About Me

Deirdré Straughan portrait

Your hostess on this site is Deirdré Straughan (that’s pronounced DEAR-druh STRAWN).

Professional Bio

Deirdré Straughan helps technologies grow and thrive through marketing and community. Her product experience spans consumer apps and devices, cloud services and technologies, and kernel features. Her toolkit includes words, websites, blogs, communities, events, video, social, marketing, and more. She has written and edited technical books and blog posts, filmed and produced videos, and organized meetups, conferences, and conference talks. You can learn more about her on beginningwithi.com. She is currently a Senior Product Marketing Manager at Amazon Web Services.

8 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Marie Hodge

    Hello Deirdre,

    I’ve written you several times in the past and each time you have a new setup. How wonderful that you are so talented.
    I loved the music for “Countries that start with ???” (I just moved all the songs on to a CD because I’m getting a new computer in October.) I loved all of them and enjoyed “Concert for Priest and Bells Musical” – you also had a whole list of Italian songs which helped me to learn some of the words Italian-English. Which brings me to ask if you still have the same list in your Countries Beginning with I . . .

    Once again, I thank you for your help.

  2. steve

    Hi, what I’m looking for are Italian phrases used in bocce games. I think I was told many years ago, that if I wanted the ball to go further I was to shout the equivalent of “give it the oil!”. Do you know of any good phrases?


  3. Anthony Guarisco

    My grandmother mother would pinch your cheeks or grab under your chin your chin and would say this phrase which have no clue how to spell correctly but sounded something like gubedda say gullla and follow with jezzle jezzle. I think jezzle means how pretty. She also said the word ah Dalia. Any ideas. Hope I did not butcher the words and nobody can figure what I am saying.

  4. Jamshed Mulla

    Can you answer a reverse question about a Italian slang word? I was mispronouncing the word cappuccino as “cappucio” (cap-pu-chio). My Italian friend told me that had a different (bad) meaning. I haven’t found it in any slang reference.

    Can you help?

  5. Deirdre Straughan Post author

    I haven’t heard cappuccio used as rude slang, though at a guess it might mean the foreskin on the penis since cappuccio translates literally as “little hat.” But cappuccio is also used in some parts of Italy as short for cappuccino – so you would be perfectly right to use it that way, especially in Rome.

  6. Roberta

    I remember reading that you had a pseudomonus infection infection in your sinus that you were having a hard time getting rid of. I am in the same boat. Have had two skull base sinus surgery , and one through the nose. Also have been on numerous rounds of I’ve antibiotics. My infection still exists. Have you gotten rid of yours and if so,how?

  7. Deirdre Straughan Post author

    We eventually conquered that particular round of pseudomonas, but nothing has permanently fixed my sinuses. Having cancer and undergoing chemo didn’t help. California wildfires don’t help – smoke in the air tends to set off yet another round of infections, as do allergies, winter, dust… The bacteria living in there tend to form biofilms, which makes it even harder for antibiotics to have any effect. About 15 months ago I had a procedure (under anesthesia, though some people do it awake) which my surgeon described as power washing my sinuses. That worked for maybe 6 months. It’s a constant battle, unfortunately. As my doctor explained it to me, there are something like 30,000 different kinds of bacteria living in the average sinus, and we don’t know which ones are beneficial. So when you clear out everything, you hope that the “good guys” will repopulate the neighborhood before the bad guys come back. So far, that hasn’t worked for me. Maybe someday they’ll be able to transplant healthy sinus bacteria, as is currently being done with gut bacteria, and rebalance the sinus biome.

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