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Friday, November 21, 2008

Top 10 Irritating Phrases Unmasked

Bradley Wright let's us know what is getting under the skin of researchers at Oxford. Here is what is bothering them with my explanations:

The top ten most irritating phrases:
1 - At the end of the day - I just said a whole bunch of stuff that I know was irrelevant and don't care that you weren't listening, but I want you to get this one point.

2 - Fairly unique - There is absolutely nothing in the world just like this one, except there are a few things that are pretty much just like it, but they are few in number.
OR
You should buy this because it is valuable and rare...BUY IT NOW!!!!!!

3 - I personally - Proper language for fake plactic tree people who have no personality.

4 - At this moment in time - Now. Jack Bauer never, EVER says, "At this moment in time," because lives depend on econommy of language. He either says, "Now," "Now, dammit," or "ChloedammitNOW!"

5 - With all due respect - I do not respect you nor do I believe you are due any respect.

6 - Absolutely - I want you to think I really, superduper really, mean something because my YES is not enough - and I have no self esteem.

7 - It's a nightmare - (Usually accompanied witt an overly dramatic eyeroll). It was bad, but I have limited vocabulary, and I want to try to get you to say "Oh my God,," or better yet, "OMG." (If the responder DOES give in with an OMG, then the manipulation was successful).

8 - Shouldn't of - I messed up and don't read much.

9 - 24/7 - 3 remainder 3

10 - It's not rocket science - Almost nothing is actually rocket science, so this phrase is not making anything more clear. Scientists who use scientific methods for inquiry about rockets are the only ones who are doing rocket science. Calling something not rocket science is like calling something not the Bayesian Information Criteria. Depite the truth to the claim, little, if anything , is ruled out when using this phrase in fforts to points toward what "it" is.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sunset on Lake Street

Orange and purple sunset
On frozen Lake Street;
Paints warm the grey city way;
Dispersed sunrays of orange mist
Burst upwards, into purple clouds;
One quick spray of sky graffiti,
Before dusk;
Concrete and steal tinted gently;
a brief smile in the bundled and hunched;
Even breath-mist takes color -
In the frigid heart of Winter,
Something warm happened.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Worlds are colliding...or maybe hugging

I have lived in many worlds across varying political, religious, regional, and academic spectrums. Granted, there are more worlds I have not lived in than there are worlds I have, but having lived in a few sometimes highly contrasted worlds has given me exposure to some differences and similarities between worlds.

For an example of differences, in one religious world being countercultural has meant being against gay marriage whereas in another religious world being countercultural has meant marshalling resources through art to fight against human trafficking. Those are very different perspectives on morality and mission.

For an example of similarities, each political group seems to believe that their perspective is common sense and that any honesty and thinking person would arrive at roughly the same political perspective.

Another example of similarities is that people within one world find it hard to have conversations with people in a world different than their own. Not only do they find it hard to have these conversations, they rarely place themselves into contexts in which such a conversation would be possible. It takes effort, courage, and self-confrontation to effectively place onself in a context to have such a conversation and to converse without quitting because a quick convert cannot be made.

I will add one important caveat here: the less social power a person has the more that person is required to live in other people's worlds and therefore just living requires navigating such conversations. It is not a choice people with less social power have, but rather a necessity for survival.

So, to come to my point: I think that Obama being president (on Jan 20th, 2009) is necessarily two worlds coming together. A Black man (who is really biracial) is governing a mostly white (roughly 75%) nation. The question for us all is whether this coming together will be a collision or a hug. Will we CRASH into each other or will we find a kind a respectful way to connect?

Monday, November 10, 2008