WATER COOLER AND HAPPY HOUR AMMUNITION Bye John Watts

 

water-cooler

Truly, there is nothing like the aforementioned when it comes to information sharing and validation.

While the 6 o’clock news and electronic media may serve is our chief information gathering sources, it is with our peers and co-workers after all, where we really get to test out the information we hear about.

And believe me, I am already feeling the dislocation when it comes to the new dictionary words and terms used so freely nowadays.  Trivial sounding action words involving computer use is proliferating: tweet, retweet texting and sexting all makes me want to go completely off grid.

An old guy like me just stands or sits back with my mouth wide open as I hear to adjectives and nouns to describe something that sounds quite new and clever.  And thanks to all the pharmaceutical advertisements on TV, the bane of our existence now, we have access to using medical terms like OPIODES and BIOLOGICS while acting like we ALWAYS knew what they meant all along.  We can all play doctor and watch actors playing real people like us going about the business of fishing, sailing, gardening and of course bowling.  Plus we love the cartoon characters that help us understand better.

And though the hurried inclusion of side effects kind of seems unsettling on those same ads, like “stroke” and “sudden death” (not a football term sadly) we are comforted by the happy lifestyle of the actor portrayals and feel better.

New terms are everywhere.  We have SO many weather channels on TV that we can feel like meteorologists ourselves.  We just need the official certificate mailed to us like we were in some kind of correspondence school.  Instead of tornado we can say “TORNADIC ACTIVITY” and seem that much more on top of things.  We analyze our Doppler Radars very critically and wonder if the meteorologists tie or skirt matches its colors properly.

Thanks to all these sources, we can stride confidently into a happy hour or water cooler hangout and do SO much more than just talk about the weather.

After all, we have enough meteorology training to be DANGEROUS!

How about the recently approved 2015 words added to the dictionary?

New lethal words like the noun ELIMINATIONIST; which means the belief that one’s political opponent should be removed for the good of the larger body politic, is a rather chilling example that speaks to the degree of polarization and intolerance going on in today’s society.

But just like Plato’s analogy of the cave in interpreting the world around us, we need each other’s clumsiness and cluelessness in order to, if not make SENSE of what is happening, at least take heart in the knowledge that we are no more helpless than the guy next to us.

Because ultimately we need to hear of some STANDARD.  Some irrefutable assessment so we can announce “THEY say” in order to be better informed for making a decision and to keep people listening to us.  Consequently, hearing what J.D. Power says sounds mighty IMPORTANT due to the heavy rotation of hearing the term.  It MUST be good right?

Or taking heart from the Lipper Average.  I don’t have a clue what any of this is all about.  And no doubt it will come back to haunt me when I am retired and looking for help and direction from the government.  But just hearing some statistic from the Lipper Average makes everyone stand up and take notice.

The company in question now looks completely legitimate!

So let’s go out there and meet our peers and co-workers with renewed confidence.  The quality of the chit chat may not get any more substantive, but at least we might better recognize that ALL of us are con artists to one degree or another.  The more we cite the more insightful we appear.

Just remember–we all have the ability to act like EXPERTS now thanks to all the instant media at our fingertips.  We can counter the biggest blow-hard monopolizing the conversation by foisting some of these new-fangled terms along with a few designated “THEY SAY” sources for good measure.

Where else is all that useless information that we glean from TV and the internet going to go anyway?

 

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About John Watts

I like to write transcendental community based essays and stories along with photo journalism pieces.
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