Out of Sync

Nero
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Out of Sync

Alright, I had an experience today that illustrated for me what I have come to know for some time: I am out of sync with the rest of humanity.  From childhood, I knew that other children looked at the world in a completely different way from me.  I won't delineate puerile experiences because those of my adulthood are more telling.

I am aware that esse est percipi, and my interactions lead me to believe it more and more.  I went to my nearest city's downtown today to meet with a business associate.  We were to meet at a restaurant, but I was having trouble finding it.  So, I asked a fellow who appeared to be familiar with the area.  His response was to point vaguely in a direction and say, "If you want to be funky, feel free.  Just, please, don't spread that funk onto me."  I asked him to repeat the phrase because I thought for a moment that I had heard him incorrectly.  However, he repeated it perfectly in the same way.

Now, I am walking along the street repeating to myself what he had said.  I sat down in the restaurant, waited for my business associate, and asked him.  He seemed to pick right up on it and explained that there is a gay bar three more blocks down.  So, he reasoned that the urban habitant thought I was asking about a gay bar.

Here's the problem.  I am puzzled all of the time by what people say.  Now, I am well versed in English and like to think myself rather eloquent in its usage; however, I spend a lot of time every day trying to figure out what the hell people are talking about.  People seem to understand what I am trying to communicate to them, but only rarely do I end a conversation and not wonder, "What the fuck was that guy's point?" 

Further, these people don't seem to have trouble understanding one another.  Here's another example, this fellow works for me, and we were discussing the direction in which the business is moving.   He said, "If I were here at only one time, rather than being here then and now, I would have been better then than now."  He's only been with me nine weeks though.  The problem was that another of my employees nodded and added to the thought!

In conclusion, I am often left wondering what the hell is really going on and have come to the conclusion everyone else cannot be the problem.  Do any of you folks suffer as I do, or am I just screwed?

"Tis better to rule in Hell than to serve in Heaven." -Lucifer


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I'll often see a person

I'll often see a person kick back in visible satisfaction that they've explained something to me, only to have me bring them to the point of near-screaming with a long series of questions about specifics. They get upset when they realize they didn't really have the idea defined in the first place. I constantly force people to rephrase questions, stumble over their constant category errors, etc.

I think your friend on the street was an aspiring spoken word performer, and you need to fire that employee right now.


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The two statements you

The two statements you mention puzzle the crap out of me.

I don't think that usually happens around me.  If it does I probably ask them to clarify what they meant.

But, yeah, thats a couple odd things to hear.

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Dude.  Is everyone in your

Dude.  Is everyone in your town high?

None of what those people said made any sense to me, either, and I own a bar.  I'm hip to the funky lingo.

 

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I have that problem a lot

I have that problem a lot during art critiques. Of course, I guess it's my fault for expecting people at an art school to make sense and not throw buzz words around all the time.

I swear if I hear someone say juxtapose one more time during a crit I'm going to snap.  

 

 


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Your screwed.

Your screwed.


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I understood it.   In

I understood it. 

 In fact, right up to this point ("I sat down in the restaurant, waited for my business associate, and...&quotEye-wink I seriously anticipated you to say he showed up for the meeting in high heals and fishnets. 

I don't know how to say this without pissing someone off - but Nero I think your command of the English language actually is the reason you feel out of sync.  If you really think about what is being said, it doesn't make sense but the vast majority doesn't think about what they actually are saying - rather the meaning they generally assume without analysis. 

Shit, did that make any sense? 

 


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Quote: If I were here at

Quote:
If I were here at only one time, rather than being here then and now, I would have been better then than now.

 

Ok that made no sense, what so ever....Is that what he realy said?

Can anyone explain please.

"Everyone knows that God drives a Plymouth: "And He drove Adam And Eve from the Garden of Eden in His Fury."
And that Moses liked British cars: "The roar of Moses' Triumph was heard throughout the hills."
On the other hand, Jesus humbly drove a Honda but didn't brag about it, because in his own words: "I did not speak of my own Accord." "


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shelleymtjoy wrote:I

shelleymtjoy wrote:

I understood it. 

