What Common, Everyday Occurrence Do You Find Strange?

carole

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Aug 1, 2001
Messages
2,309
Likes
51
Points
79
#31
For an interesting discussion of swearing I recommend 'Your Mother's Tongue' by Stephen Burgen.

Here's the Amazon blurb about it.

"After centuries of war we Europeans are trying to get along together, but we keep treading on each other's toes. Tread on an English toe and you might get a 'Bloody hell!', or on an Italian's and you'll hear 'Cazzo!' (Prick!), a Spaniard's and you'll get 'Hostia!' (Sacred host!). And while a German will bluntly shout 'Scheisse!' (Shit!), a startled Portuguese might say 'Puta que pariu!' (The whore that bore you!). In this tour of anger, exasperation, prejudice, irony and loathing as expressed in some twenty European tongues, we learn that what is invective in one country is sweet talk in another."

I think it's in Greece if you say 'Your Mother' it's regarded as the greatest insult.

Carole
 

intaglio

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Oct 14, 2001
Messages
1,592
Likes
19
Points
69
#32
Cooking

Badly done - nausiating :blah:

Everyday style - fills the stomach :eek:

Special event at home - pleasant, enjoyable, stimulating :)

Good Restaurant - much as above but worthy of more comment :D

Top Notch Chef - one step removed from heaven, not talking and small portions are enough. :spinning
 

beakboo1

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Sep 20, 2001
Messages
2,312
Likes
28
Points
69
#33
Sport. What's that all about? Especially football. I can understand maybe someone wanting to play it, I can almost understand someone wanting to watch people they know playing it. But why would you want to watch a team you didn't know? And why the allegiance to a team when the individual players are changing all the time? If you admire a particular player, fair enough, but for some reason he's no longer admirable when he gets transferred?
and the wierdest thing of all, is when I hear football fans on Monday morning talking about how well "they" played. They didn't bloody play!
:confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused:
 

carole

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Aug 1, 2001
Messages
2,309
Likes
51
Points
79
#34
Even more of a mystery, Beakboo, is why anyone would want to watch golf on TV, when you can't even see the bloody ball . . .

Carole
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#35
lol at last someone who thinks the same. I find it strange that almost everyone I know supports Manchester United when I live in Cardiff.
 

gyrtrash

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Dec 27, 2001
Messages
1,142
Likes
24
Points
69
#36
pooter said:
Regarding language, I find it neato to take a common word and repeat it over and over again (hopefully, when no one is listening....) after few times, the word loses meaning and I only hear the phonetics and the sounds. It turns into a vocalization that carries explicit meaning into basically nonsense noises. The word "gesture" is pretty good to try it with. :)
This is a weird phenomena...I noticed it when in my early 'teens.
Words seem to become without meaning...
Try it!...

...and, Lips of a moose, how do you know you see the colour blue the same as I do?

...and why, if I ever trip or fall in an unbelievabley spectacular and ridiculous manner, is there always a goddess-like woman there to witness said event?!:D
 

The late Pete Younger

Venerable and Missed
Joined
Jul 31, 2001
Messages
5,891
Likes
130
Points
129
#37
Originally posted by beakboo

and the wierdest thing of all, is when I hear football fans on Monday morning talking about how well "they" played. They didn't bloody play!
:confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused:


But we did b, in spirit, you have to try to get into the mind of a man.....or maybe not, you'd only try to clean the place up.
 

intaglio

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Oct 14, 2001
Messages
1,592
Likes
19
Points
69
#38
As a man I have never *understood* football. Sure there is a deal of skill, occaissional excitement - so?

You want strength, skill, speed, heroism it's got to be Rugby League which I enjoy far more than football.

Perhaps my problem is that I prefer doing to watching and I was never any good at ball games. It was a revelation when I found fencing.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#39
1. As a child of 4 at a children's sports day, I was given a spoon and a china egg and told to run to a rope.

" What for?" said I. "To win" I was told. "What for?" said I, "Can I not lie on the grass and look at the sky instead?"

Out of the mouths................


2. Fishing. It's OK by me to catch fish to eat, but to sit all day on a river bank under a leaden sky in a competition - only to throw the fish back in the water - now that IS weird!!

