What Words to Use?

This question recently plagued me when I reviewed in my head a conversation I had with Ben.

‘Daddy, what’s that?’

‘It’s a chimera.’

‘Oh.’

‘Do you know what a chimera is?’

‘No.’

‘Can you say chimera?’

‘Camira.’

‘Close enough, a chimera is an amalgam of two or more creatures.’

‘Oh. Why?’

‘Well sometimes you have to represent more than one facet. Do you know what amalgam is?’

‘No.’

‘It is a mix.’

‘Is it a mix creature?’

‘Yes.’

So part of my dilemma was should I have used the word mix creature to start with. But a small conversation with myself later and I realised a couple of things:

1. I was using terminology that he will benefit from knowing and understanding.

2. We drilled down to a meaningful state for him, which is deductive steps, another useful skill.

3. He created the term mix creature, I referred to the amalgam as a mix not the chimera.

So the word usage broadened a range of skills, and basically I worry too much and over-analyse everything. Still, advanced stuff mix creatures for a child under four.

Oops!

You know that time when you’re driving, and two people driving different cars are being stupid at a junction and you say out loud what’s in your head. For me it was the phrase, ‘make a decision you pair of dozy arseholes’ and then a small voice behind me said ‘daddy, what are dozy harse hools?’

Yeah, that. Forgot that everyone else was in the car with me while in busy traffic.

Oops.

Just words…

<rant>

Random Tweet “…the police broke the arm of a man in a wheelchair who was protesting disability cuts…”*

So this annoyed me, for no real reason it seemed except the language colours it.

What does it matter that he was in a wheelchair?
What does it matter if he was male?

The words colour the sentence, it is wrong that the police injured any person, irrespective of age, gender, or perceived ability.

But if we said “…the police broke the arm of a girl with Down’s Syndrome…” it would massively colour how we react.

Is that in itself an issue?

Surely the main point of this is that it is wrong for the police to use heavy tactics on anyone?

Why should we feel less concerned by “…the police broke the arm of a male wrester who was protesting tha lack of Giant Haystacks memorials…” than we do to the original sentence?

So I guess I would be happier if the language was neutral, “the police broke the arm of a person protesting…” If then I was able to read further and discover gender, age and ability it may make the knee-jerk reactions less prominent and allow me to be more rational about the larger issue.

I am not saying that we shouldn’t protect the vulnerable, just that emotive arguments often lessen the point. The police should not be empowered to use great force on anyone exercising their right to protest anything they see as an injustice, whether it is disability cuts or Giant Haystack memorials.

</rant>

* Note that this isn’t a rant against the commentator, or even a judgement on their writing skills, it is all about me and how I oft times react.

Beat’-en Track

a sort-of beat poem

Slung out and sleep deprived,
We thrive,
On black gold brewed
by a child with a smile.

Corporate America we’re drifting through
like atoms without cause
or meaning to
reach some destination,
of no relation.

A pair of people,
who care,
prepare the location,
somewhere,
that we’re drifting toward,
assured,
that we travel closer.

Home and hearts entwined,
with sense unwind
the road we travel on,
too long gone,
But not as one.