Friday, June 10, 2005


Sometimes I have this problem where I know someone is joking, or being sarcastic, or is just plain not serious, but I can't help myself from taking him seriously. I have this strange compulsion to respond to something that wasn't said to make a point, it was said to get a laugh, or maybe even to get a dig in.

I feel so stupid when I realize I've done that.

So I'm thinking about it and I realize that maybe I shouldn't feel stupid. I think those laughs or digs should be earned, and if the point as presented makes no sense or is just plain wrong, well then -- sorry, but I'm often disinclined to let anyone get away with that sort of thing.

I do make myself hush most of the time, though, because I don't want to come off as a prig. If I'm annoyed enough, I'll speak up, and that has its own set of repercussions.

The other times I decide it's better to just keep my mouth shut are when it seems to me that someone has misunderstood something. Then I think, Wait! Maybe she does get it, but she's just being snarky about it and I can't tell.

It could be that I'm dense, it could be there's too much wiggle room in the language. At least I'm smart enough to realize the possibility that I'm dense, and also that it's best not to say anything that moves that possibility into the realm of the actual.


Ginger said...

It depends. The thing that is missing in email and on internet forums is inflection. Sometimes a wink or smiley is added, but they don't quite convey the real sentiment.
In person, it's a matter of picking your battles. If you're married to a real smart aleck, you have to roll with the punches, or else you spend your marriage miserable (I'm married to one, I've had to learn).

Sheik Yerbootie said...

Dense? Snarky? Opinionated? You?!?


~~ snerk ~~

Make of that what you will.

~~ snigger ~~

Sheik Yerbootie said...

Or look at it this way:

It could very well be that the intended language didn't work out the way it should have and the writer didn't understand that.

Language today is distorted by the combination of graphic intent and written word. The appearance of smilies, emoticons and what not demonstrates the lack of depth in the ability to comprehend what is being written.

At least that's what I think.