April 2002
Issue 4
Volume 7
  In This Issue
"On Target" On-Line Archive
Getting the Most Out of a Satellite Dish (Even if You Don't Own One)
Grammar Trap: Whether vs. If

"On Target" On-Line Archive

As the author of "Grammar Traps," I get lots of grammar questions, quite a few on topics I've already covered in past issues. Don't get me wrong. I don't mind getting those questions at all. In fact, it gives me some satisfaction to find out I've been "on target" in anticipating your questions.

But it's occurred to me that Purdue staff, who receive "On Target" as e-mail before it's posted, may forget that our newsletter also has a Web site <http://www.agcom.purdue.edu/AgCom/library/ontarget/Index.html> with lots of helpful features.

From the "On Target" home page, you can reach our Back Issues Archive <http://www.agriculture.purdue.edu/agcomm/ontarget/archive/Index.html>, from which you can peruse all of the "On Target" issues from December 1995 to the present.

There's a "Grammar Traps" page <../grammartrap/index.html>, too, that alphabetically lists all "Grammar Trap" articles and then takes you straight to the article that (I hope) answers your question.

Best or most helpful of all, there's a Search page <http://www.agcom.purdue.edu/AgCom/library/ontarget/search.html> that lets you search for topics my Ag Comm colleagues and I have covered in "On Target."

Interested in marketing, for instance? My search uncovered 25 articles.

How about writing? I found a whopping 61. (Hey, it's an important topic!)

Instructional design? 31

Distance education? 24

PowerPoint? 8

The Web? 54

Video? 30

I rest my case.

I'm not claiming we've answered every communication question you might have, but we've answered quite a few in the 6 plus years we've been in business. In short, the "On Target" Web site is an on-line archive full of information you can use to communicate with your audiences more effectively.

And, as always, if you have a communication question we haven't answered, just ask!

Laura Hoelscher

Getting the Most Out of a Satellite Dish (Even if You Don't Own One)

The satellite dish was all the rage in the 80’s and dotted the landscape, but, in the minds of some, it may be becoming irrelevant in the Internet Age. (For clarification, I'm talking about large steerable dishes, not the small digital satellite dishes popping up on houses everywhere.)

You may be asking yourself, “What programming is available for steerable satellite dishes, anyway?”

The answer is--plenty.

So how do you get clued into what could be valuable to you or people in your area of interest or community? Here're a few places to check online:

The National Association of Counties: Offers programs of interest to public officials

The Public Health Training Network: Offers programming of interest to health professionals or those interested in health-related topics

America's Continuing Education Network: Offers general health-related broadcasts

As you can tell from the above listings, the topics may not apply directly to your area of programming, but they could be a way for county educators to make connections with stakeholders in their community and further the land-grant outreach mission.

Also know that there are other ways to find out about satellite programming. Many times a flier or email announcement might come to your attention announcing a program.

What happens if you don't have a dish and discover a program of great interest to you or someone else you want to provide the programming to? For campus staff, the Ag Comm Distance Ed Unit (765-494-2110) can help coordinate with the Division of Instructional Services to downlink the program. Another route could be to contact one of our counties with a satellite downlink system <http://www.agriculture.purdue.edu/agcomm/campus/disted/site_list.html> and request that they either open their site for viewing or tape the program.

There are some who say that this type programming is just about extinct, but with over 17 million homes in America with steerable satellite dishes and with the relative low cost of transmission, satellite programming is going to be around for many years to come.

Randy Spears

(NOTE: This article is outdated and some of the services may no longer exist.)

Grammar Trap: Whether vs. If

There are times when it doesn't matter whether you use "whether" or "if."

Examples: I don't know whether you've read last month's "Grammar Trap." I don't know if you've read last month's "Grammar Trap."

But there are other times when it could.

Use "whether" when you want to list alternatives.

Examples: There are times when it doesn't matter whether you use "whether" or "if." I don't know whether I'll continue writing "Grammar Traps" myself, ask for guest writers, or just cancel the series.

Use "if" when you're talking about a future possibility.

Example: I don't know if I'll be able to keep coming up with topics for "Grammar Traps." I don't know if I will attend the meeting.

Do you have a grammar (or usage) trap you'd like to see discussed? Do you have a tip that will help the rest of us avoid one? If so, please let me know.

Visit http://www.agriculture.purdue.edu/agcomm/ontarget/grammartrap/ for past "Grammar Traps."

Laura Hoelscher

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