Wednesday, September 15, 2010

"Normal" People

"The only normal people are the ones you don't know very well." - Joe Ancis
While Joe Ancis may not be the smartest guy around, he certainly does make for an interesting topic of conversation.  Not only has he given plenty of ammunition for a conversation that pokes fun at him (e.g. tax problems), but he also provides us with a gem of a quote like the one above.

It could be that it was said in a normal conversation with somewhat of a joking tone.  It is a little funny when you first hear or read it.  I can see myself sitting around joking with friends about all of the things that make us “weird” after reading this. Truthfully, when you know someone well, you’re likely to know some of their quirks that would set them apart as someone who is not necessarily the public idea of a normal person.

In reality, every single one of us has some sort of trait or oddity that makes us who we are.  This is what gives us our individuality.  When you pass people on the street, they may appear to be normal but what does “normal” really mean?  Unbeknownst to strangers around them, even serial killers may appear to be a normal member of society as they go about their day to day activities.  Your neighbor could appear to be a classic American soccer mom with 2.5 kids, the dog, and the minivan, but she may be an alcoholic behind closed doors.  I’d venture to say that neither of these examples are “normal” people but in a way, they are.  Ancis’ quote basically states that we all have things that make us different, but doesn’t that make us all normal?  Is there really anyone out there who has no distinguishing traits, behaviors, or secrets? 

I’ll go out on a limb and say that even Joe Ancis is normal.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Bad grammar/spelling = Good advertising?

In class the other day we discussed Apple's advertising slogan "Think Different."  I guess it is plausible that Apple intended for the word "different" to be used as a noun which would make it acceptable. To me, it just grates on my nerves because I cannot read/see/hear it without thinking to myself that the word *should* be "differentLY." 

It is bad enough when a company misspells a word on an advertisement or use the wrong "there," "they're," or "their."  Why do national chains have to take that extra step and purposefully use the wrong spelling of a word?  For example, Chick-Fil-A is famous for billboards featuring the trademark cows painting misspelled words.  When and why did this become a good advertisement?  I can imagine that years ago, if a company attempted an advertising campaign like this, the signs would be laughed at and nobody would take them seriously enough to purchase from that company.  Now, it is perfectly acceptable to let these companies plaster misspelled words all over the place where even children learning to read can see them. 

I may not always use impeccable grammar but if I were going to create an advertisement that would be viewed nationwide, I would consult an editor or someone of the like in order to proofread anything I may have written. 
It seems to me that these billboards are just another sign of the times and of us "dumbing down" our children. 
It goes hand in hand with the language kids (and sadly enough, even some adults) use in text messaging or comments on Facebook.  I don't consider myself a grammar expert but I certainly don't see it as a waste of time to capitalize "I" or to write out the full word "and" instead of "n."  Is an extra five seconds really too much time for you(general) to use when you're typing something? 
I think it's time that it becomes the *cool* thing for kids to use correct grammar and punctuation.  It just becomes so much more enjoyable to have an electronic conversation when you don't have to spend 10 minutes deciphering what it is the other person is saying.  I spend time debating online with other members of a "hot topic" debate board and if I come across a post with awful "text speak" or something, I cannot even take them seriously which leads me to just skip over the entire thread. 

I cannot even imagine what the technology will be like in 10+ years when my kids become teenagers but I can assure you that if they are texting or IMing or chatting on the computer, I will hounding them to use correct English whenever possible.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

"Oh, wow?"

While waiting in the Biology building for my Archaeological Science lecture class the other day, I was casually talking with another girl there waiting in the hallway. We were discussing why everyone had chosen this class and the general answer from most was something along the lines of, "I heard it was easy," or "It's what fit into my schedule." Harmless enough. Then, this girl says to me, "I just wanted to get my sciences over with. I mean, I don't want to be, like, *a junior* and still needing to take a science. ::Deep breaths on my part:: I *am* a junior. Realistically, I'd be a senior if I had my status changed after my last transcripts were received by UNT. While I realize I may not have made the conventional choices when it comes to college, I know it won't matter in the end when I get my degree. So, moving on... I mention to her that I actually am a junior and that I still had a couple of "core" classes left but I wasn't able to get into chemistry which I took the first semester of years ago. In response, she asks me "How old are you?" to which I answer, "24." "Oh, wow!" she says. Not just your typical "oh, wow," but an eyes-opened-widely, shock apparent kind-of "oh, wow." She is 20. Who am I to explain to her that in just four short years she, too, will be 24. And when the hell did 24 become old? I knew that in my "core" courses, I'd be surrounded by mostly 18-20 year-olds but I really didn't think that anyone would think of me as an “older” student. Apparently, I was mistaken in my thinking that I’d fit right in. Oh well, in *my* world, I fit in just fine. On the upside, I’m legally able to drink a glass of wine while I do my blogging. Take that 20 year-old girl.