April 21st, 2021


Ponder This

Greg Crosby

By Greg Crosby

Published March 24, 2017

Ever think of this one? Rabbits don't talk. They don't have their own language like many other creatures; they just wiggle their cute little nose and hop around silently. Yes, Bugs Bunny spoke Brooklynese thanks to Mel Blanc but real rabbits have no verbal communication skills whatsoever. Neither do Turtles. Maybe if the tortoise and the hare could speak with each other they wouldn't have had to run that stupid race. Communication is so important.

When did "caregiver" take the place of "caretaker" in popular language? In past decades if someone was so very ill or so very old that they could no longer take care of themselves, it was said that they needed a caretaker. The "caretaker" took care of you. Now the official term has been turned on its head and is called "caregiver." One is give, one is take. I prefer caretaker. I want someone to take care of me. Besides, caregiver sounds somewhat childish. Caretaker sounds serious. If I need care I want it to be serious not childish.

So much of our language has become more juvenile sounding, and I'm not referring to the short cuts used in social media and texting, that's a separate problem altogether. No, I mean the words themselves are changing, and for no apparent reasons. Wellness instead of health. What was wrong with health?

Even as a kid when the term "senior citizen" first came into popular usage I thought it sounded dopey. Why use two words to describe something when you already have one little word that does the trick? Old. There's nothing wrong with the word "old." Most of the time euphemisms just overcomplicate a simple idea or word. If we say senior citizen instead of old person, then why not say "junior citizen" instead of young person? Young and old work just fine for me.

Do you ever notice how people hold their hand up to their ear as if they're holding an old-fashioned telephone when they ask someone to call them, but no one pretends to be steering a car if they ask someone for a ride? Likewise, people point to their wrist when they ask for the time, but they don't point to their crotch when they ask where the bathroom is. Now, why is that?

Names of certain foods totally flummox me. And if you've never been totally flummoxed, you don't know what you're missing. Why are grapefruit called grapefruit when grapes have nothing to do with them? And as far as I can tell, there are no eggs in an eggplant anymore than there are pine or apples in pineapples. Wheaties is a breakfast cereal made of wheat, Rice Crispies is a cereal made of rice, so where are the grapes and nuts in Grapenuts? And if an orange is orange, why isn't a lemon called a yellow and a lime called a green?

There isn't any yes answer to the question, "Are you asleep?" The only answer is no. If you say "yes," then you are lying. The opposite is true for "Are you awake?" The only truthful answer is "Yes." There is no choice of answers in either case. Anyhow, it seems to me the person asking in both cases clearly wants the sleeper to wake up, if so, instead of beating around the bush I wish the questioner would show a little backbone and just yell out, "HEY, GET UP!" Otherwise just let the poor soul sleep.

Once again we have gone through the stupidity of setting our clocks ahead one hour for Daylight Savings Time. The question is, why do we continue to change our clocks twice a year? It's an annoyance that accomplishes nothing expect to disrupt our internal body clock every fall and spring.

We humans are so egotistical that we seem to think that we have the power to alter anything we want in the vast universe. Guess what? We don't. Setting our clocks back and forth doesn't change the physics of universal time and space. Not a bit. We fool ourselves into thinking we have altered time, but we haven't really changed anything except our own little mechanical and digital watches and clocks.

I suggest that we pick one time (at this point I don't care if it's standard or daylight savings) and just stick to it all year Ôround. I've got better things to do than walk around adjusting clocks twice a year. Don't you?