Thursday, February 9, 2017

I WISH I HAD A NICKEL . . .

  • for every time I hear like misused. The word like is a verb (I like spinach) and it is an adjective (dresses of like design). It can also be a preposition and a noun and an adverb. And--I'm rapidly losing faith in my Webster's Tenth--a conjunctive ("I'm like--give me a break"). It's because of this conjunctive usage that I think of misuse. But, probably, I'm totally wrong. 
  • for every time I hear "you know" injected into a sentence when there is no reason for it to show up--the pronouncement has nothing to do with my knowledge.
[Digression here--I thought we had abolished "you know" and casual uses of "like" back in the 1970s. I distinctly remember signing a petition against them.]
  • for every time I hear "Perfect!" used inappropriately in response to something I've said. Example: "What is your address?" I say, "123 Main Street." Response: "Perfect." Really? Here's Webster's take on perfect: flawless; accurate; expert; pure; total; absolute; certain; sure, et al. Don't see how my address makes it into that realm.
[The above ear-graters, I've realized, grew out of my love affair with books and writing and all things about language. I'm certainly not flawless, expert, or always certain sure about usage, but I respond to the inaccuracies I hear with a wince.]

Now for some other button-pushers:
  • for every time I lose my cool because another driver puts my and his/her life in danger
  • for every unkind thought I have about new neighbors who appear thoughtless or self-centered
  • for every conclusion I've leapt to and later discovered I was out of line
[If I got a nickel for every one of these transgressions, I'd have to run-not-walk and give it all to charity. After all, what if the lure of another nickel caused me to transgress again?]

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Suppose we dig a little deeper. Here are some that might speak to you, as well as to me:
  • for every time I pass by a person who asks for money--the bell-ringers at Christmas time come to mind
  • for every time I don't give money, any amount, to a special appeal
  • for every time I find a reason (or excuse) not to serve on a committee
  • for every time I can't donate time to a good cause
[Coins for these actions would quickly add up also.]

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After thinking about this topic and writing down some of my thoughts, I reread it. And guess what--the "wish I had a nickel" philosophy can easily perpetuate the negative.

Are there, I wondered, any good reasons for collecting nickels, even pretend ones? I think I found a few.

So here's my positive approach: I wish I had a nickel for . . .
  • every time someone called to give me good news
  • every time I got a "thinking of you" message, for no good reason, just because I was  thought of (it could be a card, an email, a letter, or a phone call)
  • every time someone did a little favor for me--a neighbor brought me produce from her garden last summer, another neighbor came over during the worst of our winter weather to ask if I was all right and if I needed anything; a friend offered to go to the store/pharmacy/post office for me if I didn't want to get out in the cold
These virtual nickels, based on the positive approach, are adding up quickly. Who knew I was so blessed?

May you be blessed as well.


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4 comments:

  1. Good one, Judith. I wish I had some nickels, too!

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  2. Mine are all virtual, so they don'the spend anywhere. But I like thinking about them rolling in.... ๐Ÿ˜Š

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  3. Mine are all virtual, so they don'the spend anywhere. But I like thinking about them rolling in.... ๐Ÿ˜Š

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  4. I'm thinking, like, you know, that your blog is perfect! That's my 15 cent donation. xoxo

    ReplyDelete