H. :confused:
 

beakboo1

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Sep 20, 2001
Messages
2,312
Likes
28
Points
69
#40
p.younger said:
you have to try to get into the mind of a man.....or maybe not, you'd only try to clean the place up.
You obviously haven't seen my house, Pete:eek!!!!:
 

FelixAntonius

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Aug 8, 2001
Messages
1,132
Likes
102
Points
94
#41
Originally posted by beakboo
[Band the wierdest thing of all, is when I hear football fans on Monday morning talking about how well "they" played. They didn't bloody play!
:confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused:
Yup beakboo!!!

It's taken me years to realise that many football supporters realy belive that they are taking part in the game & by wearing the shirt, they are part of the team!!!!!!

I think it's somthing to do with some people having a "rich fantasy world".

Dunno' why they bother, I have enough trouble dealing with reality!!!!!!
 

HappyGlades

Devoted Cultist
Joined
Aug 9, 2001
Messages
104
Likes
0
Points
47
#42
Why is the person in front of me in the ten items and under queue at the supermarket always paying by cheque or credit card, so that people in the longer queues get out faster than I do? :confused:
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#43
Doesn't that come under 'Sod's Law', Aerial? The Law which covers all bad luck, unpleasant co-incidences, etc. and which most of us have experienced and therefore we recognise it as a universal truth.

What we're looking at here is not universal but personal to us as individuals and therefore 'strange' to other people.

My parents banned swearing in the house, offering the alternative of using 'respectable' words instead for those occasions where invective was justified. Shouting 'bollards' at the top of your voice can become just as satisfying - what was weird to me was my little brother's choice of the word 'midwife'. Later I found out that he genuinely thought it was a rude word, because everybody whispered it!

This thread has made me realise that I find it strange to hear words for genitalia and sexual activity used to insult and offend other people, or when they are used for no reason at all - when parents, doctors etc. are trying to use them correctly to dispel ignorance. No wonder kids are confused!



:) H.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#44
But isn't it interesting how football fans are almost never fit? The biggest football fans are couch potatoes and have probably never tried kickinbg a ball.
 

_schnor

Abominable Snowman
Joined
Aug 14, 2001
Messages
995
Likes
7
Points
49
#45
Minor Drag said:
The return of spring every year, with it's attendant beauty. An eternal, beautiful mystery.
Wonderfully put there MD :)

For me, and going slightly OT for a second, if I'm driving along a particularly dull route, I play a little game by guessing the colour of the next car, and about 70% of the time I'm correct. It's only chance, and luck in guessing popular car colours, but it's still wierd.

mike_legs said:
One of the things I find fascinating is how people can conduct themselves with such blatant stupiditiy while remaining completely oblivious to their own ineptitude. I see it almost every single day and it continues to amaze me.
I'm afraid that's my biggest bugbear. I was almost run over yesterday morning, the bloke didn't even give a f*ck. In a pique of anger, I changed my siggy quote :rolleyes:, some people really shouldn't be allowed to breathe.

Another thing that amazes me is when I'm at a rubgy match. 8000 different people, some stupid, clever, indifferent, fat, thin, whatever.

I'm sitting there, and I can feel an organic change come over me; I'm no longer me as it were, but some part of a massive group all there for one purpose. It's strange to explain, but that's why I love rugby so much, and I suppose it's one of the rare times when I'm involved immediately in something greater than myself, for something as relatively worthless as a silly game where you throw a ball about.

Another thing that amazes me is when a 13 year old school girl is missing for three weeks, presumed dead, and the nation seems to be in an astonishingly anal state about David Beckhams foot ffs.

I dispair at times :/
 

stu neville

Commissioner.
Staff member
Joined
Mar 9, 2002
Messages
11,372
Likes
4,014
Points
234
#46
Yeah, pack mentality is a two edged sword - I went to Live Aid, and can honestly say it was one of the most profoundly moving things I've ever experienced.

On the other hand, it is easy to get whipped up when there are thousands of others around you also being inspired (if that's the right word) - from that angle it's easy to see how Nuremberg, paedophile witch-hunts etc gather momentum.

I think there has to be something in the human psyche that allows itself to be subjugated in the face of apparent mass consensus. A survival instict, maybe - if the herd stampedes, there must be a reason?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#47
Stu, I think you hit the nail on the head. The way I figure, 30,000 years ago or so, one loan human being was quite a tasty treat for a sabre-tooth tiger. But a whole messload of human beings in a group meant even the mighty wooly mammoth had to be afraid. In other words, there's safety in numbers and to be exiled from a group literally meant death. The need to be part of a group has carried over into our behavior today. We take joy in being accepted by a group, but despair if we are an outcast.