 In fact, right up to this point ("I sat down in the restaurant, waited for my business associate, and...&quotEye-wink I seriously anticipated you to say he showed up for the meeting in high heals and fishnets. 

I don't know how to say this without pissing someone off - but Nero I think your command of the English language actually is the reason you feel out of sync.  If you really think about what is being said, it doesn't make sense but the vast majority doesn't think about what they actually are saying - rather the meaning they generally assume without analysis. 

Shit, did that make any sense? 

LOL!  Yeah, it makes sense to me.  I think you pretty much meant, because he analyzes language carefully to mean exactly what he wants it to other people just blurt shit out without thinking much on it.

So he pays too much attention on exactly what they said rather than the general idea, correct?

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Ok. I wrote a response to

Ok. I wrote a response to many of your observations, but when I hit "post comment," the system treated my post like a goose shitting corn.  So, you will just have to imagine my acerbic comment about the 1970's and "funky lingo."  In the meanwhile, I am going to go sit in the dark and try to translate all of the crazy shit I heard today.

"Tis better to rule in Hell than to serve in Heaven." -Lucifer


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Quote: I don't know how to

Quote:
I don't know how to say this without pissing someone off - but Nero I think your command of the English language actually is the reason you feel out of sync.  If you really think about what is being said, it doesn't make sense but the vast majority doesn't think about what they actually are saying - rather the meaning they generally assume without analysis.

For instance, I know exactly what you mean.  Eye-wink

Just kidding.  I think you may be onto something.  But, there's another question to address.  Which came first, the command of the language or the isolation from mainstream lingo?

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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thormos wrote: Quote: If

thormos wrote:

Quote:
If I were here at only one time, rather than being here then and now, I would have been better then than now.

Ok that made no sense, what so ever....Is that what he realy said?

Can anyone explain please.

For starters, pretend 9 weeks is a long time...

He's saying that if he had only been at the company once rather than seen the company's progression over time he would be better than he currently is.  It sounds rather arrogant doesn't it.  Nero, I recommend you fire him tomorrow.Eye-wink


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Hambydammit wrote: Which

Hambydammit wrote:

Which came first, the command of the language or the isolation from mainstream lingo?

I'll go with command of the language because initally there was more effort to understand each other and, while the only thing I have to back this up are two year old memories from a linguistics class, language seems to have deteriorated over time. 


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shelleymtjoy

shelleymtjoy wrote:
thormos wrote:

Quote:
If I were here at only one time, rather than being here then and now, I would have been better then than now.

Ok that made no sense, what so ever....Is that what he realy said?

Can anyone explain please.

For starters, pretend 9 weeks is a long time...

He's saying that if he had only been at the company once rather than seen the company's progression over time he would be better than he currently is.  It sounds rather arrogant doesn't it.  Nero, I recommend you fire him tomorrow.Eye-wink

Fired, it is!  Should I take into account that his mother died two weeks ago or that he has three young children?  Or, should I just drop the pink slip on him and laugh like a maniac?

I'm thinking just pink slip and laugh.  That would fit what people seem to expect from me here. Smiling

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Quote: Fired, it is!

Quote:

Fired, it is! Should I take into account that his mother died two weeks ago or that he has three young children? Or, should I just drop the pink slip on him and laugh like a maniac?

I'm thinking just pink slip and laugh. That would fit what people seem to expect from me here. Smiling

He's morning his mother and trying to feed three obnoxious kids?  I really hope you're on the West Coast.  That way if you call him right now chances are it's dinner time.  If you dial now you just might catch him during his pre-meal prayer.


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shelleymtjoy wrote: For

shelleymtjoy wrote:

For starters, pretend 9 weeks is a long time...

He's saying that if he had only been at the company once rather than seen the company's progression over time he would be better than he currently is.  It sounds rather arrogant doesn't it.  Nero, I recommend you fire him tomorrow.Eye-wink

I'm utterly amazed at how you can make sense of that.

Do you mean that he was saying his performance at his job was getting worse?

