Fundraising has become a common thing these days, as it is easy to give large and small amounts of money now online thanks to websites like Kickstarter, PayPal and inventions like the Square, which allows you to donate small amounts via credit card. However, fundraising isn’t a 21st Century invention; it has been around since the 1900s.
YMCA: The first truly notable fundraising campaigns by a major organization were done by the YMCA, which raised enough funds to build YMCAs around the world at the beginning of the 20th Century. The whole process was invented by a man named Charles Sumner Ward, who is generally considered to be the godfather of modern fundraising. In the late 19th Century he was general secretary of the Grand Rapids YMCA and realized he was spending all of his time trying to raise funds for his organization. So he came up with a unique plan. He basically asked everyone who worked at his Grand Rapids office to only work in the office for half of the day and spend the other half of the day out trying to raise money wherever they possibly could. The idea was to get the fundraising goal over with as quickly as possible so that people could get back to their office work. However, the plan worked so well that the total funds for the year were raised in just a couple of days.
Sumner continued using this philosophy of fundraising and it quickly spread to other YMCAs all over the country. Different YMCAs in major American activities began raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for the organization, which is equivalent to millions of dollars today. This then spread to other YMCAs around the world, making it one of the most successful non-profit organizations in history and helping it to shape and change many generations of lives throughout the 20th Century and beyond.
Fundraising now has taken on a wide variety of different forms, from phone calls to email campaigns to commercials that play around widely viewed programs or events. Although, Sumner’s philosophy still works to this very day.
What is a Contronym? A contronym (also called a contranym or an autoantonym) is a word with two meanings that happen to be the opposite of each other. Specifically, according to the Grammarly blog, “a contronym is a word with a homonym (another word with the same spelling but different meaning) that is also an antonym (a word with the opposite meaning)”.
But some strict grammarians point out that technically they’re words with homographs, which are homonyms that are pronounced the same. (If they’re pronounced differently then they’re heteronyms.) Get all that? Me either. (We’ll let the true word geeks dig into that debate.) Following are examples:
Bolt: To separate by fleeing or to hold together (as with a bolt).
Bound: Going toward a destination or restrained from moving.
Buckle: To fasten together or to bend or collapse from pressure.
Cleave: To adhere firmly and closely or to split apart.
Clip: To fasten or to detach with shears (clipping your hair).
Consult: To give advice or to get advice.
Custom: A common practice or a specially made item.
Dust: To cover with a fine powder or to make clean by brushing.
Enjoin: To order someone to do something or to prohibit.
Fast: Firmly fixed and unmoving or able to move rapidly.
Finished: Completed or destroyed.
Garnish: To add decorative touches or to take/withhold as wages.
Lease: To rent property or to offer property for rent.
Left: Departed or remained behind.
Model: the original, perfect example or a copy.
Off: Not operating (turn off light) or operating (the alarm went off).
Out: Visible (the stars are out) or invisible (the lights are out).
Overlook: To watch or to fail to notice.
Oversight: Watchful, responsible care or a mistake made due to forgetfulness or poor supervision.
Peruse: To skim or to read very carefully.
Ravel: To separate or to become entangled.
Rent: To lease something or to offer something for lease.
Sanction: To boycott or to approve.
Screen: To hide or to show (like a movie).
Seed: To add seed (seeding the lawn) or to remove seed (seeding a watermelon).
Strike: To hit or to miss while trying to hit.
Trim: To add (decorations) or to take away (extra hair or fabric, for example).
I do not enjoy speaking on the telephone. That goes for any telephone. Why? I can’t hear every word. Well, maybe that isn’t totally true. I hear every word, but not always exactly as spoken, or as fast as delivered.
“Cs”, “Ts”, “Es”, “Gs”, “Ps”, “Vs” do sound the same. When speaking to an English speaking person without a regional or foreign drawl, I have an 89% chance of understanding most of what is being said. I use, “Excuse me” often but finally succeed in interpreting, or making sense of what has been said. I once, after going back and forth for a while, asked a person to please spell her name. I couldn’t get it for the life of me. She spelled “Sue”. (That might be a bit exaggerated.) We did have fun laughing. Yeah, real funny. I enjoy people who don’t take themselves too seriously. People do not take lightly to someone mispronouncing their name (and I don’t blame them). They need to deal with a name like mine on a daily basis. It really isn’t such a big deal.
And then there is message retrieving. When leaving a message, why is everyone in such a hurry? Why 987-3895 and not 987-3895? It normally takes me about three tries to get the call back number close to correct. Sometimes I need to try up to three different number combinations to finally get through to the caller. Sometimes three different number combinations don’t work.
I do ask hubby to decipher for me on occasion. However, he is picking up my idiosyncrasies as his hearing is becoming foggy as well. Working together, we normally get lucky and recognize the name as well as decipher the number. If not, I can only hope they will call back, or hope it wasn’t important.