However, pack mentality is why I've always been uncomfortable in groups.....the larger the group I'm in, the more I lose my identity as a person and just become one fraction of a group. While the feeling of acceptance and just losing the ability to think for yourself can be a quite pleasant feeling, I still find it to also be an uncomortable feeling to lose my individuality and so I try and stay away from them (I rarely hang out with more then one or two people at a time.) :)

On the other hand, I think that's why so many people root for sports teams. When you cheer for a team, you automatically become part of a large group who will automatically accept you and the feeling of acceptance and comraderie is a great feeling...until you meet someone who cheers for another team. :)

I do follow my favorite (American) football team (from home, never been to see them in a stadium) but my lousy brain always mucks things up for me. Whenever "we" lose, I'm always mildly upset, but when "we" win, there's always that nagging voice in the back of my brain that says "why are you happy? you didn't win any money or fame or gold medals by gum, you are just some sap watching people slam into each other on TV." Damned brain...spoiling my fun.

But I digress.

Other notes. Aerial, the same phenomona happens when you are in traffic. You'll always be in the lane that's stopped while another lane is moving. As soon as you switch lanes, the new lane stops and your old lane starts moving...

Oh, about sports fans being fat....well...that's why they are fans and not actual participants. :) I figure people enjoy watching sports for the same reason they enjoy watching action movies. You get to vicariously live the actions of a "hero" doing things you can/will never do. Sporting events can have the same elements of a movie...you have the good guy(s) (your team), the bad guy(s) (the other team), drama, action, suspense, etc. I suppose people find it as easy to associate with watching men kick a ball around as with men shooting giant bugs from Klendathu (bonus points to whomever knows what I just referenced)

Ok, enough rambling, I have to pretend I'm working now.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#48
Starship Troopers by R A Heinlein, who also said that one of the signs of civilization degrading is when you start to see sportsmen treated as great political leaders.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#49
Wow, that didn't take long. :)

Of course, does he mean that we think so highly of sports figures or we think so lowly of politicians?

Either way we're doomed. :eek!!!!:
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#50
Xanatic said:
Starship Troopers by R A Heinlein, who also said that one of the signs of civilization degrading is when you start to see sportsmen treated as great political leaders.
Abandon society! Abandon society! Women, children and the intelectual elite first!

Why are my heroes cartoon characters like Postman Pat who have nice, uneventful lives with least amount of shooting and screaming possible?
 

intaglio

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Oct 14, 2001
Messages
1,592
Likes
19
Points
69
#51
Heinlein also said that you could only have a true democracy with an armed electorate. In other stories he translated "vox populae(?), vox dei" as "My god how did we get into this mess?". He was a writer - a very good one - often given to quoting without attribution but he was no philosopher.

OK so I've sited him as an Authority as well. What do you expect? Consistancy? :)
 

beakboo1

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Sep 20, 2001
Messages
2,312
Likes
28
Points
69
#52
IMO Heinlein was a terribly over rated writer, his characterisation was appalling, his dialogue unrealistic. Off topic I know, but it has to be said.
 

FraterLibre

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Feb 27, 2002
Messages
2,221
Likes
37
Points
69
#53
Fast Switches

An amazement for me is how everything seems almost exactly the same when you get up as it was before you went to sleep. How do they DO that?
 

rynner2

Great Old One
Joined
Aug 7, 2001
Messages
55,252
Likes
8,932
Points
284
Location
Under the moon
#54
beakboo said:
IMO Heinlein was a terribly over rated writer, his characterisation was appalling, his dialogue unrealistic. Off topic I know, but it has to be said.
I was a teenager when I first read most of his stuff, so not as discriminating as I am now, but then I thought RH was brilliant in all aspects of writing, besides having great SF ideas.

It would be interesting to reread it all now. Would I discover my idol did have feet of clay, or would my mind slip back several decades and temporarily revert to being a youngster again?

Have I got the courage to find out? Does it matter? Do I want a drink...? Ah, yes!
 

FraterLibre

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Feb 27, 2002
Messages
2,221
Likes
37
Points
69
#55
Hoorah for RAH?

It's all a matter of perception. If you're looking for Pynchonesque wordplay, avoid RAH. If storytelling matters more than style, Heinlein may suit you well.

