Tuesday, April 5, 2011

An important update...well, not really important...but an update nonetheless.

* The Bronx Zoo Snake is back in her pen. I'm kind of sorry to see her captured. I enjoyed reading about her escapades on the mean streets of New York City.

* Charlie Sheen continues to be crazy as a bed bug. Heck, I figure I'm twice as nuts as he is. How come nobody pays me $2.5 million to show up at work each week, screech like a loon, trash the place and get stoned?

* In 1986 we bombed Libya. This past week we started bombing it again. I am beginning to see a pattern here: We bomb Libya every 25 years. I wonder if I'll be around in 2036 to see if my theory is correct?

* My father has had four wives. I'm the luckiest person in the world: I'm the only living woman who is protected by the law from ever becoming his wife.

* I've spent three years and a bunch of money so I can say, "Si vous alliez chante une chanson, je serais chante avec vous" when all I really wanted to learn was how to order a chicken sandwich in French.

* The swallows returned to Capistrano. The buzzards returned to Hinckley, Ohio. Alvin the Chipmunk returned to my Mom's yard in Caledon, Ontario. I'm standing in the mirror, naked, and wondering if I can lose 20 pounds and 20 years by June. Spring has officially arrived.

* This morning, Jan sent out our April newsletter and you'll find lots of fantastic new yarns and patterns in it. I really chuckled when I saw this photo of the baby. I thought, "I wonder what that baby is thinking?"

Then I wondered if babies really think. I mean, we need words to think, don't we? What if we don't have words? How do our thoughts manifest themselves?

This is a discussion I keep raising with our French teacher. There are certain tenses in French that aren't in English. And tenses in English that aren't in French. Now, wouldn't this mean that there are certain concepts each of these groups are incapable of having?

Language has to have a tremendous impact on how we think. The more words we have for a certain thing, the more specific we can be about it -- like the Eskimoes and all their words for snow. (Or, to be PC, Inuit.)

The fewer words, the less definitive we can be. I've always found it interesting that most of the English synonyms for "free" are words that start with "un" or "non." In other words, free is the absence of something else, whether it be regulations, oppression, or restrictions.

Ayn Rand toyed with this idea in her book, Anthem. She wrote of a society in which use of the word "I" wasn't permitted. It's an interesting concept. Reminds me of working for Morris Saffer, the advertising genius who ran a very successful agency in Toronto in the 1970s.

We didn't use the word "I" when presenting ads to our clients. We used the word "we" to support the belief that Morris was the creative genius behind every campaign we developed. It was brilliant...albeit just a tad Machiavellian. We felt honored to be part of the brand identity that was Morris Saffer himself.

Unfortunately, I was young and impressionable at the time so I have spent the rest of my career using the word "we" when what I really mean is "I." People often look at me askance, wondering if I really think I'm plural.

You know, Saffer Advertising is still out there somewhere and I've got a lot on my plate right now. Maybe I ought to send Morris a good chunk of my work so my "we" can really -- finally -- be "us."


Sara said...

This was very entertaining! Loved it! I laughed so hard at "I'm the only woman who is protected by law from ever becoming his wife." BWAH! I've not come up with a humorous way to say, "I survived 5 divorces before I was 18." lol

The "we" thing is genius. I prefer it. :) I just never knew who made it the standard in marketing.

Deborah Knight said...

Sara, you and I have had very similar experiences, I see.

I remember sitting across from a psychologist several years ago. He approached a very delicate subject...asking me in oh, so delicate tones, "Did your father ever make advances toward you?"

I thought about for a second, shrugged and shook my head.

"Nah..." I told him. "I'm not his type. My Dad likes bigger boobs."

The guy almost fell right out of his chair.

Congratulations on having survived!