Beware These Words

I have been plagued by the dichotomy of the “ible/able” words my entire life.  These are the words that, as little kids, we’re told are the GPS to success.  However, by the time we become teenagers, we discover that these words are really a double-edged sword.  And then, as adults we realize that, at times, they’re just out and out lies.  Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way.

Sensible

What it’s supposed to mean — Doing the proper thing.
What it actually means — Staying home and studying for your algebra exam while all your friends are at a party so-o-o epic that they’re still talking about it 20 years later!  The one where some guy took your girlfriend, Monica Peters, home — and a week later she dumped you.

Reasonable

What it’s supposed to mean — Looking at all facets of a problem or situation.
What it actually means — You’re going to get your ass kicked trying to explain to the wannabe biker on the Harley that the horn on your fuel- efficient Ford just gets stuck sometimes.

Capable

What it’s supposed to mean — The ability to perform a number of different tasks or duties.
What it actually means — You’re always given the crap jobs ’cause you’re the only one who knows how to do them.

Dependable

What it’s supposed to mean — A consistency that people can rely on
What it actually means — Guess who’s going to be the designated driver — again?

And finally

Responsible

What it’s supposed to mean — Personally taking care of the things required of you.
What it actually means — The night before the big meeting, you meticulously lay out your wardrobe, review your presentation, gather your notes, your charts, pens, paper, a pointer and another pen — just in case.  You arrive 15 minutes early.  Brenda arrives 10 minutes late, looking like she slept in her clothes.  She borrows your extra pen and some paper and scribbles a few lines while Dexter is rambling on about the “Mission Statement.”  Then, when you hesitate because you don’t want to look too pushy, she lays out the most brilliant proposal anybody in the company (including you) has ever heard — the bitch!

The “ible/able” words let you sleep at night, but they’re not very much fun.

What Did You Say?

English is a wonderful language.  It can be as precise as a surgeon’s scalpel or as broad as a two-handed claymore.  It can describe anything or leave everything to your imagination.  In fact, English is so kickass we can say things without ever actually even saying them!  For example, when your wife/girlfriend says, “Are you going to wear that?” you know she’s really saying, “There is no way in Hell you’re leaving this house dressed like that.”  It’s a beautiful bit of linguistic gymnastics that people use all the time.  Here are a few more examples.  (With translations.)

“Sorry I’m late.”
Translation — I hate these morning meeting, I hate this job and I hate you.  The only reason I even dragged my sorry ass out of bed is I’ve got a car payment and a massive student loan hanging over my head.

“I know I’m only going to be gone for a couple of days, but I’m really going to miss you.”
Translation — Any chance of having sex before I leave?

“No offence …”
Translation — I’m going to offend you.

“… no offence.”
Translation — I’m covering my ass just in case I’ve already offended you.

“I’m vegan.”
Translation — I want to talk about me.

“I don’t judge.”
Translation — What you just told me is totally weird, and it caught me completely off guard.  So, rather than saying something unfortunate and sounding like an insensitive jerk, I’m going to shut up now and hope you change the subject.

“Do you need any help?”
Translation — Please, please, please, please, for the love of God, please – say no.

“Do these jeans make me look fat?”
Translation — I’ve spent all day dealing with perky salesgirls, women’s sizes are works of fiction, nobody has any decent colours and my bra is cutting me in half.  The least you could do is take 5 seconds and tell me I’m sexy.

“It’s really not that bad.”
Translation – Wow!  Are you ever screwed!

“That’s okay: I’m a good listener.”
Translation — This is the longest sob story in history.  Now I know how Mandela felt.

“My children are my whole life.”
Translation — Five minutes!  All I want is five minutes.  I haven’t even gone to the toilet in peace in 2 years.  Five minutes!  Is that too much to ask?

“I’ll remember that.”
Translation — I’m too busy/lazy to write this down, and I’m going to kick myself in a couple of days.

“We’ve put together a pretty solid financial plan that will get us out of debt in a couple of years.”
Translation — The grandparents haven’t died yet.

“Have you lost weight?”
Translation — Call me scum, but I’m so glad you’re fatter than I am.

“I’m a people person.”
Translation — I don’t have any marketable skills.

And finally one of the most common ones:

“We need to get together/do lunch/go for drinks, soon/more often/sometime in the vague future.”
Translation — You and I are connected by circumstances and you seem like a nice person, so let’s play pretend for a few minutes — until we can go back to our real lives.

A Different Dictionary

English is a wonderful language.  It works like a river, flowing along, constantly changing and always finding its own level.  Words appear and disappear.  Definitions change.  Meanings mutate.  And, yet, we all kinda understand each other.  To that end, here are a few definitions that might not appear in any dictionary, but I’m sure you’ll recognize them, all the same.

Tomorrow – A place where all human activity and productivity is stored.

Calories – Nasty little creatures who live in your closet and eat the sizes off your clothes.

Avoidance Behaviour – The somewhat boring stuff we do when we have more important boring stuff to do.

Internet – An essential tool of avoidance behaviour.

Pockets – Those things that fashion designers have been denying women for centuries.

Leftovers – Food that lives in the refrigerator for a while – before you throw it out.

Selfies – Photographs of people who have no friends.

Full-length Mirror – A rather useful item when you have clothes on that turns remarkably evil when you’re naked.

Shower – A place to hold imaginary arguments and sing songs that were popular when you were a teenager.

Bae – A stupid, made-up, millennial word that doesn’t mean anything.

Wikipedia – The arbitrator of all arguments.

Exercise – Sometimes pronounced “extra fries,” depending on your self-esteem that day.

Man Bun – A one-size-fits-all way to look ridiculous.

Junk Food – Stuff that everybody eats but nobody admits it.

4 In The Morning – An elusive place where the truth lives.

Twitter – An alternative reality where miserable people go to be angry.

Family – People who know too much about you to be your friends.

Lottery Tickets – A tax on people who can’t do math.

YouTube – Moving pictures that eat time.

And my favourite:

Vegans – People who announce the menu when nobody’s even thinking about food.