A Totally Biased Rant: Crimes Against Communication
A discerning look, by someone better than you, at some of the inconsistencies and annoying tendencies in today’s communicative standards.
In case you’re one of the two individuals on planet Earth who either haven’t seen, don’t enjoy, or simply don’t know about the gloriousness and magnificence of a little show called, “Seinfeld,” let me enlighten you: it’s glorious and it’s magnificent. The show’s troubled, imperfect, greedy, selfish, morally debase characters cope with numerous trials and tribulations throughout the show’s numberous, award-winning seasons. If you’re any fan worth their salt, however, you know some of the series’ best trials and tribulations are also some of the most memorable and hysterical characters in the series. I’m referring, of course, to the “talkers” the lead characters deal with. From close-talkers, whose faces have to be just inches away from your own when they speak, fast talkers, who communicate so quickly you can’t understand them, to quiet talkers, who mumble inconceivably. We’re gonna be discussing a few of these sorts of ideas, amidst other things I find to be of particular annoyance to my elitist eardrums.
Now, let me put out a disclaimer right now, and say that this article was originally going to be titled, “Crimes Against the English Language, Part Deux,” as a direct sequel to an earlier Tidbits article I did. However, in mining the veritable mountain of occurrences that surround me, both at work and at home, I found that there weren’t just reprehensible actions being taken against my native language. No, there were things occurring that I would like to think would piss off even the most patient of individuals, despite whatever language they speak. So, consider this the “spiritual successor” to my original Tidbits article.
This is also not me trying to tell anyone I may speak to regularly that I dislike them for the way they may or may not speak. Just that… well, I don’t want to say, “I wish you would get hit by a car,” but I don’t think I’d try to stop you if you decided to play in traffic.
And with that, let’s get down to it!
The “Word” “Ain’t” (See What I Did There?)
If you’ve ever spent time around children, you know how quick they are to cut you down or be brutally honest with you. They’ll be the first ones to correct you if there’s something amiss with your verbiage or diction. God bless them for that. And also, hopefully, make them choke on any of the numerous tiny objects they like to chew on. In either case, if you’ve ever been stupid enough to use the non-word “ain’t” around someone in the single digit age range, you’ve been met with the hostile rebuttal of: “‘Ain’t’ ain’t a word!” God, even typing that makes my blood curdle.
I don’t know why this sort of thing goes uncorrected these days. Children that use the “word” should probably be whipped. Severely. Either that, or be perfectly content to go through life sounding like they probably, for whatever reason, had a hard time getting into Middle School. Here’s a hint: all it takes is a fuckin’ pulse! There’s just no other way to get the point across that when someone uses the word “ain’t,” they sound wholly, unequivocally, and totally ignorant. You’re using a fucking fake word! It’s not in the Dictionary! At least, it wasn’t when I was in school, and I don’t care if it is now or not, because whatever I learned in school is the fuckin’ LAW! PERIOD!
If you use non-words around me, you can bet your bottom dollar you’re getting stabbed in the face with a fuckin’ soldering iron.
Learn Your Cinnamons!
I’m not really quite sure even how to describe this. It’s something that I think most people are content to entirely ignore, or simply don’t care enough to actually correct. But, you know what? I care. That’s why I’m writing this. People don’t know the past, present, or future tenses of verbs. They don’t know them and don’t care to. What an absolute travesty. If you ask me, anyway. And since you’re reading this, I’ll assume you ARE asking me.
I guess people also just don’t realize the difference between THERE, THEY’RE, and THEIR anymore. Or perhaps YOU’RE and YOUR. DON’T or DOESN’T? What’s the difference? It’s called a “contraction,” kids. DON’T is a contraction for DO NOT, whereas DOESN’T is a contraction for DOES NOT. THEN is referring to a point in time. THAN is making a comparison to something. Make sense? No? What a surprise.
Let me simply set the stage for you. You’re having a discussion with someone, not necessarily the offender (which makes the offense all the more egregious), when someone who disagrees with you, suddenly butts in and says something along the lines of, “no, it don’t!” You know the type. They’re also probably more than a little prone to using the non-word earlier discussed. They’ll approach you, knowing you’ve got good taste, and go to tell you about a movie they just went to see, probably with talentless youths playing vampires, werewolves, and virgins. They start off their assessment of the film thusly:
“I went to the movies the other night!”
“Oh, really? What’d you see?” you reply, struggling to hide your disinterest.
“Breaking Dawn. Yeah, I seen it the other night with…”
At which point you know to completely disregard everything that follows, for numerous reasons (the first infraction being that they did, in fact, go to see another Twilight movie. The second being the crime against English grammar), while you simply nod your head slowly, promptly turn, and walk away. There’s always the optional Dragon Kick you could administer to their stupid face, but… That’s usually a judgement call.
