I fear that I’m just not that bright.
With a frequency that borders on horrifying, I get to the end of a conversation with someone and think I have no idea what just happened. I mean, there were words exchanged, words that ought to convey some kind of meaning, but I walk away just as confused as before as to what I am expected to do next.
And other times, I am using perfectly functional words and the other side of the conversation just stares at me blankly.
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There are some things for which we lack words. Love, for example. Hallmark (God bless them, they really aren’t as twee as you’d think) has used up all the words and turned them into flabby couch potatoes incapable of moving themselves, let alone anyone else. That thing fighters call “heart” which is really code for staying on your feet when out-weighed, out-reached, and out-punched. Alice’s muchness, which is kind of the same thing and lives in the same neighborhood as umami or, as Neal used to say, divine fire.
And then there are other things which submit docilely to the English language and used to represent something. Borrowing from one of my two internet stalkers,* I offer up this gem:
Negative schedule variance.
I know what each of those words mean all by themselves, but collectively I’m lost.
Not really. I mean, I know we’re talking about being late, with as much distance put between the bearer of the bad news and accountability as humanly possible.
So is the problem that I’m just a dunce? I think it might be, because I had an hour long meeting today and I left it convinced that I must be missing something. My only other option is that no one else has noticed how, like in every other aspect of our lives, our language is slipping away from any notion of the concrete, real, tangible, or solid.
If normal is what the majority of the rest of the people around you are doing, then who’s crazy in the insane asylum – the doctors or the patients?
*Don’t worry, I hold you both in the highest of bemused affection.