Friday, March 18, 2011

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Spin

Several months ago, I read somewhere (I wish I remembered where) that when one prefaces a statement of opinion with a qualifying statement meant to dissuade the listener from developing a poor view of the speaker in light of the opinion about to be uttered, it actually has the opposite effect.

That didn't make sense, so I'll just explain it by example. If you say, "I don't mean to sound like a snob, but really? You shop at JCPenney?" what you are doing is actually preparing the listener to think that you ARE a snob. "I don't mean to be rude, but..." ensures that the listener WILL think that you are being rude.

This idea tumbled around my brain for a few months, and I wondered if it might be used the other way around. Like, "I don't mean to sound humble, but it was really all Susan's idea." Or, "I don't mean to be beautiful, but this dress looks great on me!"

I posed this hypothesis to Shaun. The example he thought of was, "I don't mean to sound like an expert, but...." I thought that was a really good one, i.e. one that doesn't sound completely ridiculous out loud.

Any other plausible examples?

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

There are some kinks to work out of the SMS blog post functionality, it would seem....
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Friday, April 10, 2009

Spring Break

Walking past the Green Line Cafe on 45th and Locust today, I passed by a small group of kids. I would've been wearing sneakers, but I was coming back from a last-minute job interview and lunch in Center City, and was wearing the most formal-looking shoes I could walk in.

Girl #1: She's got Sketchers on.
Girl #2: That's so dumb!
Girl #1: What's so dumb?

But I never did find out.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Awake

Once in a great while I'll have one of those dreams of song and light that help me understand how it is to be full of life and the universe—my eyes wide open, laughter dancing at the back of my throat. And when I wake and feel the last of the sand slipping through the hourglass, I grab for it, desperately hoping that a few grains might stick to my fingertips, to carry that delicious feeling through the day—all the while trying not to scream for something that never happened, for wanting to keep something that isn't real.

I'm awake now. And it's still real.