Monday, March 7, 2011

Language Corruption

Have you ever walked by a group of people, heard what they were saying, and walked away shaking your head? I'm not referring to subject of their conversation, but the manner in which they carry out a discussion. It can be quite a frightening, not to mention disheartening, experience.

The English language is comprised of hundreds of thousands of words, and yet it seems that the average person has a lexicon of only a few thousand words. Of course, we all know people who have very large vocabularies, we tend to refer to them as "snooty." We also all know people who tend to be limited a few dozen words, along with various grunts and groans. These we call troglodytes.

No, I'm not one of those snooty people that throws around big words to show how smart I am. Yes, I did just use the words lexicon and troglodyte, but just to prove a point. Do you know what those words mean? If not, did you look them up, or just guess a definition for each? Personally, I'm the type of person that makes up definitions to words, it's just more fun. But seriously, if you don't know what a word means I highly recommend looking up the meaning. You may just find out that the silly little name your friends have been calling you for years isn't quite as endearing as you once thought.

Communication is a tricky thing, even looking beyond the words that we use.

There is a certain phenomena that intrigues me, and yet disturbs me at the same time. It is best witnessed when a group of guys are together (it's likely witnessed among groups of girls, but that's dangerous territory, so I won't venture many guesses as to what happens there). The age group of the guys doesn't really matter, the result is typically the same:

A group of guys is dumber than a bag of hammers.

Girls, you may be thinking this is common knowledge about every human male, but I'll explain. And guys, don't even try to tell me this is garbage, you've most likely already reminisced about several incidents in your life that would prove this idea.

Individually, we men can be very intelligent, enlightening, and productive human beings. Yes, we are all dumb in our own little ways, but overall, we're okay. Even in groups of two or three, we're still doing pretty well, carrying on intelligent conversations, and still able to do some good in this world. Once you add a fourth person to the group, a spectator will begin to see sure signs of stupidity creeping in. Words become shorter and less intelligible. Jokes become a bit dumber, but laughter is heard more often. Every guy you add to the group now is just another weight dragging the conversation further into the depths of unintelligence.

Case in point, have you ever been to a sporting event and seen a group of shirtless guys with their team name spelled across their bodies? This is not done only to show their support of the team. They've devolved to a level where they can no longer communicate with spoken words (Honestly, have you ever been able to understand what they're screaming). The intelligence level has fallen so far that they can only comprehend the single letter written on their chest, and it's up to you to put their whole message together.

I am in no way immune this type of behavior. Even though I've never been a body-painted sports fan (After all, I'm only wide enough to be an exclamation point), I've experienced a dip in mental capacity when with a group of guys. Maybe the smell of so many guys together causes certain parts of the brain to shut down, or perhaps because there are no girls to impress we are merely letting out our true selves. Who knows.

Of course, I could try to write about the communication malfunctions of women, but I figure that's a lost cause. A woman could say one single sentence and I doubt even she would know everything she meant. And then there are the things she DOESN'T say. And that's all I'm going to say about that.

Next time you walk by a group of girls or group of guys try to listen carefully. Ladies, it may be just the thing you need to help you stop saying "super cute" and "like" so much. And guys, maybe you'll learn that by saying "dude" and "sweet" less you won't sound so much like a character from "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure."

Here's hoping we actually start using the words we were taught in elementary English classes.

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