Who ever thought that a single word like “please”, in context, could be so humorous? Yet Henny Youngman made a comedic career out of four simple words and a pregnant pause: “Take my wife….. please” (Youngman). Yes, the word “timing” says it all.
Take the word “value”….please. How I hate this word. There are so many variations to the theme that surround this word that any smart minded non English speaking immigrant to our country would think twice about trying to learn or understand the English language. For example, an individual or group’s perception of worth, based upon personal or collective experiences in a shared environment can only define or measure “value.” “Value”” is illusive, as there are more perceptions of “value” out there are there are cars on the road.
Let me try to exemplify exactly what I mean here:
In 2005, I picked up my dear ole mother’s car: a 1979 Mercury Zephyr, something akin to a Falcon or Fairmont – Ford only knows. My mother could not drive anymore. She was 91 for heaven’s sake. The car had about 56,000 kilometers on the O.D. Mint condition! Lime Green with a sickly, yellowed tan interior.
Now the market “value” of that car in 1979 was $6,500.00. Twenty-six years later the book “value” was about zilch. The insured “value” – who knows, but the assessed “value” was about $3,000.00 and climbing, as long as it didn’t disintegrate during the long hard winters. Its “value” would continue to rise in “value”” as long as its condition remains, well, “valuable.”
Obviously my mother held considerable sentimental “value” in that automobile. As I pulled away from the big city for the drive back to my home town I came to understand the hereditary “value” of this gift to me and the intrinsic “value” of the trust she placed in me to take good care of Betsy.
I made it back home in one piece although the water pump went out around some god forsaken country hick town. Between that and thinking about the local Elvis sightings, I was beginning to ponder the meaning of life and the mechanical “value” of the car; the emotional “value” that this machine may have had and its effect on my own sense of “value” and well being.
Arriving home I thought about its economical “value” as it had taken over a tank of gas to cover the 300 miles from the really big city to my hometown. Had I been taken for a ride? Were there aspects of this car that were known only to my mother, the parish priest, her hairdresser and the bagger at her local supermarket? I had to contemplate its utility “value” considering the other two cars I had.
Yet, thinking of my dear ole mother and somewhat excited about the possibility of getting perhaps $3,000.00 for the car’s assessed “value” I thought hmmm, but quickly shook any thought of that out of my mind for if I “valued” my life I dared not even think about selling dear ole Betsy.
Trying to define “value” can be problematic, which in itself is an extremely overused word. It’s like common sense. Something that is taken for granted yet is extremely rare in today’s world. And trying to make sense out of “value” as in “What are your values?”, as opposed to someone else’s values is like an academia nut trying to make sense out of common sense and coming up with pure nonsense.
Words can mean different things to many different people. It is how we shape them, construct them, and construe them that are key to our success in using them. Timing may be one thing but context is everything. Take my word for it. You’ll be surprised at how much fun words can be. You’ll be truly amazed at your wordiness.
Song of the day:
Or would you rather have a Prius?
Have a great weekend and Cannabis Day
It’s the law of the land. Canada, the first country to legalize marijuana.
I can’t realistically celebrate being a Canadian 01 July while we have a Prime Minister intent on destroying our country.
SJ………………………………….Out of it!