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shelleymtjoy

shelleymtjoy wrote:
Quote:

Fired, it is! Should I take into account that his mother died two weeks ago or that he has three young children? Or, should I just drop the pink slip on him and laugh like a maniac?

I'm thinking just pink slip and laugh. That would fit what people seem to expect from me here. Smiling

He's morning his mother and trying to feed three obnoxious kids?  I really hope you're on the West Coast.  That way if you call him right now chances are it's dinner time.  If you dial now you just might catch him during his pre-meal prayer.

Actually, I am in the midwest, and he'd better not be home.  At this hour, I should be the only one at home.  I don't run a welfare office. 

"Tis better to rule in Hell than to serve in Heaven." -Lucifer


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"If you want to be funky,

"If you want to be funky, feel free.  Just, please, don't spread that funk onto me."??

"If I were here at only one time, rather than being here then and now, I would have been better then than now."??


I think its some kind of compulsion to entertain themselves.

I just walk away

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


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Oh wait!  I just

Oh wait!  I just remembered one.  Years ago I was sitting outside of an airport when a guy walked up to me and said, "Hey, can I get a kick in the chest?"

WTF?

He wanted a light for his cigarette.  I felt like saying, "Why the fuck don't you speak standard english to strangers instead of personal gibberish?"

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Watcher wrote: Oh wait! 

Watcher wrote:

Oh wait!  I just remembered one.  Years ago I was sitting outside of an airport when a guy walked up to me and said, "Hey, can I get a kick in the chest?"

WTF?

He wanted a light for his cigarette.  I felt like saying, "Why the fuck don't you speak standard english to strangers instead of personal gibberish?"

Yeah, well, imagine that half of what you heard sounded like that to you.  That is my world, and people wonder why I'm as churlish as a bear.

"Tis better to rule in Hell than to serve in Heaven." -Lucifer


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Watcher wrote: Do you mean

Watcher wrote:

Do you mean that he was saying his performance at his job was getting worse?

I would say (although remember I don't know the full context) that it is worse than that... I think he's saying that he, personally, is worse off having been there for 9 whole weeks. 


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Watcher wrote:  "Hey, can

Watcher wrote:

 "Hey, can I get a kick in the chest?"

because when you get a kick in the chest you loose your breath...

damn, i really need to move to more civilized parts of the country. 


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shelleymtjoy

shelleymtjoy wrote:
Watcher wrote:

Do you mean that he was saying his performance at his job was getting worse?

I would say (although remember I don't know the full context) that it is worse than that... I think he's saying that he, personally, is worse off having been there for 9 whole weeks. 

No, the person in question is entirely too stupid to make a statement that adroit and discerning.

"Tis better to rule in Hell than to serve in Heaven." -Lucifer


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Nero wrote: No, the person

Nero wrote:

No, the person in question is entirely too stupid to make a statement that adroit and discerning.

Well then, maybe he heard someone else say it, didn't understand it, and repeated it in hope that it would make him sound smart and everyone would think it's not him, it's the job. 


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shelleymtjoy wrote:Well

shelleymtjoy wrote:
Well then, maybe he heard someone else say it, didn't understand it, and repeated it in hope that it would make him sound smart and everyone would think it's not him, it's the job. 

Oh yeah, I did that once!

In the first grade we were asked to write a letter to Santa Claus stating what we wanted for christmas to be posted in the local newspaper.  I was with a couple other kids who asked the teacher about it.  She started mentioning possible things we might want like sport stuff or toys and one of the girls there said, "And so on, and so on."

I had never heard that phrase before.  However since the teacher responded to her saying that as correct, I used it.

I named what I wanted and then added to the end of it "and so on, and so on."

Adults thought it was hilarious.  I was just confused.

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You were like a little King

You were like a little King of Siam with et cetera


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"But my brother Esau is an

"But my brother Esau is an hairy man, but I am a smooth man" 

it's all the rage

"over Edom I cast out my shoe" 

 

 

I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind.


