Saturday, June 20, 2009

Fer or Agin

I once knew an old fellow, a friend of my grampa's, who, when asked his opinion on almost any subject, person, place or thing, would only reply "I'm fer it" or "I'm agin it"or, when he was feeling especially loquacious , he might add (If the subject was a person) "his word's good" or "I wouldn't borrow an axe from im". If the subject was a place other than the immediate locale, he might say "too many folks", or "never been there".. My Grampa used to say that Fred (Not his real name) used words like they was rationed, and he was fresh out of ration stamps.
(Those of you not familiar with World War ll, probably won't understand this terminology, so look it up)

As a kid, I was pretty impatient with Fred and would most generally ask to be excused, and make myself scarce (which, back in the day, was a talent a half-way smart boy soon learned to cultivate, thus saving wear and tear on the seat of his britches), and generally go do something important, such as counting birds on a wire or scratching, or some other thing which couldn't wait.

I slowly realized, as I moved into young Aduldhood, that old Fred was on to something. In being economical with words, he saved a lot of arguments, avoided hurt feelings on either side of the question, and was generally thought of as a reliable fellow.

I say slowly because, as my wife can testify, I have been far too slow at putting these lessons to work and realizing the disadvantages of opening my enormous gob at inopportune moments, or as my Dad used to say, "you need to know when to shut up!"(One hundred percent wisdom)

But over the miles on this tired old chassis, I've slowly found that if you think before making a remark, you often save yourself from making a dumb remark, and saving the trouble of masticating said remark later, and developing a constipated vocabulary.

Come to think of it, while one's mouth is shut, one can also learn to "Polish" his word choice, phraseology, and opportune and proper times to speak and to listen, among which latter category is the learned art of sagely nodding one's head, wisely and as if in deep thought.

I reckon that the above acquired talents, and their use and timing, is probably akin to "Editing", of which I know little or nothing, other than it's probably something like making sure the flowers you picked for your sweetie smell good before you present them to her.

But all the above is just a guess. I've read an awful lot of books in my lifetime, so far, enjoyed most of them, learned something from all of them (pro or con)eagerly devoured a pretty large number of editorials, and watched far too much "T. V. News" (an oxymoron if there ever was one) for, in the main, a lot of T. V. coverage is just some handsome fellow or Lady, setting at their desk(read set) and reading off a teleprompter. Sometimes, when there is absolutely nothing new going on in the world the "Anchor"( drumroll and hairspray) has the dreaded task of interviewing a real, live person, and generally makes a mess of the interview.

I watched such an interview the other day, and the genial idiot who was in the Anchor Chair that day had solicited a comment from the person he was interviewing, and when the guest had finished his remarks, THE ANCHOR (ta-da) turned around and asked the guest another question (He Thought) that was the Same identical question he had just asked a few moments before, causing the interviewee to give him a "You're an Idiot" but I'm too polite to tell you" look and a smile of resignation.

Well anyway, I guess I'll keep reading and watching, and maybe someday when I grow up(and goodwife prays that that will be soon) I can write a half-way coherant blog.

Keep Smiling and GodBless typing teachers everywhere.


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