Monday, June 1, 2009

random thoughts from a cluttered mind....

-- I've been thinking about names lately, particularly as they relate to assumptions that turn out to be false.

1) I recently met someone who has the most Irish name in the world and yet clearly is Laotian or Thai. To see her nameplate on the door and then see her walk out of her office was a surprise. :-)

2) I once had a student named Bradley Richter. One would expect, especially having been in Milwaukee, a nice, blue-eyed, blond-haired German boy. As I was looking over my class list before the first day, I wondered if he were related to another former student of mine with the same last name (who was indeed blond, blue-eyed, etc).

Bradley Richter turned out to be an absolutely flamboyantly gay Asian nerdboy.

Life is like a box of chocolates, as Forrest's mama said: Never know what you're gonna get. Good to keep that in mind.

-- Is there a group of people on this earth who have bigger egos than MDs with Napoleon complexes?

I gotta cut this guy some slack, because for one, he saw me for free, and for two, when I told him I had the one clotting disorder no one's ever heard of and gave him the name, he said, "Really? Everybody's heard of that!" Which, I assure you, is news to me and my fellow APSers. But boy, give a short guy (I am 5'4" and he was shorter than me) an advanced education and you have the perfect recipe for smug.

-- Weirdness: A freight train -- not an El or a light rail car, but a freight train -- running on tracks that cut across a major downtown artery.

-- Tics, verbal or written: Every frigging time I edit one, I remember an associate pastor we had at St. Blaise (which no longer exists, sadly). Fr. Rich was an OK homilist, but by the time you'd heard a few, you could write them because they were so formulaic. I will never forget the line that signaled his impending conclusion: "Maybe that's the challenge for us today."

I deal with one writer who quotes the same effing Leonard Cohen line every effing chance she gets, and am tempted to send her a "best of" CD so she has exposure to more of his stuff. I have one who ends every other sentence with a question mark instead of a period. And I'm on an apparently futile mission to end the world of the construction "it was, well, irrelevant." UGH.

I wonder how people get on these kicks. I just haven't figured out a way to get them off them.

-- I wonder too, as long as I'm ranting about language, how people who haven't heard English before and don't understand it think it sounds. I mean, face it, German is an ugly language to hear and a difficult one to write, since they're prone to stringing 5 nouns together to make one word. But in the "broke and uninsured" medical clinic the Mayo Clinic runs, and where I was tonight, Spanish was pedestrian. Hmong I'm used to, living where I do. And then there were two African folks whose language I could not begin to figure out. But it sounded really weird to my foreign ears. (I dug the Eddie Murphy, "Coming to America" dress of the guy, though -- complete with cream-colored, faux-alligator shoes. Stylin'. :-)

Lest anyone jump my shit for being un-PC, all I'm saying is that's one interesting waiting room to be stuck in for 2 to 4 hours every few weeks.

-- And, to complete the language-bitching trifecta on an amusing-slash-kinda-depressing note, herewith the note at the top of my patient information leaflet for one of my meds:

Take one tablet on the first day and take one and one-half tablets on the second day alternating in this mannor

Mayo Clinic, folks. Let's give 'em a hand for demonstrating that English is irretrievably in the toilet (or at least proofreading is).
Now playing: Billy Bragg - At My Window Sad and Lonely
via FoxyTunes

1 comment:

Engineering Goddess said...

I am almost to the point myself where I am about to stop correcting everyone's spelling and grammar - and I am an engineer for chrissake!!