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Cernunnos wrote: "But my

Cernunnos wrote:

"But my brother Esau is an hairy man, but I am a smooth man" 

it's all the rage

"over Edom I cast out my shoe" 

See?  I attract random interlocutors all damn day long.

"Tis better to rule in Hell than to serve in Heaven." -Lucifer


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Nero, have you ever

Nero, have you ever considered the idea that you have Aspergers?

I just learned about Aspergers this year and I seriously think I have it.  I found over 5 pages of symptoms that I identified with in my behavior and showed it to my wife.  She felt like someone had been spying on us.

It's high functioning autism.  My nephew has low functioning autistism and the medical field thinks autism is hereditary most likely.  So maybe both you and I have Aspergers.  I think I do.

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No, I am pretty sure it is

No, I am pretty sure it is everyone else.  Smiling  Here's the problem with the autism bit.  I can manipulate others too well.  I understand what motivates them and how to bend their attitudes to my will.  I just don't always know what the hell they are saying because they opt for some sentence structure used in old high german.

"Tis better to rule in Hell than to serve in Heaven." -Lucifer


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I still think that the

I still think that the answer is that you (Nero) have much, much more command of the English language than the majority of the population.

I probably understand these statements because I grew up in the DC area (I even went to UDC for a while and learned ebonics 101) and now I live in Southside Richmond. 


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Nero wrote: No, I am pretty

Nero wrote:
No, I am pretty sure it is everyone else.  Smiling  Here's the problem with the autism bit.  I can manipulate others too well.  I understand what motivates them and how to bend their attitudes to my will.  I just don't always know what the hell they are saying because they opt for some sentence structure used in old high german.

I do that too.  *grins*  It's so easy to make someone like you.  Simple in fact.  First always act happy to see them.  Always.  Act the slightest bit affectionate like calling out their name with a welcoming voice or a slap on the back with a grin on your face.  Always smile affectionately when you run into them.  Ask questions about them.  Always.

But number one, say something really positive about them and ask them about it in front of others.

"John, I don't understand why anyone would do this job.  Why in the living hell would someone like you...LIKE YOU, accept the responsibilities of something that you are obviously so much better than?"  Works great when you act completely confused when you ask them that in front of the crowd of others.  That person is now your best friend.

That's easy.  I've done that my entire life.

Still, "A kick in the chest."?  WTF?

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci


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To seem slightly less of a

To seem slightly less of a vagrant eccentric your post reminded me of this:

Take a Pew

The Sermon by Alan Bennett of “Beyond the Fringe”

First verse of the fourteenth chapter of the Second Book of Kings: ‘And he said, “But my brother Esau is an hairy man, but I am a smooth man.”’ Perhaps I might say the same thing in a different way by quoting you those words of that grand old English poet, W.E. Henley, who said:

“When that One Great Scorer comes
To mark against your name,
It matters not who won or lost,
But how you played the game.”
 

‘But how you played the game.’ Words very meaningful and significant for us here, together, tonight. Words we might do very much worse than to consider. And I use this word ‘consider’ advisedly. Because I am using it, you see, in its original Greek sense of ‘con—sid-er’, of putting one’s self in the way of thinking about something.

I want us here, together, tonight to put ourselves in the way of thinking about … to put ourselves in the way of thinking about, umm … what we ought to be putting ourselves in the way of thinking about.

As I was on my way here tonight, I arrived at the station and by an oversight I happened to go out by the way one is supposed to come in. As I was going out, an employee of the railway company hailed me. ‘Hey Jack!’ he shouted, ‘Where do you think you’re going?’. That, at any rate, was the gist of what he said. But you know, I was grateful to him because, you see, he put me in mind of the kind of question I felt I ought to be asking you here tonight: ‘Where do you think you’re going?’

Very many years ago, when I was about as old as some of you are now, I went mountain climbing in Scotland with a friend of mine. And there was this mountain, you see, and we decided to climb it. So, very early one morning, we arose and began to climb. All day we climbed. Up and up and up — higher and higher and higher — until the valley lay very small below us, and the mists of the evening began to come down, and the sun to set. And when we reached the summit, we sat down to watch this magnificent sight of the sun going down behind the mountains. And as we watched, my friend, very suddenly, and violently, vomited.

