Posts Tagged ‘facebook’

A friend of mine just posted this cartoon on her Facebook wall:


So I responded that we should not forget the other replacements for “said”.  Like “go”, for example.  I illustrated my point with the following:


Jim goes “so I buried the dead hooker, like you asked”.

And Pete’s like “hold up. Not near the petunias!  Dude, I *just* planted those things.”

And Jim’s all “nah, bro. She’s, like, interred and stuff, in your neighbour’s yard.”

And Pete goes “righteous!”


A walk in the mall or a ride on the subway allows you to hear many conversations like the above (minus the dead hooker of course).  Proving, I think, that today’s vernacular has taken a kind of colourful turn.  Would you agree? I’m not at all convinced it’s a bad thing.  My belief is that a word or the usage of a word becomes evident and valid when one person says it, and his listener understands it.   Webster would likely grunt and do his best to turn over in his grave at that notion; however, he would hardly be in a position to object openly.  Therefore my point remains unchallenged.

Contrast the above conversation to this:


James encountered Peter on his morning tour of the neighbourhood. After exchanging the usual pleasantries, James raised an unpleasant topic. “Peter” he said “I have taken care of that matter we discussed yesterday.”

Peter furrowed his brows in confusion. “I’m at a loss as to the meaning of what you just referenced. What matter?”

James replied “oh you know – I have dealt with the recently deceased ‘working girl’ who suffered the misfortune of having a heart attack while in your employ.”

Peter sighed. “In what manner did you – ahem – take care of her?”

James smiled. “Well, I simply dug a shallow hole and planted her in it.”

Peter gasped in surprise. “Oh dear Lord. You didn’t bury her near the petunias did you?”

Scratching his head, James replied “are you truly concerned about your flowers, and not the recently deceased? I am frankly surprised at your glaring coldness, my friend. Are you perhaps an untested psychopath? Do you feel the need to study others’ emotions, so as to mimic them as best you can?”

Peter laughed. “By no means. It’s just that those petunias were chosen by my wife. If they died before their time, I envision my poor wife attempting to dig them up, only to encounter some part of a dead woman’s hand or leg at their roots.”

James sighed with relief. “Worry no more, my good man. I have interred her remains in the garden of your neighbour.”

Peter smiled. “Indeed you are a prince among friends.”


Given the subject  – a deceased prostitute – I would find the above conversation as colourful and as entertaining as the first, albeit for a different reason.

I think this is one of the reasons I love the English language so much.  There are so many different ways to arrive at the same meaning, each method providing a nuance and shade of meaning that differs from the other.

Peer review time:  what are your thoughts on the above?  Are you disgusted by the slaughtering of the English verbal language or are you amused by it, as I am?  Be honest: has some of it crept into your lexicon?

When Twitter first made an appearance, I thought:  “big deal.  You can only write 140 characters.  It is even possible to say anything meaningful in such a short space?”

Apparently, given the popularity of this social networking tool – it is.  Having such a tiny space in which to share stuff has provoked a lot of creativity.   I’ve subscribed to a lot of humor writers, both professional and hobbyist, and when there’s not enough time to read a chapter in a book, I’ll flip over to Twitter to read the latest stuff. 

The latest craze on Twitter:  people who have portrayed themselves as TV show characters, all interacting with each other.  Notably, the series “Mad Men” and “True Blood”.   So satisfying to see that they’ve actually managed to stay true to their characters too.   “Mad Men” of course is a little more grown up than “True Blood” but both shows are entertaining.  And this open character interaction on Twitter makes it seem as though another episode is playing, right before your eyes.

The best part is that you as a regular Tweeter (Twitterer?) can interact with them, sometimes with unexpected results.

The irony of characters from the early 1960’s using 2008-2010 technology to talk with each other doesn’t escape anyone either.  Still, they manage to stay true, and it’s as if they’re actually talking with each other over the phone, and not via the computer.

Take this one exchange, between myself and one of the Mad Men characters, named Rebecca Pryce (played by that gorgeous  actress Embeth Davidtz):

Rebecca_Pryce:  “Oh, sometimes I loathe dining all by myself. But I shan’t indulge on self-pity.”
– via Twitter for BlackBerry®

(Noticing that she had posted it from her Blackberry, I thought it would be neat to note it, without noting it.  By pretending she was talking about the fruit, not the messaging device)

Wolfshades:  “@Rebecca_Pryce I love how you say ‘shan’t’.  Noticed the ‘Blackberry’ thing too.  Aren’t they delicious?”

Rebecca_Pryce: “@wolfshades God, yes. And terribly practical to boot! With this handheld thingy I can be connected anywhere! Even the tube! It’s fabulous!”


And so just like any good improv sketch, she turned something I intended into something completely different.  A grown man saying that any kind of electronic device was “delicious” …..well you know how it goes.  Don Draper would have surmised that I was “light in the loafers”, probably.

Still, it was hard not to laugh.   

