Saturday, 25 July 2009

Light on the Situation

I contemplated buying a little cigarette lighter for my purse today. You never know, it could come in handy. It would feel quite at home with the Swiss-army-like knife thing and the nail clippers, which have proven to come in quite useful from time to time. And you never know when I might end up stranded on the side of the road with nothing but my purse and wits to keep me alive. Being able to start a bush fire may mean the difference between life and death. But there's also another scenario popped into my head.

Suppose some bum asks me whether I have a lighter so he can smoke.

Extreme creativity aside, I could do one of three things. I could contribute to his demise by lighting his cigarette, I could lie and say I don't have a lighter, or I could say "Yeah, I have a lighter, but I won't share it with you." So basically, I would be forced into becoming either a(n) a. aid to suicide, b. liar, or c. nasty rude person.

All those options stink.

Wait - brain wave - I can just say, "No, I don't have one you can use." Because then it's ambiguous enough I don't have to actually lie. Although it might be good for penniless smokers if they're met with a bit of a friendly retort from time to time. Perhaps it'll slap a little sense into them?

That settles it. Next time I see a cigarette lighter for sale, I'm buying one. Or are they cheaper bulk?

"Smoking? I thought that went out of style years ago." My dad, when someone asked him for smokes. The man actually laughed and made small talk later with us on...

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Hearing Voices

Hokey smokes! Has it really been a month since I last posted? Apparently this summer has not consisted of much worth musing. Or perhaps I'm just lazy.

At any rate, I was musing something last night. Everybody talks about this thing called the "mind's eye", but I have never heard anyone talk about the "mind's ear". I find this a little odd, because my mind's ear is as well developed as my mind's eye.

I figure my mind's ear contributes to my zealous rejection of bad spelling and punctuation. See, when I read something, I hear a voice in my head reading it out loud. If I happen to know who wrote it, I hear that particular person's voice. If I don't know who wrote it, I hear a gender-neutral generic voice - unless the lettering is obviously male or female. This is the opposite of what happens when someone speaks to me. When someone speaks to me, I see what they're saying written in my mind's eye.

When someone sounds like a decently educated person with understandable enunciation, I see what they are saying written out correctly. If I then see something they write and they write it like this: thx 4 dat - ilu, well, despite the good intent, it's just jarring. It doesn't sound like them, and doesn't look like how I picture them speaking. The voice gets all garbled in my head and it's really distracting. People normally speak with vowels, pronounce their th's, and intend "for" not "4". Though people may say "LOL", I don't usually hear "ILU". I look at what's been written and I can't quite listen to it with the voice of the person who wrote it - and in the case of lack of vowels, it sounds utterly ridiculous. It can get terribly annoying. I know what it's supposed to mean, but I don't hear it that way.

This is also why I always like to know immediately how people spell their names - it not only affects the colour of the name, but it also takes time to reconcile a weird spelling to a normal pronunciation...

I wonder if there's a term for this. Or perhaps it's just me?

“The voices in my head don't like you.” Anonymous

P.S. I made the Dean's list at the uni! :-) Finally something about that place to make me smile!