“You torture yourself over language”

Hola a todos. The title of this article is what I was accused of doing recently by mi amigo/my friend. I was taken aback by the comment, and I thought that the choice of the word “torture” was a bit extreme, to say the least. This came up because he was reading an article and I happened to glance at the screen and I saw, “Washington, D.C.” in the article. That’s the District (of Columbia), where I used to live and that’s another reason why I noticed it. So, just in passing and giving little thought to it, I merely pointed out that the writer of the article was following the — what I consider outdated — AP (Associated Press) style book. Because USPS, the United States Postal Service (our mail service) has been using “DC” without periods for decades. So I asked: When is the AP going to “catch up?” It was a very innocent question/comment. Well, mi amigo didn’t know what I was talking about. So I had to back up and explain to him what the AP style book was — which he had never heard of — which is the guide that the corporate media new sites follow for formatting/writing their articles. I explained that “D.C.” with periods is outdated if one is following the decades-old USPS guidelines which uses no punctuation for state names or for the Federal District (the District of Columbia) which is not a state. According to USPS, the following should be written like this: DC, MD, VA (for District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia as three examples), which one would think the AP would be using. Since 1963, USPS has given the directive to abbreviate the fifty-states with two letters without periods as seen at that link. I wonder how the AP formats their mail? Maybe they’re still using the 1831 guidelines! I explained to mi amigo that from my corporate law firm experience that word processing operators were trained immediately upon being hired to follow the law firm’s Style Book for formatting legal documents/legal briefs per the Court’s requirements. He wasn’t aware of that even though he had heard me talk many times about formatting documents and word processing coding requirements in law firms.

That ended up getting into this lengthy discussion (roll eyes) about how — according to him — I “torture myself over language and words.” He gave some examples, such as, “You don’t like the word ‘America.’” Well, he doesn’t like the word “America” either, by the way. Neither of us do because it’s the name of the entire hemisphere even though most people use the word “America” as the name of the United States of America. He said, “you’re a language person.” That’s true and he’s not, except when something is important to him.

Yes, I’m a language/word person and have attention to detail in language and that comes from my background. Musicians who train in a Conservatory or School of Music are instilled with great attention to detail in the music score, observing every marking in the score per the composer’s wishes and by quickly scanning each page of the score while playing their instrument, looking ahead while playing, and so forth. My attention to detail also comes from my law firm background and from my language studies striving to be as accurate as possible so that I have some credibility.

All of this, just because I made an innocent comment about “D.C.” with periods in the article he was reading.

Then about an hour later, I found it interesting that mi amigo was very disturbed over some language he was reading. Imagine that! It seems that The Orange Man’s insane regime is going to change language and stop using “climate change” and replace it with something else.

So with a hushed tone I leaned over mi amigo — and it gave me some pleasure to do this — and said to him: You really shouldn’t torture yourself over language. You get so worked up over language. It doesn’t matter what they call climate change or anything else. It doesn’t matter that they sanitise it. It doesn’t matter what anybody calls anything any more. But you get so worked up over words. You try to get other people to change their language and we all know at this point that that’s damn futile. I’ve given up on all of that entirely. I use the words I want to use, and say fuck it! I’m tired of trying to change el mundo/the world when that’s not possible, since we’re all about to be blown up any way by this insane man-child bullying lunatic en la casa blanca/in the white house (I’m talking about North Korea for those who haven’t been paying any attention at all). Most people cannot be changed. They are who they are. Some people temporarily change some things, then in a short time they revert right back to what they were doing. That’s just the way that often is.

I just found it interesting that I was accused of “torturing myself” over “D.C.” — over just fucking periods or what mi amigo calls “dots,” (they’re not called “dots;” dots and periods are not the same thing……UGH……….SIGH) — and then later the accuser/mi amigo is “torturing himself” over climate change language. El Hombre Naranja/The Orange Man and his septic and chaotic regime want to stop using the language “climate change” and instead use “extreme weather” in order to sanitise climate change because El Hombre Naranja does not believe in climate change or science. Stupid is in.

Bottom line: I think pretty much everyone has their own “pet peeves,” even when it comes to language and words, no? Words/Language that are important to them, but nobody else gives a fuck about. And when stupid is in, who cares?! Fuck it all. Chau.—el barrio rosa

2 comments on ““You torture yourself over language”

  1. D8

    Interesting personal story.

    I have a long time friend who lives here in SF but lived in the District around the same time you did, sooooooooooooo as far as words go, I’ve gotten pretty used to calling DC “the District” or “DC.” He’s trained me well never to call it “Washington DC” unless as he says you want to sound like a fucking tourist and never with periods in DC. Didn’t know anybody still did that.

    I’m very politically correct as I know you are :-) even though we’re out of fashion now and neither of us care! I have my own list of words and writing styles I like and don’t like.

    Reply
  2. FedUp!

    Interesting story. I have a list of words I don’t like too which I won’t bore you with but you’re not alone. I hadn’t heard the Orange Man wants to gut the term climate change. Not surprised tho. These people live in another world. Someone who’s insane should not be dealing with NK.

    Reply

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