the winning essayist. Bethel was the site of the original Woodstock Festival in 1969 and is now the home of Bethel Woods, a superb music venue.
The two-bedroom house is in a woodsy area and offers direct access to fishing, swimming, boating, kayaking, and cross-country skiing. It has a floor-to-ceiling fireplace, a large deck, and is well furnished.
I can vouch for the scenic beauty of the region, where I’ve spent a lot of time.… Continue reading
Chinese New Year (also known as Spring Festival), starts on January 28 this year and continues for 15 days.
It’s the most important festival time of the year in China — when millions of Chinese travel to their home villages and cities to be with family or friends for holiday reunions.
One of the world’s most celebrated festivals, Chinese New Year is also a star occasion in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore and some other Asian countries as well as Chinatowns around the world. And in recent years, the celebrations in New York, London, Vancouver, Sydney and other overseas cities have spread out of Chinatowns.
Parades with dragon and lion dances and fireworks, family feasts, and, on the final day, a Lantern Festival illuminated by red lanterns are all traditional.
This is the Year of… Continue reading
What’s the top experience that folks seek out after turning 50?
A new survey of 2,000 passport-carrying Americans aged 50 and up shows that traveling abroad is their number one choice for realizing their passions.
The survey, commissioned by Exodus Travels — a UK-based adventure travel company with a substantial presence in the U.S. and Canada — confirmed what Exodus leaders say they had observed for a number of years: that Americans gain a new “lust for life” after age 50.
And that “second wind” translates most heavily into travel.
Asked “What led you to gaining a new passion/appreciation for life?“, one-third of respondents close “a travel experience” — which tied with “retirement” in that category.
The next question was key: “What have you done or do… Continue reading
Every year brings advances to the world of cruising: new ships and amenities, breakthrough technologies, more enticing itineraries.
As cruise lines jostle to stay one wave or river bend ahead of the competition, they grow ever more creative – and passengers reap the rewards.
In 2017, that means more personalized experiences, a more varied choice of destinations, and more “Wow!” factors than ever. Happy sailing!
A Techno-Gizmo That Does It All, Almost
Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest cruise company, has announced plans to begin rolling out a techno-marvel medallion in 2017 that will do almost anything for you on board except mix your drinks (for that, you’ll need to sail on Royal Caribbean’s new mega-ship the Harmony of the Seas, which sports cocktail-preparing robots in its Bionic Bar).
Paired with an optional app for maximum… Continue reading
Asking you to relive 2016 may be asking a lot, but here at clarknorton.com we offer sheer escapism!
Well, maybe not quite — but travel can, we hope, help take your mind off other things.
So, in that spirit, we offer up Our Top Ten Blog Posts of 2016 as found on clarknorton.com and voted on, in effect, by your clicks.
Yes, this is purely a popularity contest, with no quality control whatsoever. (Kind of like an election.) And because there was a tie for the tenth spot, there’s a bonus post to check out, should you wish to seek penance for overindulging during the holidays.
Here they are in order, counting down to Number One:
Top Ten or Top Five lists (almost) always… Continue reading
Since just about every travel publication tries to predict – or, more accurately, tries to convince you – where you’ll go in the New Year, clarknorton.com is no exception.
Here are my predictions for what will be the three hottest destinations for Americans in 2017:
* CANADA – Approximately half the population of the United Sates says they expect to visit Canada in 2017, according to recent surveys, and many say they are planning extended visits of from four to eight years. Interest is particularly strong among residents of the western and northeastern coastal areas, as well as pockets of travelers from the Midwest and Virginia.
Perhaps surprisingly, Canada will apparently be inundated with U.S. visitors at the coldest time of year, in late January. And despite… Continue reading
‘Tis the season for holiday travel. But, in many cases, before you get home (or perhaps someplace that’s warm and tropical) for the holidays, you have to fight the Airport Wars.
Everyone who has flown during the holidays knows what this means: long lines to get through security, frantic searches for places to charge your cellphones, dodging other stressed-out travelers dashing to make their flights, maybe missing your own connections, and more — just the sorts of headaches that crush the holiday spirit before you even hit the eggnog.
You may even be at the airport right now as you read this (and, I hope, have your phone or laptop charged enough to do so).
If you’re en route, still packing, or just thinking about an upcoming trip now or any time of year, check out an app called… Continue reading