Also remember most of this stems from the 1940s through the 1970s, so it's dated and out-moded, etc. For example, science fiction was a pulp literature and so anti-literary. They didn't even try or want to write dialogue well, for instance, but cared only about getting the ideas across. "We're a literature of ideas," they said, usually leaving off, "and to hell with how it's written."

Also, until the `1970s, science fiction was written mostly by scientists and engineeers, and RAH was an engineer and failed military officer. He came to writing for money, not out of any sense of vocation. By the time the New Wave of science fiction came in, bringing Lit. majors and other humanities folks into the writing of sf, the Old Guard was determinedly writing on a rudimentary level to prove a point. Childish, but there we are.

It's instructive to note that RAH was considered the Dean of American SF Writers, mostly for pioneering a show-don't-tell approach and for his hard-line stances in politics and other social matters. He played to a specific audience that is mostly gone and entirely passé now, so his stuff is often like an old Sean Connery James Bond movie. Sexist, dated, and interesting mostly for what it reveals about its time.

The vast majority of readers are tone deaf to quality writing anyhow and go with story, which is why so many very bad writers find great success, if they can but tell a story that moves along briskly and offers the occasional "cool" idea.

Edgar Rice Burroughs is a prime example, too.
 

beakboo1

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Sep 20, 2001
Messages
2,312
Likes
28
Points
69
#56
I'd agree with most of what Fraterlibre says about Heinlein, but I would have to add that there was such a thing as well written pulp SF from the '40s to the '70s. The genre's a big interest of mine, and while I wouldn't claim to be an expert, I've been reading a hell of a lot of it, for the past 30 years or so (god I'm old) I don't look for fancy-schmansy litariture from this genre, but I know a well written story with decent characterisation when I see one. As for Heinlein's ideas, I suppose they may have been original at the time (I wasn't there), but unlike a lot of his contemporaries, they haven't stood the test of time.
 

The late Pete Younger

Venerable and Missed
Joined
Jul 31, 2001
Messages
5,891
Likes
130
Points
129
#57
Also remember most of this stems from the 1940s through the 1970s, so it's dated and out-moded, etc. For example, science fiction was a pulp literature and so anti-literary. They didn't even try or want to write dialogue well, for instance, but cared only about getting the ideas across. "We're a literature of ideas," they said, usually leaving off, "and to hell with how it's written

What about Arthur C Clarke, I dont think you can put him in the category mentioned above, one of the first sf novels I read as a child was Prelude to space, written by A.C.C. in the early fifties, I was enthralled by it at the time, but as Rynner said, dont know what I'd make of it today.
 

FraterLibre

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Feb 27, 2002
Messages
2,221
Likes
37
Points
69
#58
Mr. Younger - I'm a Clarke fan, too, and find his work always visionary and thought-provoking, but he's never been much known for characterizations. He was an idea man, really, and the best of his work, while certainly well-written, isn't literary in any real way. At least, not to the literateurs, but what do THEY know? lol

Beakboo - I'd also agree that there is much well-written pulp, as well. Some of Robert E. Howard is as good as anything Kipling ever penned, for example, although that's not science fiction of course.

And after all, much of the good old stuff is still being read and enjoyed, which says something right there. Wonder if The Odyssey was considered crappy pulp in its time? lol Probably so.
 

rynner2

Great Old One
Joined
Aug 7, 2001
Messages
55,252
Likes
8,932
Points
284
Location
Under the moon
#59
Now ACC (much as I admire him) writes pretty plodding dialogue and has wooden characters.

Thinking about it, I wonder if my liking for Heinlein was really because he was American, and therefore 'exotic'. The American idiom, being still fairly new to me back then, would have seemed fresh and innovative. Perhaps if I'd been American, I'd have found Heinlein to be spouting cliches, and preferred someone like ACC?

(Perhaps we should transfer this discussion to the "Googly from Left Field" thread, having completely derailed this one!)
 

The late Pete Younger

Venerable and Missed
Joined
Jul 31, 2001
Messages
5,891
Likes
130
Points
129
#60
Originally posted by FraterLibre
He was an idea man, really, and the best of his work, while certainly well-written, isn't literary in any real way. At least, not to the literateurs


This reminds me of art aficionados, they spend so much time picking faults with a picture that they never see what the artist was trying to say.
 
Top