Outsourcing Remains Ford’s Plan

If you watch the nonstop bustle on an automobile assembly line long enough, it’s easy to get a skewed idea of the process. Close up, each step appears discrete and disconnected–engines being lowered into frames, door assemblies being bolted onto bodies. Step back to where you can see all the bright, shiny new cars rolling off the end of the line, however, and the whole thing starts to make sense.

In much the same way, if you want to understand the rapidly changing IT strategy at automotive giant Ford Motor Co., it helps to step back.

asslineSince taking over as CIO and executive director at Ford two years ago, Bernard Mathaisel has engineered four major, high-profile outsourcing deals that have transferred significant chunks of Ford’s IT operations to IBM Global Services, Compuware Corp., Dell Computer Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co. These deals, however, are anything but discrete, disconnected events. Together, they constitute Mathaisel’s plan to transform Ford’s 5,100-person IT organization from a group focused exclusively on operational excellence to one that can also help the company improve customer service through rapid delivery

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Fad Words And Their War Against The English Language

Fad words and phrases sweep through newsrooms with the regularity of the tides. We man, not “journal,” but we are quick to embrace phrases such as “no-brainer,” which spread with a rapidity that seemed to be proof of its content.

It happened sometime in 1994, when the word “simple” simply disappeared from the newsroom. Everything self-evident became a “no-brainer.” In the process, we lost not only “simple” and self-evident,” but also obvious,” “logical “clear,” “apparent,” “evident” and “straightforward

Not that no-brainer” didn’t originally have some value as a fresh figure of speech. The wretch who coined it created a term with obvious appeal.

The 500th was merely a hack, however, someone who callously dismissed George Orwell’s first rule of writing: “Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech that you are used to seeing in print.”

Which is not to say that we should resist any change in the language. As even the flintiest of word purists concede, the beauty of English is its infinite capacity to embrace a growing and changing culture.

Computer technology has enriched English with dozens

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The Case Of The Missing Chrysler

Around midnight on July 25, 1956, the luxury passenger liner Andrea Doria collided with the Stockholm in a fog bank 50 miles south of Nantucket Island. Eleven hours later, after most of its passengers, including actress Ruth Roman, had been rescued, the stricken liner turned on its starboard side and sank in 250 feet of water.

Sent to a watery grave along with 46 of its 1706 passengers was a fortune in paintings, sculptures, tapestries, and other artwork, which has lured treasure hunters for more than four decades. Often overlooked, however, has been a priceless piece of automotive history. Locked in the Andrea Doria’s cargo hold was a one-of-a-kind “idea car” from Chrysler, the “Norseman,” which no one but its craftsmen at the Ghia studios in Italy had ever seen. A few publicity photos and drawings are all the public has ever seen of the car. But that may be about to change.

This summer, John Moyer of Moyer Expeditions, which holds the salvage rights to the liner, has decided to dive into the cargo hold in search of what remains

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What Was The Fuss With Ebonics?

My solution to the Ebonics question is simplicity itself. As far as I’m concerned its proponents can take a flying phucllddyrhc (a Greco-Welsh patois learned at my mother’s knee and other low joints), but I am fascinated by the psychodynamics surrounding the controversy.

Jesse says, “No!”

The moment the media reported that the president of the school board had called black English “genetically based,” honchos of color heretofore famed for their support of any and all things African launched such a swift and unequivocal attack on Ebonics that they sounded like H. L. Mencken. Jesse Jackson called it “an unacceptable surrender bordering on disgrace” and predicted Oakland would become “the laughingstock of the nation.” “The very idea,” Maya Angelou huffed, was “threatening,” and NAACP president Kweisi Mfume contemptuously dismissed it as “a cruel joke.”

This unexpected switch from the excellence of self-esteem to the esteem of the excellent self took white America, and particularly white punditry, by surprise. Among the latter the chief reaction was intense relief, the kind of relief that makes people giddy. While blacks were sounding like Mencken

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Verbs And Other Things…

One of the ongoing threads of readers’ contributions is “The Verbing of America” (as Bulletin Board’s editor ironically dubbed it). Launched as a language lover’s lament about the bowdlerizing of English, this discussion thread has pilloried such slangy coinages as columnize, which you may have winced at in my first sentence.

Lately, however, “The Verbing of America” entries have sometimes taken a fonder view of the colorful phrasings spotted and submitted by readers. For example, one Bulletin Board correspondent recently wrote in to report, with delight rather than dismay: “I was at choir practice last night, and we came to this part in this piece that we’re singing where our choir director, Steve, wanted the chorus to swell and get all … big. He said: `I really want it big. I want it Cecil B. DeMilled.’ ”

Verbs can be tough for non-native English speakers.

True, if you look in even the heftiest, least-abridged dictionary under “Cecil B. DeMille,” you will not see “v.–to make extravagantly large and showy.” But even language purists would have to confess: You know exactly what

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Is It Safe To Remove A Skin Tag Yourself?

Yes, it is safe to remove a skin tag as long as it is done right. Small skin tags can be removed by applying a suitable cream that can be bought online. Buy one that has a return policy when you research how to get rid of skin tags. This is a guarantee that the manufacturer has done ample research to ensure that the cream will be effective before bringing it into the market.

It is not safe to cut off a big skin tag at home, because a lot of bleeding may occur. The environment may not be sterile enough causing infection to the wound. An appointment at the doctor’s office will get rid of the offending skin tag. Research how to get rid of skin tags so that you are prepared mentally for the procedure.

It may not be safe to remove a skin tag at home if it painful and bleeding. Furthermore, it is necessary to consult a doctor if it changes shape and grows bigger. Research how to remove skin tags yourself at this site so that you …

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Starting A Lifelong Affair With Languages

Languages and cultures have been my lifelong passions. Maybe it is because I grew up in Southern California, amid Latino influences. In school, I heard Mexican-American students speaking Spanish. Downtown, I saw blocks of stores, all with signs in Spanish. Rich, wonderful smells permeated the air, and mariachi music poured out into the streets when restaurant doors opened. Inside, musicians strolled from table to table, dressed in the dashing black and silver of caballeros, strumming guitars and bowing violins with romantic finesse.

Maybe it is because my grandmother loved to take my sister and me to places like Chinatown in Los Angeles, where we would hear the timbre of spoken Mandarin and Cantonese, breathe spicy incense, taste exotic food with wooden chopsticks, and finger cool silks and paper fans in dark, mysterious shops. I remember dressing with care in delicious anticipation of these outings, knowing that we would be allowed to indulge our youthful curiosity while momentarily becoming part of the much envied, grownup world of travel and adventure.

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