These types are everywhere. Do them the favor of pointing out how stupid they sound when they say these sorts of things. Let them know that, when you ask if they’re joking, and they reply, “do it look like I’m joking?!” you initially just misunderstood, and now realize that they aren’t being comical, they’re just working with an IQ that’s relatively right around the same number as their age.
Although, be careful. You don’t want to give them too much credit.
“Um… Hi? Yeah, I’m RIGHT here. Asshole.“
Have you ever been standing next to a couple of friends, and they start discussing something that involved you or something that still actively does involve you, while you’re still standing right there next to them? Am I the only one who finds that irritating? I can’t be. If I am, then things are more dire than I initially expected, and there’s a whole lot of people who should be forced to hold a hornet’s nest while doing double-dutch. Just sayin’.
I don’t find anything to be more rude or disrespectful than someone thinking they need to answer for me or talk for me. I’ve got a fucking mouth of my own. Douche. You notice how it’s not sewn shut? Care to guess why? That’s because it still works. Prick. But, thanks. I can’t tell stories about myself or voice my own opinion, and I’m so grateful you’re here to do it for me. Bee-Tee-Dub, while you’re at it, do me a favor and stab me in the neck, so you can be shot in the eye with a jet of my boiling blood. Asshole.
Let’s get cracking on that “hornet’s-nest-double-dutch” thing. Definitely one of my better ideas.
The PROLONGED EYE CONTACTer
Eye contact is a fickle thing. For me, anyway. If I don’t like someone or find something disagreeable about a particular person, I find it unbearable making eye-contact with them. If they’re in my momentary Gray Area of Indifference (or GAI, for short), then there’s a delicate balance to glaring at them while I speak to them. Too little, and doubts about whether or not they’re even listening begin to rise and linger over the entire conversation. Too much, and doubts about whether or not they’re even listening begin to rise and linger over the entire conversation. And ya know what? Call me “crazy,” but I’d prefer too little.
Someone who stares intently, maintaining constant, vigilant eye-contact while I’m speaking, is easily twice as distracting as someone who glances around while I speak. Why? I don’t know. It just is. There’s just something so uncomfortable about someone staring right at my face while noises come out of my mouth. I don’t know whether or not I actually stop speaking, or just always feel like I do, but there’s definitely a section of my brain that, plain and simply, comes to a grinding halt when someone’s eyes don’t leave mine. For me, there’s a certain level of intimacy carried with constant, maintained eye-contact. That’s not something I want to be experiencing while I’m ringing in a 40-something woman’s groceries. It’s just not.
In addition to making me uncomfortable, it also makes me wonder about whoever it is I’m speaking to that’s staring knowingly into my eyes. I start to wonder if, God forbid, there’s something wrong in there, behind those immobile ocular devices (read: eyes). I start wondering things like: maybe they don’t realize they’re making me uncomfortable by staring at me like I’m about to tell them I love them? How could they not realize that? Are they stupid? Oh.
“I Could Care Less“
Here’s another heinous ear sore perpetrated on my divine sense of hearing by multiple mere mortals, usually to voice their indifference to something. And every time I hear it, it makes me want to impale them with something. Like a Buick.
The logic is absolutely asinine, and the saying itself makes absolutely no (read: ZERO!) sense. “I could care less about what happens to…” Really? You could care less? Well, that’s interesting, I’d say. Because, to say that you COULD care less, implies that you, on some level and to some degree, DO actually care! So, if what you’re trying to communicate to me is that you do not care at all, whatsoever, in any way, shape or form, what happens to whatever person we’re discussing, why don’t you say what you SHOULD be saying instead?! “I couldn’t care less.” See? Isn’t that better? Now, after properly dictating your feelings to me, I understand that you do not, in fact, care at all, which is what you were trying to explain before you performed the mental and verbal equivalent of shitting all over your own face by saying something as stupid as “I could care less.”
I honestly cannot be the only fucking person who actually hears this shit. Why don’t we stop and think about some of the language we’ve all agreed upon?! Jesus Christ, no wonder the rest of the world thinks we’re all 300 pound retards waiting to order “one o’ them there numbers 2s” at the drive-thru at McDonald’s, so we can all turn around and dump that huge, steaming, fly ridden pile of shit all over ourselves!
I hope that, by reading this, you’ve realized a few ways to clean up the way you sound when you speak to someone. And I hope that, by reading this, if you’ve realized you’re one of these miscreants who should be penciled in for a sudden visit from the Angel of Death (RIP, George), maybe you’ll stop sounding like such a Missing Link when you’re around me.
God, don’t that piss me off!