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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Curmudgeonly Joys

Steve Bates, the proprietor of the hopefully only temporarily suspended weblog, "The Yellow Something Something," took me to task for misspelling Britney Spears' first name in a post I put on here a few days ago, about the Spears-Lohan-Hilton media mystery.

While thinking of how I could respond, I was surprised to find myself coming up with more than one reason for my misstep.   I'm sure he will just see them as being lame excuses instead, but there they are.   And if I was going to list them, it would be too long for a comment, so I thought I'd just indulge myself in a regular post for today.

1.  Having read his weblog regularly for some years now, I would have thought Steve would have a good understanding of the joys and privileges of being a curmudgeon, since it is an activity that he is no stranger to, himself.  He might counter that, yes, but he curmudgeons on more important issues.   That, however, is in the eye of the beholder.   My theme was not about Ms Spears or her two contemporaries nearly as much as it was about media misbehavior.

2.   Though still only something of a young whippersnapper in his 50's, Steve likes to refer to himself as being "old,"  His physical being is giving him severe problems, but his brain is still intact and of the moment.   So, in the sphere in which we are communicating, which is that of the mind, being only one year short of 80 I have a lot of curmudgeonly seniority on him, and he should take that into account, even if I was not aware that I was being "discourteous" about the spelling of the lady's first name.

3.    In my world, Britney Spears never has been the goddess that at some point she may quite likely have been and might still be in the world of Steve and many others.

4.  Lately , as I mentioned in a post a few months ago, I have been trying to complete a novel that has been hanging over me for many years, and one of its important characters is a young lady named "Brittany."  So that spelling just came more naturally to my head and my fingers.

5.   Getting back to the curmudgeonly bit,  I never hesitate to take issue with how people misspell their own names or even have been given the wrong names by their parents or by themselves.   And I think "Brittany" is much cooler than "Britney."

I see no reason to apologize for saying such things, any more than I do for "slipping" on the name of someone who has seen her name spelled correctly in the news much more than any skilled surgeon, teacher, civil rights activist, or just about anyone else.   And that gets back to the whole point that I was trying to make in the post.

6.  Blogger's built-in spell checker placed no wavy red marks under the spelling I used.  (!)

So you could say I was just doing the lady a favor by using the classier spelling, for which I am sure that she is boundlessly grateful.


Blogger Steve Bates said...

Wow! I had no idea I would offend by my remark! I'm a compulsive editor by nature and by background; it stems from my being the son of two schoolteachers. Brittany is a region in France, and I agree it is a cool name for a woman.

I'm in my sixties, just barely of retirement age and contemplating whether to retire. Yes, physically, I am in pretty bad shape; if I manage to live to your age, Carl, I doubt I'll enjoy it much. Someone on a political thread yesterday blamed people with diabetes for having health habits that brought on their disease; I can't say the commenter was wrong, but it is regrettably the disease of choice in my family as we age.

Britney Spears holds no attraction for me and has never done so. My favorite living popular singer is Patricia Barber, a lesbian jazz/blues singer in Chicago with more talent in her left pinkie than Spears has in her entire body. If you like cool jazz performed by a genuine professional, look her up.

I doubt I qualify as a curmudgeon. "Crank" is more like it! :-)

12:11 PM  

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