Virtue Signaling: What and Why

choir conductor in black suit jacket with bowtie doing a hand signal

Recently I read that virtue signaling is not a productive, favourable, or profitable way to blog. In fact, the practice can lower your blog’s ratings on Google and other search engines.

What Exactly does it Mean?

The Oxford dictionary defines virtue signaling as…

the action or practice of publicly expressing opinions or sentiments intended to demonstrate one’s good character or the moral correctness of one’s position on a particular issue.

and Wikipedia has this to say…

Virtue signaling is a pejorative neologism for the conspicuous and disingenuous expression of moral values with the intent to enhance one’s own image.

As for pejorative neologism, I had to look that up too. Pejorative means:

  • Disparaging; belittling.
  • A disparaging or belittling word or expression.
  • Tending or intended to depreciate or deteriorate, as the sense of a word; giving a low or bad sense to.

and a neologism is:

a relatively recent or isolated term, word, or phrase that may be in the process of entering common use, but that has not yet been fully accepted into mainstream language.

Why Might you Practice virtue signaling? (AKA my excuses)

As a freelance writer, the stuff I get paid to write is definitely more technical and factual, less warm and fuzzy, but my blog posts are more on the me, me, me side. It is a personal blog, after all, so I post about the things, people and events or issues that inspire or motivate me. Yes, my posts are based on my opinions and experiences, which do reflect my morals and sentiments, why would I right about things I know nothing about? That would be disingenuous; I am genuinely proud and appreciative of my grandkids and garden business. And my morals. But that may be why my blog does not rate highly on Google’s illustrious ranking system.

Please tell me I am not disparaging, belittling, or depreciating and I don’t think I have the tendency (or the creative ability) to make up new words. Do I?

Well, I’ve learned lots, perhaps you did too, but this rant is over. I suppose if I want to improve my blog’s ranking on Google I should write (brag) less about my garden achievements and adorable grandkids, and focus more on the health and wellness category.

Of course, if I do bow to the pressure, my pictures won’t be as cute!

Perennials: Best and Worst

September new July

With all the gardens I visit in a season, I am bound to have my favorite and least favorite perennials.

Spiderwort, AKA Tradescantia or Widow’s Tears is one of my least favorite.  They spread like crazy throughout gardens, flop over onto other plants, and turn yellow and slimy as soon as the weather gets cool.  The only good things about them are their pretty color (purple) and the fact that they will rebloom if cut back after the first bloom…

pictures from Pixabay

Some of my favourite perennials recently have been coneflowers, especially the newer colors available.  In cooler summers (like the one we just experienced) the coneflowers bloomed pretty much all summer.  I have peachy orange, red, and a few shades of pink coneflowers that are still stunning in my gardens…

I am still in love with all of the ornamental grasses; there seem to be more beautiful varieties every year.  Blue oat grass is my favourite this year in my zone 4 to 5 gardens.  I love its steel blue coloring and the fact that it is much hardier, larger, and sturdier than the blue fescue I have tried previously. Just the dramatic effect I love.


What are your favourite and least favourite perennials of the season?

Scams: Be Alert, Know How to Detect Them


I received two more scams today by email.  The first one was from someone claiming to be “checking my Netflix account.”  They (in broken English and poor spelling) wanted me to click on a link to verify my account information with a threat that my family’s access to Netflix would be cut off if I did not follow the instructions.

The second scam was an email from someone claiming to be from Canada Post telling me I had a package that they tried to deliver but no one was home.  Again, they asked me to click on a link to verify my information and find out where to pick up my package.

How the Scammers get Your Money

Both are scams, looking to get information on unsuspecting individuals.  Popular services (such as Netflix and Canada Post) are being targeted because many people use and rely on them.  Clicking on the link provided will introduce a virus into your computer which will track personal information including banking details.

Clicking on the link provided in these scams will introduce a virus into your computer which will track personal information including banking details.  Instead of clicking on the link, delete the suspicious email immediately.

Clues to Detect Scams

Here are a few clues that should make you suspect an emailed scam:

  • poor grammar and spelling in the content
  • telling you about something you did not order (packages)  Canada Post would never email you if they stop by and no one is home, they leave a notice at your door.
  • offers of refunds or money for nothing or ways to help you save.  If it sounds too good to be true, it is!
  • emails from someone you know that do not make sense, are very vague (i think you might be interested in this)  or contain a link you know nothing about
  • emails asking for information the (fake) sender (eg. CRA, bank etc) would already have on file
  • they are providing a service you did not request.  For example, they are telling you something is wrong with your computer and want you to log in so they can “help you fix the problem”
  • miracle cures of any sort (skin care, weight loss, etc etc) go under the “too good to be true” category
  • reputable companies do NOT ask for updated personal information via email

Other Forms of Scams

A PREVIOUS POST talked about scams you might encounter when shopping online. Remember and be aware that perpetrators can find innocent, unsuspecting victims by email, phone, regular mail and even at your front door.  With modern technology, the world is becoming a much smaller place.  Scams, especially ones through email, can and do come from anywhere in the world today.

Be Suspicious, Do Some Research

If you are even the least bit suspicious, google the company represented to see if there are any known scams associated with that company.  Use information available online to educate and protect yourself and others.  For example, I googled Netflix scam, and guess what, a whole list of results turned up.  This particular scam has been going on across Canada for a while now.   Remember, the company is not at fault, they are being used too.  The scammers are relying on these reputable, trusted and popular companies to get your attention.

Delete, Share the Knowledge, and Report the Scam

After you delete the offending email, share the knowledge and warn your friends, family members, and neighbours.  The RCMP has a website for you to report SCAMS  and other fraudulent activity.

Be scam savvy!

photo credit