There is one character on Mad Men who is just as funny on the show as her fan-created character is on Twitter (or vice versa).  She’s a crusty old broad, Miss Blankenship – known as MissB_SCDP on Twitter –  who is very set in her ways.  Although she works for Don Draper, it’s hard to tell who’s the alpha in that relationship.   I’m frankly at a loss to describe her.  She seems to defy explanation.  She’s abrupt, completely oblivious to subtle nuances (I don’t even think she knows the meaning of the word “subtle”) and is likely to blurt out your worst secret to the entire staff.  Innocently, of course (or is it?).

You can lose yourself for hours, visiting all of these tweets.   Twitter turned out to be much more entertaining than I thought it could ever be.  It helps too that you can put in web page links to your posts – thereby cheating the 140 character rule.

And then there’s Facebook.  And its necessary companions:  Failblog ( and Failbooking (  The latter contains posts that were made on Facebook that probably should have been set to “private” – or better yet, not posted at all.  Failblog contains photos that portray life failures.  Today, I posted a couple of these to my Facebook account:

Now I ask you:  is this the work of a zealous but incompetent store owner?  Or is the final act of a desperately bitter clerk, on the last day of his job?

And then there’s this one.   I looked at it at first in horror.   Then I realized what the intent was, and couldn’t help thinking about how absolutely stunning a failure it was.   For those who care: it’s a dental aid, designed to assist children in understanding how their teeth work, and what it takes to keep them healthy.

I’d like to congratulate any child who would not run away, screaming its fool head off after seeing this one.

(P.S. Credit where credit is due:  both pics are hosted at – as you no doubt guessed from the caption in the bottom left corner of each pic.  You should read some of the reactions there too)

Both sites are listed in my “Funny” blogroll list to the right.   Be warned: they can suck away all of your spare time if you aren’t careful.


Posted: May 3, 2010 in Life
Tags: , , , ,

A school principal in New Jersey sent a note home to parents, asking them to ban their children from social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook, noting “there is absolutely, positively no reason for any middle school student to be a part of a social networking site!  None!”

He was alarmed at the nature of places like Facebook, and the fact that predators can easily can make their way to children quite easily.  

I pride myself on being socially aware and forward-thinking, yet….I can get behind his paranoia quite easily.   Having learned recently the lengths to which Facebook will advance its earnings – by opening up its patrons’ profiles just a little bit more, so that vendors can use meta-data to brag about their products…well the fact is, Facebook isn’t safe anymore.  Not for adults who value their privacy and certainly not for children who may or may not have mad linking skills.

A friend of mine recently got a computer for the first time in his life.  He sent me a message from within a video site.  In other words, he used the site’s mechanism for sending emails, instead of just copying the link from the browser bar and pasting it in as a link to a message to me directly.  

I went immediately into paranoid overdrive.   What he did, unknowingly, is give the owners of the website my email address.  They provided a link on the site:  “Want a friend to see this video? Put his email address here and a note will go out to invite him to look at it.”  What could be more helpful than that?

Right.  So now they have my email address and they can combine it with all the other email addresses they have on file, and now they can sell those addresses to other third-party vendors, some of whom are kosher and OK, and others of whom are scam artists.

I felt the need to educate him but frankly didn’t know where to begin.  As an internet neophyte there is so very much to learn. 

Like:  when you forward funny emails directly to a group of people – AND WHEN YOU LEAVE THEIR ADDRESSES IN THE TO: FIELD INSTEAD OF USING THE BCC: FIELD – you have to know that the email is going to go viral.  As friends in the inital group of recipients forward the funny email to their groups of friends….well, eventually thousands of people who you never knew and to whom you never intended the email to go to will suddenly find your email in their inboxes.  And while most of them might be just as normal as you and me there’s going to be a percentage of folk who are just not trustworthy at all.  And that percentage will suddenly have your email address, which they can use as they see fit.

People join up with Facebook, which warns you to use your real first and last name.   That’ s their rule.  And you know what gets me?  EVERYONE DOES IT.  We are such a trusting people.  

Those same people also join Twitter and some decide to play it safe by using a pseudonym.  Then they link their Twitter account to their Facebook and voilà!  Their real name shows up in the stream.   And some use Twitter to talk about, oh, well absolutely everything. 

Like:  “I bought a new laptop computer.” 

Followed by:  “I’m just heading out for a night on the town.  Hope my little cat can stand to be alone.”

And they wonder why, when they get home, their new laptop is gone and how the thieves knew when to break in.

Back to the principal of that school:  he worries that some gossip about a kid down the hall will make it out to the wide net.  Before the internet, the gossip stayed within a small group of friends.  No longer.  Bullying and preying has been taken to new heights. 

When I first read the article I thought he was being a bit of a boob.   Having read the entire email though (found here: ), and upon further reflection,  I’ve changed my mind.

I think he’s right to be paranoid.

(P.S.  I’m on Facebook and I don’t use my real name.  I’ve got a really freaky name on there.  Facebook’s rules can kiss my native-American ass.)   :)