With all the “politically incorrect” references on newscasts or blogs being brought to the forefront, I’ve been seeing quite a few entries about avoiding controversial subjects in the blogs I follow. For example, Kristen Lamb’s blog about authors addressing religion or politics in online forums being dangerous to their “brand” (http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/) generated 117 comments (at the time I wrote this). If a sportscaster can be fired for saying “a chink in his armor” (and that’s about race, not religion or politics), what is this world coming to?
Apparently, I’ve been controversial in some of my previous posts. I’ve cast my beloved sons in a poor light. Of course, this was never my intention. It has come to my attention that people who read our posts don’t necessarily see our intentions (what?? I know! I was completely shocked upon learning this, as well); therefore, we must carefully consider our words before we push the “publish” button.
- I don’t believe online education is more difficult than traditional on-campus education. Apparently, someone (my oldest son, who actually read my blog, bless his heart) felt I used “adult” opinions to make the comments made by my sons look weak. By the way, both of my sons are over 18, and therefore, adults (according to the laws of the land).
- I believe both of my sons can be bratty (on the other hand, I am the Queen Brat), but they aren’t mean, spiteful brats. Apparently, my sarcasm doesn’t come across well online (I actually knew this; since I’m getting older, I’m going to say I forgot it for a moment). I sincerely apologize for hurting anyone with my posts.
Actions speak louder than words, but I’ve recently observed that actions and words can also be misinterpreted. Is this because the English language is so complicated? No (even though it is a very complicated language as I’m learning in my class sharing that title “The English Language”), but our emotions and perceptions get in the way of understanding. If someone storms out when we’re saying something, we might assume what we said made them angry. This isn’t necessarily the case. Should immediately decide they are angry? No is the obvious answer, but most of the time we do.
Somewhere I saw something about getting exercise by “jumping to conclusions” and “pushing the envelope.” Isn’t the English language fascinating? These idioms get used regularly. All too often this sort of “exercise” causes plenty of problems.
I’m beginning to think we live in a world where people pounce on every little phrase, using it out of context and twisting it far from the speaker’s original intention. Does this mean the speaker said something wrong? Part of the problem lies in the fact that our society distorts the meanings of everyday words (“gay” is jumping immediately to mind here) which gives an opening to the naysayers. Additionally, some people just like to stir the pot, cause contention, create a mountain out of a molehill (my list of idioms and clichés could continue for another 200 words) and blow things out of proportion. I don’t want to be one of “those people,” do you?
Take a Joke
I can take a joke. I know my sons like to tease me about online school. My oldest son has experienced online courses that are much easier than those he takes on campus (history or calculus? Which do you think would be more difficult? Care to guess which one he took online?) Of course, we both took stats online, and I struggled while he breezed through it (he does have a minor in math, after all, while I’m getting an arts degree).
More people need to stop looking for trouble. Instead of reading between the lines, take words at face value. So, when Rush Limbaugh calls someone a prostitute, I think it’s safe to say he intended offense. If a person says a certain political party is full of bigots, I think they’re hoping to irritate a few people from said party. If, on the other hand, someone walks out when you’re talking, it might be better to reserve judgment. After all, perhaps they got an emergency text, had to use the restroom or felt sick all of the sudden (please, don’t stay to puke up your guts right here).
War rages around the world. 2012 is an election year. I think I can safely speak for most people when I say, “There’s enough conflict in the world.”