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Month: June 2017

If You Will and Other Annoying Phrases

“If you will”, is one of the most annoying phrases on the planet.

It seems I hear or read the phrase almost daily. What does it mean?

Maybe you are half-heartedly offering an opinion that you are not entirely comfortable with.
Are you asking your listener to endorse the ambiguity of your remark?
Perhaps you attempting to impress someone.

The term is overused and pretentious. What would happen if I responded, “I will not”?

“Beg to differ” is downright spineless.

Don’t beg. Disagree or have a fist fight, but don’t beg. My personal view is people who use this phrase are being condescending and don’t give a hoot about your sensibilities. I think a knock upside their noggin might be in order.

I don’t understand the phrase “thinking outside the box.”

My thoughts don’t live in a box. Most of the time they are all over the place. It would be more efficient if they were filed away in a box, ready to spring into action when I need them. When asked for a creative solution or a different approach, the thought would hop out of the box, ready for action.

I’ve been asked to add “my bad.”

This clunker originated around 1970. It’s in the same category as “totally” and “like”. Women over six years of age should never use these words as adjectives. If you want to label yourself as lacking ability in any endeavor other than chewing gum, feel free to continue usage.

I believed “awesome” indicated something original and exciting.

Just as I’m all set to hear about something unique, most of the time “awesome” describes events, objects or actions that are not. Dark chocolate is awesome. Most of the other stuff to which “awesome” is attributed is not.

What the heck does it mean when someone has “issues?”

Are they ill? Do they have a phobia of some sort? I never know what I am supposed to do or say after being warned a person has “issues”.

I’m going to totally like retreat, if you will until I get my adjective issues under control.

If you beg to differ, feel free to leave a comment.

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Note: Originally posted July 4, 2011

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Inflammatory Political Rhetoric or Voice?

The nation’s lawmakers refuse to assume responsibility for the wave of violence in our country citing inflammatory political rhetoric.

Is it political rhetoric that causes violence or is it the feeling of hopelessness from the daily pounding of an agenda that creates fear and uncertainty.

NRA recently stated they were concerned that political rhetoric from the left could incite unstable people to commit violence. (Tongue in cheek side note: wouldn’t that include their members?)

Webster states rhetoric is “the study of writing or speaking as a means of communication or persuasion.”

Rhetoric provides citizens with the means to oppose conditions they believe are unjust.

Our country has a long history of citizens voicing their opposition to political issues. America’s freedom from Great Britain sprang from the political rhetoric of Thomas Paine.

When there is a glaring omission of equality, voice becomes the weapon of choice. Harriet Beecher Stowe’s rhetoric gave a voice to the anti-slavery cause.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s rhetoric strategies were effective in uniting women against society’s discrimination.

More recently, hundreds of women marched January 21 to call for a revolution against Trump’s new administration and policies they fear will roll back women’s rights.

What is the standard for inflammatory rhetoric and when does it cross the line into militant or combative?

Donald Trump won the 2016 election with inaccurate, combative rhetoric.

His behavior at public speaking events sent a message the lines between rhetoric and combative action are blurred. Why should anyone be surprised at our current state of affairs?

 

 

 

 

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Voices From the Past On Violence

This week I have no words.

I am posting the words of others.

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“Even today we raise our hand against our brother… We have perfected our weapons, our conscience has fallen asleep, and we have sharpened our ideas to justify ourselves as if it were normal we continue to sow destruction, pain, death. Violence and war lead only to death.”

Pope Francis

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“The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral,
begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy.
Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.
Through violence, you may murder the liar,
but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth.
Through violence, you may murder the hater,
but you do not murder hate.
In fact, violence merely increases hate.
So it goes.
Returning violence for violence multiplies violence,
adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness:
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?”

Eleanor Roosevelt

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“Use truth as your anvil, nonviolence as your hammer and anything that does not stand the test when it is brought to the anvil of truth and hammered with nonviolence, reject it.”

Mahatma Gandhi

 

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The Best Revenge is Outliving Preconceptions

Preconceptions have changed and for the better.

Back in the day, gray hair was a killer in corporate America. Many women colored their hair, in a fruitless effort to stave off the ravages of father time. Unless you were going to do something about your chicken neck and jowls, hair color made no difference. I thumbed my nose, refused to color my hair and shot myself in the foot.

Fast forward to 2017 – I was treated like a rock star at the hairdressers the other day and I owe it to my hair color. Be-pierced, be-tattooed,  platinum-haired, not old enough to vote, stylist gathered around my station in amazement of my hair color. They all want white hair.

Change is good.

Here’s what I wrote in August 2010 about gray hair

Last week while I was waiting for my hair appointment a patron sitting next to me asked me how long my hair had been gray. I assumed her multicolored ‘do was an indication she wanted to be free of the coloring regimen. She asked me why I kept my grays and I thought “Why not?”, but restrained myself and responded with a generic non-answer.

She was dressed in corporate business attire, and I wondered if she was in a quandary about hair color as it related to corporate culture and career paths. My impression was way off target; she asked if my husband approved of my gray hair.

I struggled to find a politically correct response. Before I could reply, the stylist beckoned the woman, saving me from myself. Had I missed a new social revolution? It never occurred to me to ask my husband if he approved of my gray hair. Aside from the fact, the man can’t match shirts and ties; no way would I consult him about something as important as hair color.

There is a larger issue here. If this woman has to consider spousal approval for hair color, I hope she is not a CFO of a large corporation. I hope she is not an underwriter for a mortgage lender. I hope she is not a human resources manager. I hope she does not have children who depend on her for important decisions when her spouse is unavailable.

It is inconceivable to me that today, in 2010; a woman would not feel comfortable enough in her own skin to figure out what she likes about her appearance and go forward. I hope our appointment times never coincide again but if they should, I’ll be prepared with gender specific answers that eliminate gray areas.

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Is Trump the Inner Soul of the People?

If Trump represents the inner soul of the people, America, we are in need of an emergency intervention.

“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”—Henry Louis Mencken (1920)

Some folks don’t like Mencken. Regardless of how you feel about the man he nailed this one ninety-seven years ago. I hate to call anyone a moron, but it is the only adjective that comes anywhere near to describing the mental capacity and humanity of Trump.

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Mary Margaret’s thoughts

Mary Margaret
Mary Margaret

 

 

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