ChanteSez … Age ain’t nothing but a number

Yeah, I said ain’t. It’s (almost) my birthday, so I can do that!

This is one of my favorite sayings when I’m asked how old I am: old enough to know better, too young to care.

But, of course, like Prince (a fellow Gemini) says, it’s always best to act your age, not your shoe size. So please don’t take the headline the wrong way. Age ain’t nothing but a number, but common sense and decency adds up!

In celebration of my birthday, and all others in the Gemini season, here are a few birthday-related words and tips.

  • If you’re wishing someone a happy birthday, put a comma after your greeting and before the person’s name: “Happy birthday, Chante!”
  • Grown-up: always takes a hyphen, as both a noun and adjective.
  • As the years creep up, I can understand not wanting to reveal an exact age. Leave off the hyphen and make it one word if you’re “thirtysomething” or “fortysomething.”

Book asks African-Americans: Where Did Our Love Go? and panel helps to provide answers

If the comments from panelists at the Where Did Our Love Go book signing and open discussion are any indication, love among African-Americans can thrive. But like anything, it takes effort, honest self-reflection and proper priorities.

The book’s editor, media critic and veteran journalist Gil Robertson, said, “What I discovered was, we want love. We value it. But a lot of us have fallen off on how to find it,” Robertson said.

Where Did Our Love Go: Love and Relationships in the African-American Community aims to help anyone who believes in love find their way. The book is sectioned in three parts — Single, Married, and Divorced — with more than 40 essays from a wide range of contributors, from R&B icon Anthony Hamilton and his wife, Tarsha; to Huffington Post contributor Morris W. O’Kelly; and life coach and author Dr. Nicole LaBeach.

Where Did Our Love Go

Five panelists, including Robertson, gathered at the Hammonds House on Tuesday to celebrate the book’s release with a signing and discussion, partly courtesy of Written magazine‘s Wine and Words series.

Each of the panelists was a contributor to the book: radio personality and ordained minister Twanda Black; From Afros to Shelltoes founder and Spelman College educator Ed Garnes Jr.; publisher and architecture and construction consultant David Horton; and psychiatrist Dr. Cassandra Wanzo.

ChanteSez … Check the facts

I made a mistake last week. I made it because I took for granted how to spell the Facebook handle of one of my most loyal followers. What a way to repay her. I feel terrible.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to check the facts. If it’s not your own name, double-check the spelling.

After doing this for a couple of decades now, I’ll often hear that “little voice” that tells me to look over something just one more time, or to do a more thorough fact-check.

But save yourself the trouble — or should I say more trouble later — and make it part of your routine to check each and every fact that you can. That includes names and places, and running spellcheck once you’ve given your post the once over and don’t intend to make any further edits.

You’ll feel good about it once the article or post is published, and so will the folks who trusted you with an interview or their readership.

ChanteSez … Don’t get lost alone in the desert

I have a sweet tooth. I’ve been known to whip up a batch of chocolate chip cookies close to midnight if I get a taste for them.

Suffice it to say, I’ve always got room for dessert. And usually, I want more of it.

So that’s today’s lesson: Add more — as in add a second “s” — when writing “dessert.”

As for the dry, arid land that you don’t want to get lost alone in, think of it this way: alone = solo = one “s.”

(Thank you to my dear friend Onnievon Pee for inspiring today’s ChanteSez!)