By Chuck Wiser, I write the words to share what my eyes see and my heart feels.
I apologize in advance for the starting topic of my Wrambling’s today as I normally try to avoid writing political commentary in my articles. I feel that I am basically “apolitical”, choosing character, and commitment of universal public service to our country over any particular party affiliation. Our recent “political polarization” didn’t pop up overnight. Recent political discourse, seemingly getting worse every day, was on full display during the President’s State of the Union (SOTU) address the other night. I was disappointed and ashamed to call myself an American, if that is what we, the public, have come to do, or tolerate. If I need to explain why the events of the SOTU caused me concern, then my points will not be understood either.
I voted in the first national election for which I was able, and every presidential election since. I have voted for presidential candidates of each party, nearly equally, over the years. Even when my presidential choice didn’t win, I respected the one that did, and supported them, even sometimes, completely changing my opinion of them, for the better or worse, as in former Presidents: Kennedy, Reagan and Nixon. You can decide which way I flipped on your own. I don’t always vote in the primaries or even non-presidential elections if I don’t have enough knowledge or strong enough opinion or “leanings” toward any candidate. I DO NOT VOTE FOR A PARTY.
Since I love our language and even feel comfortable enough with it to fracture it at my pleasure, I coined the new word featured in my article title above. Most know the meaning of the word Myopia, as being “near-sighted.” The secondary definitions or meanings are: “lack of imagination, foresight, or intellectual insight. My personal belief is that those who blindly follow a specific political party, or politician religiously, suffer politica-myopicalosis.
I firmly believe that our respect for individuals, especially where political activities are concerned, and our public “decorum” or displays of “pure vitriol and hatred” started several years ago in the political arena. I believe that my opinion is validated by the events that started when we elected our first president “of color,” having elected President Obama. We survived that, and then we had our first female candidate with Hilary Clinton. Bias, not readily admitted, fed the fires. The “flames of discord and dissent” have been fanned, in particular by one political “presence” and now the conflagration is fully on display, nearly every day, in everything “available” to read or watch on TV. I highlight the word “available” to emphasize that apolitical information is available but we tend to only read that which we agree with, thus perhaps not always seeing the factual, appropriate, or most meaningful information, not enhanced or slanted by political “bent.”
I’m not sure of the original source of this quote, and will leave that up to your curiosity if you wish to investigate, but it was shared to me by one of my most respected former Alfred State College professors, Robert (Bob) Stahlman. Bob’s lectures were not always laced with technical, engineering, or manufacturing related details, but sometimes interspersed with other “life lessons” as well. Bob said: “As soon as you think you know all there is to know about something, you do know everything about it that you will ever know.” Now I’m using an old cliché, but we can “agree to disagree” and still be civil, and more importantly, courteous and respectful.
Moo-ving on, “Cows in the road on route…” still remains one of the most common scanner calls that I hear almost daily. You may think that I sit by my scanner 24-7, but I don’t. The scanner is centrally located in our house and can be heard in nearly every room, and even though it is not overly loud, even carries to our lower floor Family Room, at least when multiple “tones” are going off. When 4 or 5 different Emergency Services entity tones go off, I usually perk up my ears, or head up the stairs from the Family Room to see what’s up.
One such call puzzled me the other day and, I guess, questioned my knowledge of something I would have incorrectly presumed. The call was for an EMT to respond to the Veteran’s Affairs Clinic on Rte. 19 between Wellsville and Scio, to evaluate individuals for exposure to Carbon Monoxide (CO). I would understand the need for testing for CO, or exposure to same, but isn’t a “clinic” staffed with medical personnel of some kind? Wouldn’t/couldn’t they be able to do what an EMT could, at least from the medical aspect?
Here’s another of those many terms understood or interpreted differently. This one ties in with individuals selling items either on the “selling programs” often heard mornings on the radio stations, or seen in print on social media or in news print. The term normally abbreviated and used is OBO. Literally it stands for “Or Best Offer.” It is my interpretation that the bidding process is ongoing and the seller will not accept the first offer received but will in fact wait for a “Better” offer. Where it gets “dicey” is when someone has made an offer and the seller says “OK”, I’ll accept that offer. The question then arises as to what the policy interpretation is when an offer higher than the initially “agreed to” price arrives. Often, someone says: “I’ll take it” and then never shows up or follows through. I guess the safest, and most “professional,” thing to do is to establish a mutually agreeable “pick up” or “pay by” date, after which the sale is still, or will be, open. Downside(s) of that would be that the item may need to be re-advertised, or another much better offer arrives after the sale has been technically consummated. I have been involved when the seller contacted me to advise that they had received a better offer and would I be willing to match that. Conscience and fair play then get tested or challenged.
Grammar: Word pronunciations can be puzzling. Standard discrepancies occur between words that are spelled alike, or differently, and sound alike or differently. (Reign vs Rein vs Rain) or (Resigned vs Resigned). The words that triggered these thoughts today were heard on the scanner recently. The main word used was “Route,” which in and of itself falls into the above referenced idiosyncrasies in both categories as both sound alike of Route vs Root, and pronunciation as tweeked when turned into a verb, and when said as “routed.” Is it then pronounced “root-ed” or “rowt-ed?” Forgive me but I’m just trying to pass the curse of my overly active mind on to someone else. There is a little known golfing rule that says “The only way you can rid yourself of playing badly in golf is to pass it on to someone else?
On the subject of word “pronunciation,” this often arises, and goes along with the ear clenching reaction of musical directors hearing the connected letters like “the masses” if you put the “m” sound on the first word. Words as sung need to be tweaked sometimes to present the appropriate interpretation or emphasis when sung.
Vowels are the main culprit in the middle of a word and consonants are guilty at the end. A sharp (long vowel) “I” pronunciation may come across like fingernails on a chalk board (Sorry, folks under 50, chalk boards aren’t likely used any more). The letter “I” may need to be pronounced more like “ah” as in a southern accented pronunciation. The letter “E” (long vowel) also can have a “screechy” sound (ironically stated) in the singing of lyrics, and may need to be pronounced with an “eh” sound to make it more “listenable”. Ending consonants if not stressed may not be heard.
With the dramatic uptick in scam calls, with us now receiving 5 or 6 a day, minimum, my “Calls Blocked” list is now longer than my “Contacts” list. I think I’m going to start writing down the “announced” caller identification as they are sometimes ludicrous. The saddest thing is receiving a scam call identifying as someone who I know has passed away.
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner I am going to get a little mushy here. FAME (Fiction/Action/Mystery/Enjoyment) writers are often inspired by any or all of the activities implied in the title of my Books Reading group on Facebook. Other writers are typically inspired by things more internally emotional or “romantic.” Unapologetically, I fall into the latter group as evidenced by my Sign-in/Sign off phrase: “I write the words to share what my eyes see and my heart feels”. As hokey as this sounds, that is me in a nutshell. Valentines Day, despite being driven by the Greeting Card and Confections industry, is special to “Romantics” like me. I cannot let this Holiday pass without sharing some of the love that I have previously shared to, or with, the love “of my life”.