Category: Life Skills
So there I am typing an email to someone who sits somewhere between a friend, an acquaintance and a business partner. I had begun the email typing very quickly, not even taking the time to hit the shift key to capitalize his name.
At the end of the email, as is customary, I nailed the shift key and typed my ‘W’. That’s short for ‘Wayne’ if you are curious. Just before I pressed send, I realized that my recipient’s name was underlined by the browser’s spell check feature, but my ‘W’ wasn’t. Immediately, I thought ‘This will look bad if my name is capitalized but his name is not.”
Then the real thought struck me:
Why are the names of mortals like us capitalized at all?
I did a search in a major search engine and to my surprise, I couldn’t find an article on this topic. I could find many articles about how and when to use capital letters, but not why we use them.
I can understand capitalizing God’s name because God is God – He is worthy of a capital letter -He created the heavens, the earth and all that is therein. But not me. Nope. I’m not worthy of a capital letter – my poop stinks and I talk too much. I’m not worthy of having my name distinguished as if I have done some great thing in this world. And even if I had done some great thing in this world that some human thought was important, did that warrant a capital like God? Did I create flowers and DNA and the stars and the moon or a newborn babe or the eagle soaring in the air? Methinks not.
Don’t get me wrong. I think people are important. I think they are so important that God sent His own Son Jesus to die for them, for crying out loud; You don’t see Him doing that for pigs or cows – not that they don’t have their place in creation. So people are dearly important. However, I think it’s arrogance and ego that started the capital letters on people’s names. Let’s humble ourselves a bit and not think of ourselves as so great.
So, starting today, I encourage you to start removing the capital letter from all these people’s names. If they would allow you to put their thoughts and the rotten condition of their heart on a big screen, the world would quickly see (in HD quality) that they do not deserve a capital letter. So, backspace, type your boss’ names again without the capital. Be sure to include a link to this article so they don’t blame you for this act of what they will probably consider defiance, rudeness or lack of English language proficiency.
If you don’t buy into the theological reasons for killing the crapitals, at the end of the day, think how much faster you could type if you didn’t have to hit the bloody shift key for every ‘proper name’.
-wayne taylor, december, 2012
First, why does it matter?
One time a woman named ‘Pam’ got very angry at me for calling her ‘Pamela’. It didn’t matter to me, but it mattered to her. It’s kind of like when you’re talking on your phone really loudly but don’t realize it until other peoples’ eye daggers start piercing your vital organs. It’s kind of like putting your dirty feet on someone’s chair. If it negatively affects others, it matters.
What about foreign words? Well, there are three choices:
- Say it right or do your best trying and continually try to improve towards the correct pronunciation each time you try)
- Make a word for it in your own language (like how the Americans changed ‘croissant’ to ‘crescent roll’)
- Shut your pie-hole
Number three is hard if you need to talk about the subject, and number two makes you look culturally arrogant. Option number 1 is the best way to win friends and influence people – say it right or die trying.
Let’s run the scenario with a name. Let’s choose a Korean name like Eun Kyung Shin.
With option 3 (above) you will have to forever avoid talking about poor Ms. Shin. You’ll have to use words like ‘you’ and ‘her’ and ‘your friend’ and ‘your wife’. Eventually she will figure out you don’t know or can’t say the name and this will usually happen down the road and make for a more difficult recovery.
With option 2, after she says, “My name is Eun Kyung Shin” you say ‘So what’s your English name? Annie?” Enough said.
With option 1 you will embarrass the snot out of yourself trying to learn the name, but a breakthrough will eventually come and that person will love you for trying and finally getting it right.
So how is this related to Ubuntu?
It’s an African word.
Stop saying it incorrectly and demonstrating your ignorance.
Quit saying “That’s how we say it down here.” and showcasing your arrogance.
Learn it. It’s super easy. It’s easier than the version you are working so hard to defend. They are long vowel sounds that a baby can slobber. It’s all the same long u sound as in ‘cartoon’ or ‘soon’ or ‘He mooned me’.
So if you ended up at this post, don’t be offended. Just learn it. Thank the person who sent you here to get schooled.
I’m baffled that this topic has been so discussed in my circle that I had to write an article to direct people to in the future. I hope that this article will save you a lot of time and energy should you have to deal with these people as customers in your food establishment or as friends in your living room.
The only tricky part will have to figure out is how to deliver this post to them without offending them. It’s the same dilemma we face when we need to let our colleague know they have something between their teeth or sewer breath. If you are like me, though, you won’t worry about offending them but will revel in the fact that you have helped them on their journey to becoming a better human. You have not offended them, you have helped them. You have added value to their life.
The discussion started between BitBar (Bitter Barista) and a customer. BitBar pointed to a lady who was sitting cross-legged on one of the chairs in his cafe. She had removed her shoes completely and was sitting on her bare feet which were in full contact with the chair. It looked as if she was in her own living room. Here is approximately how the dialogue went:
BitBar: Look at that. Isn’t that disgusting? Would you put your stinky bare feet on someone’s chair like that?
Customer: I wouldn’t do it personally but you have to let it go because that’s what girls in Vancouver do.
BitBar: Are you serious? You think it’s ok that her stinking bare feet are on my chair? Would you be alright with that if I did it in your living room?
Customer: Well, I wouldn’t do it but I’d probably accept it. I mean at least she took her shoes off
BitBar: So the dirt from the road is better on my chair than the fungus-stench from between her toes?
And the dialogue went on like that.
Let me conclude the matter for you all.
Like Public Display of Affection (PDA) (ie. french kissing, fondling, etc) some people (most) don’t want to see it. It’s simply not for public. Keep your tongue in your mouth and your hands out of other people’s pants when you’re not in a hotel or the privacy of your own home.
Your feet are no different. They are gross. They are both sick and wrong.
Look how angry the disciples got when Jesus asked them to wash His feet – And those were divine feet. Last time I looked at my feet, I felt nauseous. The last sock that was near my nose made me want to hurl.
So keep those beasts on the floor and locked safely in your shoes until you unleash them in your own home or at the beach.
Thanks for your cooperation.
Your friends, family and baristas sincerely appreciate it.