Tuesday, February 01, 2005

No Name-Calling Week

I was informed by my alert office-mate Bill that this week was No Name-Calling Week. (Actually, he was wrong; last week was no name-calling week.) But I was inspired to see if I could make it through a week without calling anybody or anything names.

I am not a mean or cruel person. I restrict my rude descriptions to people or things that irritate me a lot. Most of the vitriol spewed from my mouth is aimed at supercomputers that don't do what I want them to do. I have a pretty long fuse, so name-calling is fairly infrequent.

Or so I thought! I had no idea how many times per day I call something "stupid" or "useless" until I started trying not to say it. My stupid hand was too sore to write. This useless book didn't have the information I wanted. The stupid website didn't accept my password.

And Turing, the supercomputer! All my jobs were crashing yesterday, and epithets endlessly raced through my mind. That "piece of Turing" (as it's known affectionately) was really getting on my nerves. It was hard not to call it a cheeseweasel (the all-time greatest epithet, coined by my wordsmithing sister Rachel), or something much worse!

I realize that this week's name-calling has been aimed at inanimate objects exclusively (well, I guess my hand is animate but it's not sentient on its own), but I'm still surprised by my negative attitude toward those objects. No Name-Calling Week has been a learning experience for me.

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