How are *you* feeling today? And can I quote you on that?

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2007/10/30 10:16 -04:00, original URI:

Yet another metablog post -- and this one even has linguistic delusions! 

A good friend warned me the other day that some people might be afraid to talk to me, since they would fear me directly or indirectly quoting them here on my blog.

In honesty I don't know that I have seen as much of that (people who are worried about such things tend to tell me explicitly that "this is not for the blog" before they tell me things if they are worried.

Though I am keeping the issue in mind in case I am wrong (any responsible strategy always allows for the possibility of one's assumptions about the situation being completely wrong!).

With that said, I did see another phenomenon today.

I was scooting by Carolyn Parsons' office and stopped to say hello, and I asked how she was.

She paused for a moment, carefully considering how to answer.

Her eventual response after that pause was completely and utterly awesome:

Somewhere between Michael Vick's dog and Ellen DeGeneres' dog.

I laughed, and immediately asked whether I could quote her on that.

Her reply: "Why do you think it took me a minute to come up with it?"

Now my first thought was about how this was a new spin on the idea of people who were afraid of being quoted -- the people who would (if they are perhaps going to be quoted) rather have it be a clever quote. :-)

This idea may not scale though, ultimately.

In this particular case, Carolyn's response was freaking brilliant, but of course delusional belief in the law of averages help assure us that not every one of them will be.

Could I be building up resentment in the long run with things that I wouldn't choose to blog (either because I forgot or I couldn't think of a hook1, or I just didn't think it was as smart as the other person did, or whatever) and I would tend to fear the whole You Wish factor:

Anyway, back to Carolyn's response (to which the above does not apply!).

It reminded me of the issues behind Star Trek with linguistic pretensions, After all, since I understood both references, it really was a case of a story being told by its story references!

So maybe I need to rethink the theory of that episode. As long as you have people with enough shared stories, perhaps they could speak in metaphor, after all....


1 - Like the recent silent auction our group did for the Giving Campaign. I just couldn't think of a hook. I'm still working on it, though....


This post brought to you by պ (U+057a, a.k.a. ARMENIAN SMALL LETTER PEH)

GC on 30 Oct 2007 5:16 PM:

I like to say "my life is an open book... that's too boring to actually read." - it's why I don't bother to keep a blog or journal. "Oh guess what? I wrote some code today. Wheeee!"

I'm pretty sure I stole that (Mark Twain?) but I've been saying it since early high school.

Michael S. Kaplan on 30 Oct 2007 7:05 PM:

I tell people my life is an open book that ought be burned (at a minimum in effigy!).

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