Tara and I were recently in Sears shopping for a new washing machine. I couldn’t help but chuckle over the silliness of calling a machine that washes clothes a “washing machine.” The name’s much too literal. We don’t call a car a “driving machine” or a refrigerator a “keeping food cold machine.” And why isn’t a dryer called a “drying machine”? You can’t have one without the other, unless you’re really into clotheslines. I suppose washing machines are sometimes called washers…but is that name any better? Whoever came up with appliance names was definitely lacking an originality gene. All they did was took a verb and turned it into a noun. Toasters toast, fryers fry, and blenders blend. Grills grill. Washers wash and dryers dry. At least ovens don’t “oven” and they are not called “cooking food machines.”
Tell me I’m not the only one who ponders this stuff…
Speaking of language, you know what else I hate? When you’re having a conversation, and you’ll make a statement – like “it’s warm outside,” for instance – and the person says in response, “I hear you.”
Well, duh. I know you hear me. I’m not whispering or conversing in sign language.
Or, worse still, when they say, “I feel you.”
Keep your hands to yourself, pervert! You’d better not be touching me when we’re talking about the weather. That’s just weird. “I feel your pain” is similar, and just as weird…not to mention impossible. You cannot physically feel another person’s pain, unless that person is shot by a bullet which then ricochets and hits you next. So unless we’ve both just been shot by the same bullet, you can’t possibly feel my pain. Just say “I sympathize” and walk away.
How about when somebody begins a sentence with “No offense, but…”? You know once that comes out of their mouth, they are either going to go ahead and offend you anyway, or they’ll think what they are about to say will be construed as offensive, which makes the statement more offensive than it would have been had they left off the whole “no offense” part in the first place. It’s like if somebody said to me, “No offense, but Polish people make lousy lovers.” By adding that disclaimer, you are suggesting I am either crappy in bed, or Polish. Or both. And I find that offensive! (I am Polish, though. But that’s a moot point).
Isn’t language a funny, funny thing?
So, Valentine’s Day came and went, and it was a pretty good day. It strikes me as funny how adamantly some people will claim to despise the holiday. Yesterday on Facebook a friend posted, “Happy unimaginative, consumerist-oriented and entirely arbitrary, manipulative and shallow interpretation of romance day.” Funny how the only people who post things like that are single. A few years ago, this same person was all gung-ho over Valentine’s Day. I know because I was there. And I get it, you’re alone, your relationships haven’t worked out, and that makes you bitter and cynical and jaded. I used to be the same way myself! I complained about how much I hated the “fake holiday invented by greeting card companies.” But, guess what? I was single! Turns out if you’re in a relationship with somebody who makes you happy, then you kinda look forward to V-Day. Or at least, I do. Sure, we don’t need to set aside a special day to celebrate our love…but we also don’t have to devote one day to giving thanks, and another to celebrating our mothers. We do those things anyway, and nobody ever says “I hate Thanksgiving! It’s a fake holiday created by turkey farmers.” (Although, I suppose if turkeys could talk they would say that). I just wish people would lighten up.
Tara posted on Facebook yesterday, This Valentine’s morning consists of laughing in bed, singing in the shower, listening to 70’s AM Gold, and sharing the bathroom sink. Fortunately, it’s like this most days. I love that post, because it’s true. Pick any random day of the year, and chances are, that’s how our day begins. We just have so much damn fun together, all the time. I look back over fourteen years of marriage, and am hard pressed to remember a single morning that started out that way. It’s amazing just how “right” right can be! Right?