Saturday, December 17, 2011

Nit-Picking: Who? Me?


As I have mentioned before, at the halfway point of my usual daily walk route to Fry's Supermarket and back, there is a pair of benches upon which one of them I sit for a short time with the other sitters, the store's employees on their cigarette breaks and a random sampling of unemployed drifters, spare-change cadgers, and curiosity seekers (loafers) like me.

At around noon the day before yesterday I was joined on the bench by a pair of strangers, a middle-aged (somewhat grizzled) unemployed truck driver and a 27 year old mentally defective (PTSD) ex-marine. The two engaged me in conversation by asking if I would like to go into the supermarket and buy fifty dollars worth of groceries for half price. They would sell me, on the spot, fifty dollars worth of Food Stamps for $25. Well... I assured them that this is an illegal activity and that I had absolutely no interest in participating in such a transaction.

What followed for the next hour or so was an interesting and informative conversation from which I stored in memory much material for future use in composing fiction stories... Both of the gentlemen assured me that they were devout Christians who had 'found Jesus' after years of living in sin. I am still processing the wealth of information I gained from this encounter.

Oh . . .by the way, a tall skinny black dude acting as middle man made a phone call to a broker who agreed to come and buy the Food Stamps from them for half their face value. The dude charged them the price of a pack of cigarettes for his finder-fee services.

While watching the PBS News Hour I heard, in one of his speeches, President Obama say, "That's unexcusable." I had never heard the word unexcusable before... not that I can remember anyway. I'd always heard it pronounced inexcusable. Wondering which was correct, I hastily researched the two words online and found in several dictionaries:

meaning: incapable of being excused or justified.

and in only one dictionary:

meaning: inexcusable.

Well, that was not completely satisfactory but I felt that searching further would be a waste of time.

Later, while watching a rerun of The Big Bang Theory, I heard something almost impossible to believe, something I never thought I would ever hear; I listened in horror while Sheldon said, "Some of her insights were very unique."

Sheldon would never have made such a mistake, and if he heard someone else do so, he would have objected vociferously and would have instantly launched into a lecture in which he would point out that unique means one of a kind and so is not subject to degree... and that a thing can be either unique or not unique, never partly unique.

If it were not such a bother, I would attempt to inform the show's writers of this glaring error.

But it is . . .

A bother.


Nitpicking is the act of removing nits (the eggs of lice, generally head lice) from the host's hair.


“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.”
--Mark Twain

No comments:

Post a Comment