Some days I hate my face…
Time to lay off the cheese and get my chin back!
Just a couple of things to share with you today – an overheard argument and a random thought I had this morning… let’s start with the thought.
This morning, as every morning, I woke up to the Chris Moyles breakfast show – the only thing boisterous enough to rouse me from my slumber! They were talking about flirtations via twitter. Chris, in his usual laddish way, was trying to chat up some nubile young slip of a thing (I’m pretty sure he’s harmless really, but he does play up to the role!) within the 140 character limit. But first he had to establish contact. And the chat centred around what he should say.
This conversation touched on so many nuances of meaning in our language, all in the space of an every day conversation. Suggestions included How you doin?, which was disregarded as too 90s despite being “international”, Ciao Bella, disregarded as Chris couldn’t spell ciao, and Yo baby!, dropped as just that little too clean! Hello was dropped as too formal a greeting and Hi as too dull, in favour of Hey, which was deemed more conversational. And an effective term of endearment proved a real problem. A listener texted in suggesting that babz (pronounced babes) would be best, but Chris was worried the recipient would simply think he’d got her name wrong, and Dave felt sure that it was spelled babez anyway… With some input from Producer Rachel it was decided that, while hey babe was too personal, hey babes was fine as an opening line. How you doin? was replaced with how r u? which, it was felt, the recipient would respond to better. It really got me thinking about how technology has revolutionised the way we think about our use of language: we no longer just have to consider the proper use of grammar or spelling, but the appropriate level of abbreviation and form. Far from disregarding the importance of language, we’re actually more aware of audience and nuance than ever before!
(You can hear the conversation in its entirety through the listen again feature for Tuesday’s show or on BBC iPlayer – the main part starts about 28 minutes in and culminates after the 7am news bulletin)
The second thing I want to share was an overheard conversation. It was FREEZING out tonight. As I rounded the corner to get to the bus stop I noticed the huge crowd of people. On the plus side this told me I hadn’t missed the bus, and wouldn’t have to wait long for one to arrive. On the down side, this meant I was unlikely to get a seat… which bothers me a lot less now I sit at a desk all day again! When the bus arrived we all huddled toward the door, dying to get in out of the cold. And two teenage girls cut around from the back of the huddle and physically barged the elderly woman in front of me out of the way. One bought two half singles, while the other ran to the back of the bus to save their seats.
Kudos to the woman, having been nigh on knocked off her feet, she boarded the bus and marched right up to the girls.
“That was incredibly rude,” she chastised, “Didn’t your mother teach you to queue? What makes you think you’ve the right to push to the front?”
The girls were shocked to be challenged, but one quickly put her Vicky Pollard face on and stared the woman down.
“We wouldn’t’ got a seat otherwise.”
I can see the logic in that statement. They wouldn’t have got a seat – I certainly didn’t! But that’s not really the point. The statement of fact doesn’t cancel out the lack of regard for societal rules of behaviour. That said, I got the distinct impression that these girls wouldn’t have understood that side of it. For them, there was a logical, factual argument that supported their actions. They weren’t capable of placing the event in context and considering their effect on those around them – they simply weren’t aware of anyone’s needs but their own. And in fairness, I should probably give them credit for being able to formulate a logical defense…
Putting flippancy aside, for a moment, this whole event got me thinking (again) about the Facebook Bra-Gate as I blogged yesterday. In posting my update without considering the effect on those directly affected by the disease, was I acting in the same, thoughtless way these girls were? I’m loathe to admit it, but in many ways I think I was.