Things we wonder about

  • Ungla Schluppe… who are you?
  • Perhaps a zen koan:  If you are deluded into thinking that you are happy, are you really not happy?
  • Is something always going to be annoying you and there’s no point in getting rid of annoyances, or do annoyances hit randomly and pile up so you should get rid of them ASAP?
  • How do you get to graduate school and still not know the difference between loose and lose?
  • Why don’t we see kids blowing bubble gum bubbles anymore?  Or really, chewing gum much at all.

Grumpasaurs, do you have solutions for us?  Or other ponderable imponderables?

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48 Responses to “Things we wonder about”

  1. Practical Parsimony Says:

    Oh, oh, raising and waving my hand. I know one of the answers. You get to graduate school not knowing the difference between lose and loose, the same way you get there not knowing the differece between breath and breathe, the same way you get their not knowing the difference between blond and blonde. Oooops, the last one was my PhD friend who argued with me until we could get to a dictionary.

    I was in grad school with much younger students who did not know lots of these distinctions. And, we were all working on an MA in English. It was much worse when I did the 5th year program for the masters in education. These were the people who were going to teach future college enrollees the distinctions between these words, how to spell them, how to pronounce them, and what they mean. It was horrifying. Mostly, I was saddened I would be lumped in with them in the minds of others.

  2. First Gen American Says:

    I think annoyances are just like little mini-goals that you have to tackle. They will always be there until the point you give up on improving on the concept of continuous improvement as a lifestyle choice. It’s not just for six sigma quality improvement corporate toadies. It’s a good life practice as well.

  3. Comradde PhysioProffe Says:

    Ungla Schluppe… who are you?

    Even Google has no fucken clue! But you know who Google does know? Mr. George Tierney, Jr., of Greenville, South Carolina, who is a grotesque horrible misogynistic asshole.

  4. Linda Says:

    I’m guessing kids don’t blow bubbles anymore because sugarless gum is now the norm, and sugarless bubble gum is an abomination. Also, many schools and such forbid gum chewing, right?

    Annoyances are worse when you’re stressed; if you’re not already stressed, the same thing may not annoy at all, or just annoy a tiny bit. Whenever you are in a situation where you can’t control all inputs there will always be annoyances. (Probably the only place this can happen is when you are in a big comfy bed on a lazy morning.)

    • Debbie M Says:

      A big comfy bed with no kids, pets, fire alarms, earthquakes… Oh, wait, there are still the hunger pangs and the full bladder problem (which I can’t complain about–they are sometimes the only things that make me want to get out of bed on a work day).

      I think annoyances pile up, so you should get rid of them ASAP. There may also always be annoyances, but I agree that things are more likely to be annoying if you’re already stressed (such as from piled-up annoyances). If most things are already taken care of, extra little things that could be annoyances may only be little things that are easily handled.

  5. karifur Says:

    In answer the question about gum – I definitely still see kids chewing gum. My own kids chew their gum like cows; it’s apparently impossible for them to chew their gum without me seeing the gum (and hearing the smacking). NASTY.
    Probably the reason you don’t see them blow bubbles as often is that most of the interesting flavors of gum these days are just chewing gum. Bubble gum only seems to come in one flavor – pink.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Whatever happened to BubbleYum?

      • rented life Says:

        They don’t make as many of the fun flavors any more. I remember things like Dr. Pepper flavored gum, etc. Now if you want Bubblicious or BubbleYum you must go into the gast station and the flavors and minimal and stale. Never used to be that way. Now it’s all about sugar free and various forms of mint. Neither area all that appealing to me and you certainly can’t blow bubbles with it.

      • Comradde PhysioProffe Says:

        I was a BubbleYUM ADDICT!!!!!!!!!

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Did you eat it all and that’s why? Or did they just run out of demand when you stopped?

    • chacha1 Says:

      Agreed. Plenty o’ chewing going on, as witness the befouled state of city sidewalks everywhere.

    • Leah Says:

      The kids where I teach all chew gum, and it is disgusting. I will likely be banning it in my classroom next year. It is harder to blow bubbles with most of the gum we have these days, but there is still plenty of gross chewing and smacking, as karifur says. Blegh.

  6. Prof-like Substance Says:

    Ungla Schluppe is a locked blog of the invite only variety. Every now and then I’ll get a bunch of hits from there. IIRC, it used to be an open blog a few years ago.