Some of us think life’s a bit like that, don’t we? But it isn’t. Life, you know, is rather like opening a tin of sardines. We are all of us looking for the key. And I wonder how many of you here tonight have wasted years of your lives looking behind the kitchen dressers of this life for that key. I know I have. Others think they’ve found the key, don’t they? They roll back the lid of the sardine tin of life. They reveal the sardines, the riches of life, therein, and they get them out, and they enjoy them. But, you know, there’s always a little bit in the corner you can’t get out. I wonder is there a little bit in the corner of your life? I know there is in mine!

And so now I draw to a close. I want you, when you go out into the world, in times of trouble and sorrow and hopelessness and despair, amid the hurley-burley of modern life. If ever you’re tempted to say: ‘Stuff this for a lark!’, I want you, at such times, to cast your minds back to the words of my first text to you tonight: ‘But my brother Esau is an hairy man, but I am a smooth man.’

 I do not think you should be concerned with understanding the sense in your average encounter for intellect is distributed in a Gaussian Bell-curve and you, sir, must take your position as a praiseworthy bell end.

All people talk bollocks from time to time but only the sharp can get away with it and the sharp sharp-tempered should pay no heed to it...pull the claptrap.

I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind.


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The majority of people have

The majority of people have a really hard time understanding what I'm saying, although I'll clearly label each point in numbered format both in real life and on the internet. I think comprehension, as a whole, is declining. I'll do the following:

 

1. Make a point.

1a. Give an example of the point.

1b. Give an exception to the point.

2. Make another point.

3. Make another point.

3a. Explain the point in further detail.

4. End with a strong point.

 

Here is an example. The examples are in relation to things that are my opinion.

1. I think fritos are good.

1a. The corn taste of them are amazing.

1b. Stale fritos suck.

2.  Cookies are great as well.

3. I also enjoy a good bagel.

3a. A bagel with cream cheese is great. 

4. The best, though, would be pizza.

 

A typical set of responses to something like this are would be:

"YOU LIKE FRUIT?"

"HOW COME YOU LIKE BREADS SO MUCH?!"

"SUGAR TARTS ARE BETTER THAN COOKIES! YOU'RE SO WRONG!"

Of course, nothing like this would ever happen because it deals with snack foods, however, the replies are very similar.


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Based on what I have seen

Based on what I have seen here you would get an:

"I had a frito once that had been out on the counter for three months it was so stale. I loved it!! So stale fritos don't suck and therefore you are wrong in thinking that fritos are good."


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Nero wrote: No, I am pretty

Nero wrote:
No, I am pretty sure it is everyone else. Smiling Here's the problem with the autism bit. I can manipulate others too well. I understand what motivates them and how to bend their attitudes to my will. I just don't always know what the hell they are saying because they opt for some sentence structure used in old high german.

Autistic spectrum disorder (which includes Asperger's, but also milder forms) isn't related to verbal or persuasive ability.  In fact, high-functioning ASD people often have high intelligence or outstanding verbal ability.

ASD is characterized by a reduced ability to perceive *non-verbal* communication cues.   Most people perceive these cues instinctively without having to learn the trick, but ASD people have to learn it the hard way and often have a limited awareness that non-verbal communication even exists to the extent that it does.

Your experience of describing how everybody else seems to understand each other while you don't is a very common experience among ASD people.  It's the nonverbals the other people are picking up on.  Many times the actual verbal content of what "normals" say to each other is not relevant to the meaning--it's the gesture that communicates the message. 

Some ASD tendencies are so mild that they can go unnoticed for years, but they tend to fade as you get older.  I still remember discovering some time in college that when my (non-ASD) girlfriend said "you don't have to call me tomorrow" she meant exactly the opposite (although it had to be explained to me by everyone I knew several times before I believed it). It was like a huge revelation that there was a subtext under all kinds of things people were saying all the time. 

