Archive for ‘Semantics’

April 25, 2012

Bib Communication

 

Long time no post! I return with a vengeance… And a baby.

While the challenges of new motherhood have been more physical than intellectual so far, my mind has been perplexed (and perhaps fixated) by one particular thing: the asinine stuff written on bibs.

 

 

Most of what is written on bibs follows the same variation: “I love XYZ”. I’ve seen bibs professing the baby’s love for his or her parents, relatives, places and things. I’m having a very hard time buying any of these because who am I to speak on my baby’s behalf and pretend to know who or what she loves?

Does she love me? Does she love her daddy? Her grandparents, aunts and uncles? Only she knows.

Does she love Paris or New York? How could she? She has never left Austin TX.

Does she love cupcakes? SHE DOESN’T EVEN EAT SOLIDS YET. This “I heart cupcakes” bib came with an adorable newborn pajama set my mom got her. While I very much enjoy looking at her wearing an outfit covered in cupcake print (because she looks as sweet as a cupcake), I have yet to make her wear that silly bib.

 

The only bibs I’ve been comfortable letting her wear are the ones with no words on them or the ones that say “XYZ loves me” because that’s the truth and these people (me included) are old enough to own up to their feelings.

 

 

Am I under thinking this existential issue? Or does this mean it is high time for my maternity leave to end so I can go back to work?

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April 11, 2011

Seeking Cat’s Owner Desperately

Fact: If I can’t find something on the Internet, it doesn’t exist.

Evidence: My mad web-searching skills helped reunite a lost cat with her owner.

The adorable kitty in the picture above walked out from underneath my car a couple nights ago and communicated its intent to reside in my house for a little while. I had to go out of town for the weekend so I put her in a bedroom with all the cat necessities and posted messages to our neighborhood listserv before I left. While I was away, my husband put up some posters with Mystery Kitty’s pic on it to let people know we found her. We didn’t receive a single phone call.

When I returned, I took Mystery Kitty straight to the vet to see if she was microchipped. Hallelujah! She was!
Not so fast! said the vet’s assistant. The microchip wasn’t registered to any owner and was put in by the animal shelter a couple years ago.

Off to the shelter we went. I won’t comment on the traumatizing experience of walking into that building and witnessing people abandoning their animals in front of my eyes.
The friendly volunteers who work there looked up the microchip data and found a phone number, which turned out to be disconnected. After I filled out a Request for Information Form (legalese for Cover Your Derriere), they gave me the registered owner’s full name and her last address. An apartment. What are the odds of the person still living there?

I went back to my car with Mystery Kitty and pulled out THE INTERNET.

Googled the owner’s name (along with location data etc). That person is almost invisible on the interwebs… but she left a trail: a 2009 online wedding registry! With a gentleman’s name on it too. Made the wild assumption she took his name. His very common last name. Common last names are the invisibility cloaks of the internet.

I shifted from searching-for-people mode to searching-for-address-mode and made my way to the Travis County Central Appraisal District’s website to search for properties by owner’s name. Entered all sorts of combinations (his last her first, her last her first, his last his first) until I found a home registered to “his first her first his last”. With the help of Google maps, I was there 20 minutes later (quite a ways from where I found the cat). Nobody was home. Left a note on the door with my contact info.

Several hours later, I got a phone call – turns out the registered owner gave away the cat two years ago. She got a hold of the current owner and his roommate came to pick up “Yen” (the cat’s actual name) shortly after.

The End.

Long live the Internet!

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June 26, 2010

I know you’re busy

No. Not you. Otherwise you wouldn’t be here reading this post.

My pet peeve du jour is the sentence “I know you’re busy” uttered by someone who interrupts another person’s work to ask them for something.

If you really knew that person was busy, you wouldn’t just barge in on them. “I know you’re busy” means “I’m interrupting you because my time is more important than yours”.

June 8, 2010

Nobody doesn’t like your product

I was waiting at a light on my way to work this morning and watched a big truck drive by. The slogan “Nobody doesn’t like Sara Lee” was all over it.

Two hours later, I’m still thinking about it. It’s not a bad phrase, but is it a good one?

Does the fact that nobody dislikes something make that thing good?

I can think of a bunch of things that I don’t necessarily hate but don’t like either. Zucchini, grocery shopping, vanilla ice cream, Dave Matthews…

I’d rather buy something because it is great and potentially the best, not because it’s not bad.

I’d rather hire someone because of the great recommendations I heard about that person, not because nobody had anything bad to say about them.

Catch my drift?

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April 27, 2010

To be perfectly honest

I hate it when people preface what they want to say with the following expressions:

  • “To be perfectly honest”
  • “To tell you the truth”
  • “Quite frankly”

That means everything else they’ve said before is a dishonest bullshit lie. When they use one of these expressions, my hypocrite radar goes on high alert and I can’t fully trust the person’s words anymore. Doesn’t necessarily mean that person is out there to cause harm; but most certainly means their words can’t be taken at face value.

Extreme? Yes.
Paranoid? Maybe.
Naive? Hell no.