- The use of the word “literally” out of context. Perhaps I have become super-sensitized to this, but I have noticed that a lot of people use the word “literally” as an extra word in a sentence when it is not justified. It’s almost as if people don’t really know what the word “literally” means or when its use is merited. Every time I hear someone say the word, I replay their sentence in my head and remove the word and see if their sentence makes sense with the word removed. Usually, it does, and that is not a good thing. For example: Someone says, “I literally went to the store.” If you take the word “literally” out of the sentence, is the listener still going to understand that you went to the store, or are they apt to think that you actually mean something else? You see my point? Where the use of the word “literally” actually makes sense is in a sentence such as this: It was literally raining cats and dogs (if cats and dogs were actually falling from the sky). The reason why the use of the word “literally” in this sentence makes sense is because the sentence WITHOUT the word “literally” in it is an idiom — a culturally accepted saying that means something other than its literal meaning. “It was raining cats and dogs,” of course, does not mean it was raining cats and dogs; it means it was raining very hard. If cats and dogs actually start falling from the sky, then the use of the word “literally” in the sentence makes sense. See? I am sure there are plenty of other words that are over-used, and I would bet that I use plenty of them out of context. It just seems to me that the word “literally” has become the overused fad word in recent years, and it is driving me nuts.
- When I post an ad on Craigs List and then people email me and ask, “Is it still available?” What I want to reply to the person is: “Yes, you idiot. Doesn’t the sheer fact that the ad is still accessible indicate that the item I am selling is still available?” But I don’t. I simply reply: “Yes.” Why do people do this? Is it pervasive that other people (not me) who sell things on Craigs List are habitually bad about removing their ads once they have sold something, thus creating a society of people who are predisposed to believe that an ad may still be accessible even though the item is already sold? If so, then obviously sellers need to be a little more timely about removing the ads for their sold items. But I personally believe that a buyer should not presume an active ad is for an item that may already be sold. I think that “Is it still available?” is a stupid question begetting a stupid answer such as “Yes.” Not “Yes, would you like to come see it?” Just “Yes.” I know; I am a terrible salesperson. The smart thing to do would be to continue to engage the potential buyer by inviting their continued interest and encouraging them to come see the thing I am selling. But I am not wired that way. I don’t play ‘hard to get.’ I am more interested in trying to discourage people from stupidity than in selling something, unless I need to put food on the plate.
I am a Buddha. Or am I?
Six years ago, I discovered Buddhism. Five years ago, I started attending a sangha that practiced Thich Nhat Hanh’s style of Zen Buddhism, then a Nichiren Shu temple, then a Soto Zen meditation group that met in a Unitarian Universalist Church. Four years ago, I began a blog called Mindful Living Journal where I wrote about how I as a Buddhist handled the stresses of modern life. Three years ago, unsure of what sect of Buddhism was right for us, my wife and I began creating our own syncretic form of Buddhism combined with Wiccan practices. Two years ago, I struggled just to meditate in our home once a month. One year ago, I stopped meditating and blogging entirely.
Facebook. Google+. Twitter. LinkedIn. Pinterest. There are many others, perhaps many that I have never heard about. There are niche social networks like Yelp, GoodReads and so on.
How much is too much?
Facebook. I like Facebook more as a medium for sharing my own posts than for reading the posts of other people, because nobody ever has anything to say that interests me. They probably think the same thing about me. Nobody comments on my posts, so either they have my posts blocked or else they, too, only use Facebook to post rather than to read. With all of this post-but-don’t-read mentality, people actually know less about their family and friends than they did before Facebook. So how is Facebook useful? Yet I still keep my account open because that’s where 80% of the people closest to me can be found. I have tried deactivating my account several times, but I always come back because I feel out of the loop. Will I ever succeed?
I Like Details. I have been obsessed with details as long as I can remember. That’s why I enjoy being a project manager by profession because I get to organize a multitude of dependent tasks. That’s why I enjoyed being a web developer for years because I could obsess over something as seemingly boring as programming code. That’s why I briefly enjoyed being a manuscript editor. I have unintentionally become a neat freak in the past five years, often obsessing over the cleanliness and organization of things. I am borderline OCD. I am over-organized to the point where it actually makes me disorganized. If you understand what that means, you might enjoy this blog.
Should I capitalize all the words in the title except for the prepositions? Should this entire blog really be a separate blog or should I just put these posts on my regular blog and tag them with words that allow readers to filter my blog posts just by those that pertain to simplifying as a means of stress relief? Should I tag this post with “stress” or “simplicity” or “simplify” or “simplifying” or just “simple” or all of the above? Do tags even matter if it is a separate blog entirely? Are these questions listed in a logical, linear order? Should I rearrange them? Oops, I just did.