I've gotten pretty good at it, but I had to start out by reading psych books before I developed a knack for spotting it without having to work off a set of rules for interpreting nonverbal cues.  I still catch myself thinking things like "okay, her pupils just dialated, so that means she likes what I just said..."

"After Jesus was born, the Old Testament basically became a way for Bible publishers to keep their word count up." -Stephen Colbert


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Textom wrote:  "you don't

Textom wrote:

 "you don't have to call me tomorrow" she meant exactly the opposite

Huh? Why would somebody say the exact opposite of what they meant? I could never understand that.

Anyway, I didn't call. Was I supposed to call? wtf?

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


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Nero wrote: No, I am pretty

Nero wrote:
No, I am pretty sure it is everyone else.  Smiling  Here's the problem with the autism bit.  I can manipulate others too well.  I understand what motivates them and how to bend their attitudes to my will.  I just don't always know what the hell they are saying because they opt for some sentence structure used in old high german.

As a general rule, most people are open books with big huge font. 

My problem is that I think half the thought and then speak the rest, which makes me look slightly retarded.  Or I assume that people already know what I'm talking in the first place and well, you know what they say about assuming.

I'm a terrible public speaker. 

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I remember going to church

I remember going to church camps when I was a kid.

They do some major mind fuck on you.  Some kind of emotional build up that culminates the last night.  I remember going and listening to the last sermon and everyone would break out in great sobbing tears.

I'd be sitting there thinking WTF?  I had no idea why everyone was crying.

Another thing is...I realize that most people find it embarassing to mention things about there body to people you don't know well.  Like, well, if you have hemroids you normally wouldn't blurt that out at a social function.  I understand that. 

But I don't know why.

I'd blurt it out.  If we met somewhere, and I had hemroids, and they started bothering me, I'd tell you.

"Aw crap, my hemroids are bleeding.  Gotta go."

I'd tell you.  I don't know why some guys find it embarassing to buy maxi-pads for your wife/girlfriend.

I've bought condoms for friends that thought it was embarassing to do so.  I've bought medication for hemroids for friends.  No problem!

Why is it embarassing?  I walk around in ratty clothes.  I don't care in the slightest.  Jeans full of holes, torn t-shirts I've had for a decade.  I don't care.  I don't understand why anyone cares.

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci


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  I never understood the

 

I never understood the condom thing. I mean who doesn't want the world to know they are getting some action.  It's when you're trying to discretely dispose of unused ones because they expired that it gets embarassing.

However I have other thoughts on some other items. Let me warn you this is going to sound insanely childish but my father is a real abusive fucktard so I have to settle for what little laughs I can get around here...

I routinely send my father out at all hours of the night to pick up emenas, suppositories, laxatives, etc. for me.Eye-wink I swear the nightshift guy at CVS must really wonder what's up with his ass. My mother and I practically die laughing as soon as he heads out the door at 3 AM.


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There are two things I've

There are two things I've noticed, Nero, about a large percentage of the general population that relates to what you're talking about:

1) A lot of people don't know how to write;

and

2) A lot of people don't know how to give directions (either how to get from one place to another or how to complete a task).

I've spent more time in my career fixing other people's bad writing or bad directions than possibly anything else. And I think this in indicative of poor communications skills in general. If someone can't write a decent summary of a news article or give clear driving directions to their house, I don't expect that their ability to communicate verbally will be much better. Maybe it's because I have two degrees in business and I scored in the 99th percentile on the written portion of my GMAT that I'm so anal about it. I don't know.

I'd love to say that the rise of electronic communication is to blame. It's so easy to fire off an e-mail or IM without double-checking your writing, grammar, etc. And many office-based workers do so much of their jobs with computers. It would be easy to blame electronic communication if it were only younger people who were having this issue. But it's not. I've worked for four organizations in the past ten years, and bad communication is rampant even among top executives who've been working for 20+ years.

