Sunday, September 13, 2015

Words and why they piss people off.

I'm guilty. Guilty as hell.

Guilty of being literate. Guilty of having read hundreds of books in my childhood and subsequent adulthood. I can speak from direct experience that through the process of reading (as well as many years writing) you can make surprising strides in your understanding of words and language without having completed college courses that relate.

Rocking my good ol' High School Diploma (Class of 85' ...go Cavaliers.....bleh) I find it astonishing just how often I confuse the fuck out of grownups with words and sentence patterns I take for granted.

I suppose I should explain myself. I come across an otherwise innocuous picture on Facebook, posted/shared by a friend of mine.

Slightly cynical, but mostly funny I decided to read a few of the comments. And the comments, well, they spoke precisely to the obvious cynicism.

Three comments in line before I respond were as follows.

"Lol.How about a girl capable of making a commitment!"

"Or telling the truth.."

The lady who posted this responds... "I'm capable of both"

...and then I say this in reply to the thread...because anyone reading this exchange would have to see that well.....there's some cynicism going on...and it's wholly unnecessary.

"this is a mistake we all make....conflating our bad experiences with reality....and it's difficult...extremely not become cynical.

almost as difficult as realizing ones own cynicism is what is really getting in the way."


Oftentimes people accuse me of being rather "preachy". And perhaps that is true to some degree. But I have this illness where I have to respond to things I am utterly convinced through a lifetime of experience are things that get in the way of our happiness. And, I stupidly feel compelled to share my thoughts.

I'm still really not sure how those two sentences could be unclear, and yet the follow up commentary made it obvious that quite a few didn't understand what I said. Like at all.

And in the context of the picture and the subsequent cynical comebacks it should have been painfully obvious what I was saying.....shouldn't it have been?

Are words like "conflate" and "cynical" too difficult? Did I magically piss people off with words I learned before puberty?

I suppose I take the subject matter a little too seriously, and a little too personally given my long running singledom.

My initial reaction would have been thinking that perhaps I said too much....or that I hit a little too close to home with that comment. But I didn't comment in an unkind manner. I actually went out of my way to be careful and deferential with my conviction that WE are largely the ones that create our own conflict by believing our own bullshit. I even made a specific effort to use the word "we", because I've been as guilty of such a cynical view of women as the original poster apparently has of men (though admittedly tossing in Santa and the dragon made it palatably funny).

But I actually think it was just the words I used that confused, and that's actually more troubling.

Words are the tools of ideas. Language matters. Without it understanding is incomplete, and misunderstanding nearly a given.

If any of my friends wonder why I often go out of my way to spend five sentences of my time explaining something they'd think one sentence would's is precisely because of this.