Odd things

This post is in response to the blog post of Celine Roque, titled “Creative Exercise #1: The “Odd Things” Tickler”

The Odd Things this week are:
[1] the meaning of serious
[2] writing pads (what else)
[3] a rumour about time zones

[1] the meaning of serious

serious‘ is one of those words that confuses me, whatever language I use. It often feels like an antonym, an opposite word. Generally we take people at their word and we also assume that we’re taken serious too. Stressing out the fact that you’re serious about something, might therefore be a contradictive thing to do, as it gives reasons to doubt. Your audience might think that you are doubting your own words – or even worse: that you’re misjudging their sincerity.

There are those who use the word ‘serious’ in every sentence, in the same fashion as ‘really’ or ‘you know’, not to mention dirty words like ‘f@cking’, or ‘holy’. Those people use these words like chewing gum. It may taste nice at first, but soon the flavour is gone. And then you end up grinding rubber, which is not a very pleasant sight.

Another thing that confuses me about ‘serious’ is it’s imperative underlying meaning. It’s subtile and hard to distinct, but when it is, it feels like someone is pulling strings. Examples are: “(you’ve got to be) serious?”, or “seriously, don’t (try)”.

Ok, these are merely polite ways to manipulate someone, opposed to the more threatening order “Serious please!”. But as I said, it’s hard to tell if someone’s serious about being serious. As Wikipedia put it: “On the other hand, the risk of threatening someone’s needs of self-determination isn’t always really serious”. Serious, you mean irony.

My last confusion concerns ‘serious’ as a metonym, in which case it denotes one thing but refers to a related thing. For example: “It’s a serious disease”. Of course we know the disease isn’t an entity, capable of choosing between being serious or not. And of course there no such thing as a non-serious disease. So the word ‘serious’ refers to our own perception of the severity of the affection.

Like the previously mentioned chewing gum, the word ‘serious’ is a sticky substance that easily attaches itself to a variety of other words. Use Google to find out. You get things like “serious gaming” and “serious shopping”. It’s getting crazy and sometimes, just like the rubber, just awkward: “serious eats”. Bleh.

So what to think about that. Nothing serious apparently. But what does that mean. O well, maybe it’s all about death.
– Pardon me?
Yes, death. You know. The End.
– How’s that?

Well, if we are to take things ‘serious’, then it would be death. Or life if you wish. As in “I’m dead serious”, in wich ‘serious’ would in fact be just the synonym for death, or for that matter also a metonym. Or – just come to think of it – if someone says to you “I’m dead serious”, you might need to consider the word ‘serious’ as a last name, especially if the person is wearing a black cloak…

[2] writing pads (what else)

I’m well equipped if it comes to notebooks, writing pads, ticklers and whatsoever. I’m surrounded by them. I never leave home without having one or two in my pocket or bag. I even carry one to the shower… ok, no, that’s not true. But I have one in my kitchen drawer. Says enuff. And yet, there are days, weeks, months, that I write not a single word on them. Not that I haven’t anything to write or ponder about. No, my head is a continuous spinning tub full of water, filled to the edge and beyond. So mind your steps, its slippery up there. No, the problem is two-sided: first there’s a lack of structure, reason (motive) and discipline. Second, I lack some sort of light-hearted approach to the writing itself. No matter how often I promise myself not to be such a stringent fool, who takes his little scribbling duty way too serious, I end up just doing that. The bright side is that the writings are often dense and packed with insightful observations. But that’s more of a use to me than that it helps me become a creative writer to the public. So there are things to learn from here.

[3] rumour

According to the world clock the Pilipinas are still asleep (unless they’re night owls like me). Well, if you wake up, don’t panic. Or do. I dunnow, the rumour is still fresh. Something about a computer that accidentaly deleted time-zones… Wonder how that happened.


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