What it boils down to, I think, is that appreciation has been lost for the ability to communicate clearly. Every employer demands it, but nobody actually does it. I'm in the midst of a job search right now, and the application forms I've had to fill out (and these are supposedly reputable companies that I want to work for) drive me nuts. They're usually completely unclear, have poor directions and lack specificity. I feel like saying to them "I've decided not to apply for the job, but I've rewritten your application form so that it makes sense."

[/rant]

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I know from personal

I know from personal experience that my writing quality has declined thanks to the Internet... 5 years ago I made notably fewer errors.  If I go back 10 years it is even more apparent.  When a Professor returns graduate-level papers with more than an  occassional gramatical error idicated I know there's a problem.  The only think I've learned from e-mails/forums/etc. is how to type faster.

However, I'm using the wrong there/their or making something possissive that shouldn't be, etc.  These types of errors I largely overlook in other people's writings as long as I can still make out what it being said.  Although things like "I H8 B-ing w/out spel chek" drive me crazy.  That being said, when 99% of the time I can understand what our intoxicated friend "I am God as You" says it makes me consider that being exposed to some of this net-grammar degrades both my reading and writing ability.


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geirj wrote: I'd love to

geirj wrote:
I'd love to say that the rise of electronic communication is to blame.

Throughout history, the majority of people have always been bad at communicating clearly in writing.  It's not a recent phenomenon.  Just read any old random letters or diaries from any era--and those are the people who actually decided to write something.

(I remember seeing a documentary where they showed an ancient Roman schoolboy's writing practice notebook with all the corrections done in red by his Latin teacher.  His writing ability certainly wasn't corrupted by leetspeak.) 

But it stands to reason.  Language is at least 40,000 years old.  Writing is maybe 6000 years old.  Widespread literacy is barely more than a few centuries years old.  There hasn't been enough time--or any particular reproductive differential pressure--for writing talent to be selected for in the human race.

Writing talent isn't some kind of moral absolute good, though.  Most people--and I say this as an English teacher--get by just fine with very little writing skill.  Many people would benefit from improvement.  But for most people, acquiring the difficult, specialized skills of writing well is not worth the admittedly limited payoff.

But writing may just be a blip on the radar of human existence anyway.  It may be that, before long, we have something better, and recording information in writing will fall by the wayside.  Like the tradition of recording genealogies in the form of extended oral epic poems was displaced by writing them down.

"After Jesus was born, the Old Testament basically became a way for Bible publishers to keep their word count up." -Stephen Colbert


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Well. I just got some

Well. I just got some pretty good laughs reading this thread. Where do I start with this? I'll start with me. Im terrible at communicating. For some reason I have a really hard time getting people to understand stuff I am saying! I dont know why. I speak normal english. It could just be the people I talk to. Wife, kids, coworkers. You know, all the people who dont really care what Im saying but try to act interested to spare my feelings. Tongue out 

My writing skills are terrible. I dont know there difference between there, there, and there. Wink That I have to blame on the internet though. I have been playing massive multi players for years. Your all lucky I have made it this far into my post without substituting numbers for letters. So theres my communication problems.

Now on to everyone else. I can basically understand what most people are saying. I watch cnn, the history channel, bet and mtv. I know all your different versions of the english language. Basically. But the few times Im totally lost by what someone is saying is at work. That right! At work! Most people that work here are required to have some sort of college education. Except for the janitors, the lunch ladies, and me! I hear some of the weirdest shit from these fairly well educated people. Ill give you one example right off the top of my head.

This lady comes into my cube one day to have her laptop repaired. I tell her to come back in a while I will run some diagnostics and try to get to the bottom of the problem. About an hour later she walks into my cube and says "Did the good fairy come visit me?"

I stared at her for a few minutes trying to decide how to respond before I just gave up and asked "what the hell does that even mean?"

 

 


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AbandonMyPeace wrote: This

AbandonMyPeace wrote:

This lady comes into my cube one day to have her laptop repaired. I tell her to come back in a while I will run some diagnostics and try to get to the bottom of the problem. About an hour later she walks into my cube and says "Did the good fairy come visit me? "

Is the computer fixed now?  ie. While she was gone did her computer magically get repaired. 


