May 17, 2007

You could always just say you feel sick...

I am constantly trying to talk to Garrett about the idea that language itself is a barrier when it comes to the way that all people communicate. Isn't that such a fascinating idea? I mean, what you say to me, may not be what you actually mean, and how I interpret it can be affected by the words you choose? HUH! That is such a fascinating idea to me! But I guess I sort of wore out my welcome philosophising about it, because now when I go off on a little tangents to Garrett, he gives me a cute smile and nod and says, "yeah, yeah, babe, I know. Its the 'barrier of language'." (In his defense, I practice my own smile and nod when he talks to me about the Fed).

Most of the time I'm pretty sure he thinks that my fascination with Structuralist philosophies and linguistics are totally over the top, and in all honesty I will be the first to admit that the amount of Saussure and Derrida that I have happily devoured while laying on my bed is not your mama's Danielle Steel -- but I can't help it -- I am fascinated by the ideas of how we derive meaning from language.

Now before you go thinking that I am a pompous idiot, and assume I am trying to spit you some amateur philosophy, let me assure you first that I don't spit (ew! gross!) and second that is totally not the point of this post. I mean, I read books with Hot Pink Covers all the time, and happily admit to doing so, so that should eliminate any smugness right there. Actually, the point of this post is that when you spend alot of time thinking about words, aside from really obliterating the possibility of having a normal social life, you can also have ALOT of fun! YAY! FUN! Repeat after me -- words are fun! Ok nevermind, I guess I'm just going to do my part to cliffs notes a little funny and common word slaughter (Ok, somebody call the dork's getting dire in here).

For instance:

Did you know that the word nauseous is an adjective?
[adjective: a word describing a person, place, or thing (commonly know as a noun)].
Yes, that's right, NAUSEOUS is a descriptive word that means "causing nausea".

On the other hand, did you know that the word nauseated is a verb? [verb: a word expressing action or occurence] And when used without an object (don't worry about that part, I won't even elaborate), it means "to become affected with nausea".

So what does all this grammatic inundation mean to you, you say?
Well, its simple really. Anytime you say "I feel so nauseous right now" you are inadvertantly letting your conversational partner know that you are currently causing nausea. That's right, you are saying that YOU are making other people sick. Instead, my word obsession and I are going to suggest saying "I feel so nauseated right now," because this more clearly communicates the fact that you have become affected by a sick feeling.

Now, does anyone care about this besides myself and of course my dear friend Sarah (hi Sarah!) who has chatted with me about this fact on numerous occasions? Probably not. But I'm putting it out there for what it's worth, and to also give you the same smug chuckle that I get when I hear someone misusing it.

That's right, the next time your annoying co-worker (you know, the one who is always feigning illness and begging for sympathy or just being lazy) tells you they are "really nauseous" you can look at them empathetically and say "WOW, YOU REALLY ARE!"

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails