Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Underlying Message: Stay in School


Aw, man, sometimes you're just so busy livin' the life, you know, bein' your hard-rockin'-est that you just can't take the time to pay attention to little details.

In any other context, we'd spell out the "3" and the ampersand, but this Twitter. With a 140-character space constraint, sure, we can allow certain shortcuts. Still, this is only 120 characters: Sierra would've had plenty of room to write these out or even decide how she wants to format her en-dash/em-dash.

The glaring error here is "definetly." Sierra may believe this is the adverbial form of "definet." Who knows? If "definitely" were the name of a low-end vodka, she'd never get it wrong.

But now I really have to question she knows the meaning of the word advice: "A proposal for an appropriate course of action." What kind of "advice" is skipping school? In what context is it appropriate to miss out on an opportunity to learn something? If you're in high school, you're breaking the law and will screw yourself over. If you're in college, you're either wasting hundreds of your own dollars or that of your parents. If you're that intent on screwing your parents over, why don't you just adopt Sierra's hard-rockin', life-advisin' course of action? I'm sure lots of sober people are probably very proud of her.

If the person giving you advice, especially as pertains to education, is functionally illiterate and uses large words (or, sadly, small to medium words) whose meaning elude their facility, you would go safest by doing pretty much the opposite of what they suggest.

But seriously...

I have no idea who this is. This just came up as a random sample as I was logging into Twitter. People who argue against education infuriate me, as do people who advocate doing stupid things for the sake of "coolness." From what I've seen, the pursuit of "cool" is a course of self-defeat: it makes you eat terrible things, wear ugly clothes (that you replace in less than a year), and surrender your free will to marketing in general.

A quick Wikipedia search reveals that Sierra is the 20y.o. lead singer of a band, VersaEmerge. Evidently the page was written by one of their fans: "...current vocalist Sierra Kusterbeck auditioned for the vocal position by sending a tape online." Hope they quickly e-mailed them a tape player, too, since few people have those anymore.

Oh, but it gets better. "They chose the name "VersaEmerge" from the terms (vice-versa) meaning opposite, and "emerge" meaning to rise up." Actually, no, versa doesn't mean anything. It's a brand and a query language, but in English it is not a word. The term vice versa is a singular object, it is not a "terms," and it means "in order reversed," not "opposite." The icing on the cake is their framing of one term in parenthesis and another in quotation marks. If English really were the unending struggle this person seems to find it, I should be a lot thinner from the caloric expenditure of my discipline.

Yes, I know I'm old, but that doesn't stop me from judging this to be stupidity piled upon stupidity. The one might even facilitate the other.

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