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shelleymtjoy

shelleymtjoy wrote:
AbandonMyPeace wrote:

This lady comes into my cube one day to have her laptop repaired. I tell her to come back in a while I will run some diagnostics and try to get to the bottom of the problem. About an hour later she walks into my cube and says "Did the good fairy come visit me? "

Is the computer fixed now?  ie. While she was gone did her computer magically get repaired. 

Guess thats why they decided I didnt need a college education to be here huh. That 6 week course I took on magic fairy computer repair really paid off. Tongue out

 


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Here is yet another example

Here is yet another example of the crap I am wading through.  Beyond Saving and I went to lunch today at a chinese restaurant.  Here is what my fortune cookie said, "One minute of time worth more than one oz. of gold."  Please note the lack of a verb, transitory or otherwise, in that phrase.  That's what sets me off. 

"Tis better to rule in Hell than to serve in Heaven." -Lucifer


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My urologist has this

My urologist has this stupid ass sign posted right on the cabinet so you have no choice but to either piss with your eyes closed on read this crap.  After they wipe and pull their pants up most of them feel like they are so smart for being about to read it.  Many of them probably walk away thinking clearly spelling is not important at all.  (It's not a real study, btw)

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Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is that the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae.  The rset can be a total mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm.  Tihs is bcuseae the human mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

 

Pterty amzanig, huh?

 


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shelleymtjoy wrote:My

shelleymtjoy wrote:

My urologist has this stupid ass sign posted right on the cabinet so you have no choice but to either piss with your eyes closed on read this crap.  After they wipe and pull their pants up most of them feel like they are so smart for being about to read it.  Many of them probably walk away thinking clearly spelling is not important at all.  (It's not a real study, btw)

The Phaomnneil Pweor

of the Hmuan Mnid

 

 

Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is that the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae.  The rset can be a total mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm.  Tihs is bcuseae the human mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

 

Pterty amzanig, huh?

Yea i learned about this in a psychology class. It is partially correct, but in no way can it be a total mess. If you look at all the words the letters are only flipped such as in word=wrod. There might be a few flips but they are only flips. also, notice that there are lots of words that aren't changed with this passage. and these words are essential without them you wouldn't understand a damn thing in that sentence.


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Nero wrote: Here is yet

Nero wrote:
Here is yet another example of the crap I am wading through. Beyond Saving and I went to lunch today at a chinese restaurant. Here is what my fortune cookie said, "One minute of time worth more than one oz. of gold." Please note the lack of a verb, transitory or otherwise, in that phrase. That's what sets me off.

Ooh, I can explain this one: sometimes companies don't spend the money to vet their foreign prose through a native speaker.

You're welcome!

Another fun fact: there is no past tense conjugation in Chinese, so you will often hear native Chinese speakers say English phrases like "Yesterday, I go shopping" because that's how they'd say it in Chinese. Same with Japanese, IIRC.

You get a related thing between many Romance languages and English, actually, when conjugating verbs. In French, Je conduis means "I drive", "I do drive" and "I am driving"; there is no separate conjugation for those three states. A native English speaker will usually use only one of those in a given situation ("I drive a truck [instead of a car]", "I do drive at night [instead of refusing to do so]", "I am driving to work [right now]&quotEye-wink, and think the other two sound weird.

Yet another feature of our incredibly promiscuous language.

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Vraiment?  Mais, dans le

Vraiment?  Mais, dans le cas de mon petit gateau sec, il n'y avait rien du verbe.  Quand j'etais a la chine, j'ai trouve que c'etait les differences entre les tons qui m'ont donne des difficultes.

En tout cas, evidement, tu etudes des langues occidentales et orientales.  Dis-moi, penses-tu que c'est une manque de plus-que parfait que me cause mes problemes en anglais?  Je crois que non.  Alors, je me demande, 'Pourquoi est-ce que cette personne discute les moyens des langues?'  La question, je la laisse pour toi.

"Tis better to rule in Hell than to serve in Heaven." -Lucifer