Saturday, January 31, 2009

Pet Peeves - Language

I think the English Language, as used by the average American, is slowly turning into an incoherent combination of acronyms, abbreviations, and nonsense slang. I've begun to cringe every time I hear hip media people say things like "merch" and "va-ca" (merchandise and vacation, for those lucky enough to be unfamiliar with said "words").

When I was a kid I got scolded for saying "Mickey D's" instead of McDonald's. Not because of linguistic purity mind you. Let's just say it was because that's not what my parents thought white people should call it (another blog, another day). But over the years, I've been rather resistant to using many popular slang words until I heard them so often, they'd slip out on accident (examples include: hella', stoked, bad, aight, dope, tight). Now I use slang as more of a fun joking way to express myself, but not as a serious method of communication with most people. I add a far amount of "F" words in too when I get riled up or want some emphasis.

However, I still feel like there is a difference between myself and other people whom I hear brutally disfiguring words around me without much awareness of their mind-mouth connection.

Words have been shortened, twisted, and mispronounced in the public forum and then accepted as valid and regurgitated. I call G.W. Bush's use of "nucular" to the stand! Do you realize that an entire generation of young children learning to read and write were exposed to that idiocracy for 8 whole years!

Hate to run out of the blog mid-point, but I must. I'll try to add more later.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Coffee Anxiety

I worry about the silliest things. Today, I offered to make a pot of coffee at work and I am very self-conscious about it because I’ve been making bad coffee at home for a couple of months. I knew I made it too strong but I figured one could always dilute it with hot water if necessary. So I offer it to my coworkers and try to let them know that I know it’s rather strong, but I had to leave for an hour long meeting before anyone (besides me) drank it. After the meeting, I settled back into my work station and noticed one of the guys drinking the coffee. I felt the urge to address the issue then and there. I wanted to ask him if it was as horrible as I feared it might be and to let him know that if he did feel that way, it was alright with me because I was willing to admit to this horrible defect in my personality: the inability to make a good pot of coffee.

But the timing wasn’t right to talk to him about it. For almost a half an hour I sat brewing the defect in my mind, feeling as if my worth as a person was being sipped from that cup. “What kind of person will he think I am? He’ll also think I can’t cook! That would be awful because I’m a very good cook and I don’t want people to think I’m worthless! I want people to know that despite one or two things that I’m totally rubbish at, like making a pot of coffee, I am a very talented wonderful person in other areas. They just happen to be areas that I’m not judged in at my current job.” These thoughts and sub-thoughts (the thoughts that I didn’t even know I was thinking until now, as I’m writing about what I was thinking) are running loose inside my head until the last part of the day when I manage to ask how bad the coffee was.

He says, “the stronger the better in my opinion. There is no ‘too strong’ coffee for me”. So there you go. Another tale of how I spent a half hour worrying about nothing.