Posts Tagged ‘kung fu’

On Coping with Lyrical Imprecision in the song ♫Everybody was Kung Fu Fighting♫

A Therapeutic Rant Enabling Me to Exorcise My OCD Demons

Sir Stephen Hawking to Carl Douglas: “Surely not everyone was Kung Fu fighting.”

Everybody was? Really? Didn’t Carl “one-hit-wonder” Douglas realize that perhaps somebody, somewhere was not Kung Fu fighting. How about singing the more accurately descriptive “a few people were Kung Fu fighting,” instead of the lazy, fits-all lyrics “everybody was Kung Fu fighting.” I mean if we allow this level of lyrical imprecision to percolate into society, where does it end?

The Rolling Stones lamentably sang ♫I Can’t Get NO Satisfaction♫ – really Mick, None? In England in the mid-60’s. I think everybody knows that Mick was getting at least some satisfaction. Alright, maybe not everybody knows it, but many people do. I don’t want to be accused of the same imprecision by using the word everybody when I should’ve said “a few people.”

Calling out and correcting these overblown and inaccurate claims is the domain of someone who prefers to make our universe as tidy as possible. Someone like me. No, I mean it. Someone like me. No really, I’m pleading with you: Someone like me damn it! See how dangerous the slippery slope of misinterpretation is when you casually employ inexact expressions?

Don’t STOP

It’s bad enough that STOP signs don’t change to GO after we’ve stopped. Those smug octagonal signposts think they can just command us to act and expect us to sheepishly comply. And when we do comply, then what? In the absence of a subsequent instruction I’d like to know what the expectation is. The peremptory command to STOP means just that. I see no interpretive wiggle room to assume that at some point we may GO. However millions do. I’m proud to say I’ve sat at STOP signs for hours waiting for some indication as to what to do after I’ve stopped. Usually an encouraging honk and a few words of encouragement from the exasperated motorist behind me is enough for me to, “Get movin’ assh*le.” Read the rest of this entry »