  7. Foscavista Says:

    Something I have been wondering, and would like to ask the Grumpies to ask their readers, please – What mnemonic tricks do we know? (Somehow I have been fascinated by this recently.) For example, in chemistry I learned – “LEO the Lion says ‘GER’”. I learned “Chief SOH CAH TOA” in geometry. There is one for the planets (pre-Pluto’s downgrade), and biology has one for the classification categories (kingdom, phylum, class, etc) in biology. Even I invented one for my students to learn irregular verbs for a verbal tense in Spanish. I am curious about other disciplines.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      We can add that to an ask the grumpies post.

      Sadly many of the mnemonics I know are NSFW. For example, the one for colors on resisters. BBROYGBVGW… My first boyfriend knew a lot of these.

    • Practical Parsimony Says:

      I live my life on mnemonics! I can make them up for anything..lol. I taught a bunch to the Geograpy teacher in middle school. These little tricks get me through life. I can make them up on the spot! I love mnemonics! When I had to teach math in GED classes, I could not remember the algbra myself, so I made up things so I could remember long enough to teach. Mnemonics works for college students I taught.

    • Leah Says:

      There’s a pretty non-work safe mnemonic for remembering optic nerves involving women’s anatomy.

      Anyone can own a red asian monkey is good for remembering vertebrate orders :-)

      King Henry died by drinking chocolate milk is good for the pre-fixes in the metric system, as my husband just told me.

  8. Cloud Says:

    Annoyances definitely pile up. But whether or not you should do something about them depends on whether the solution is even more annoying.

    One of my personal goals is to get better at no longer being bothered by annoyances for which the solution is worse than the original problem. I am making progress, but am far from perfect in this regard.

    Which is all the more reason to deal with the annoyances I can fix! I think of annoyances a bit like allergies, in that the total load is what matters. I can do nothing about the pollen in the air, but I can remove some of the dust mites from my total load. And no way I’d add a cat to the mix, although I will visit places that have them if I like the people enough.

  9. MutantSupermodel Says:

    1) Oooh that’s a good question. Sounds like an exotic liqueur.
    2) How is one deluded into being happy? You either believe you are happy or not.
    3) Annoyances are annoyances as long as you choose to let them annoy you. Or something like that.
    4) Spell check.
    5) I hate gum. I rarely chew it. But when I do, I blow some big ass bubbles.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      #2 is a bit related to tomorrow’s rant
      #3 suggests that perhaps the removal of annoyances will only result in replacements because either you’re the type of person who is always annoyed or you’re not… thus the focus should be on being more zen?

    • Practical Parsimony Says:

      Spell check will not know a person mean loose and wrote lose. “Loose” is a word, so it won’t be flagged.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        I think that’s the point… they think they know how to spell because they have spell-check, but spell-check doesn’t catch homophones, so it’s a false security. Just like there’s a generation of elementary school teachers who didn’t teach fractions because “we have calculators now” (not realizing you need fractions to do algebra).

      • MutantSupermodel Says:

        That’s exactly my point. But people forget it and they don’t take the time to look. Spell check’s little red and green underlines have conditioned a lot of people to overlook the rest of it.

  10. femmefrugality Says:

    That’s weird about the gum! I think there will always be things that annoy us; we just have to learn to discern between the ones we need to become zen enough to let slide and the ones that require action and correction.

  11. Unglaschluppe Says:

    Hi, I’m late I know. Due to a conference. Yes, I’m a physicist and I used to have a blog (*). It is currently not even an “invite only” blog, but no blog at all. It serves as my (and possible two more people’s) blog roll. The name I picked up as a small child.

    (*) It is also true that my current country of residence does not permit pseudonymous blogging, but that was not actually the reason I stopped. I might use this fact as a convenient excuse, though. So, thanks for the suggestion ;-)

  12. MutantSupermodel Says:

    Hey you know what I’m wondering? You once suggested some resource somewhere for people considering freelance. I thought i bookmarked it but I can’t find it. Help?

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Go to whatever (scalzi) on our blogroll, then look for his tag “writing” or something like that. He recommends a book called Writer’s Market, but has other advice as well.

      • Cloud Says:

        Sadly, he doesn’t have tags. So you’ll have to just search his site. Or do what I did, and give up and pay $5 for the collection of essays (You’re Not Fooling Anyone When You Take Your Laptop to the Coffee Shop).

        Depending on what you want to know, the info might be worth $5. It was a pleasant read either way, so I don’t feel bad about spending the money.

        Incidentally, he wrote a post about why he doesn’t have tags, and it isn’t to drive you to buy the collection. It is because he fears he would feel the need to go back and categorize his entire backlog of posts, which is huge.


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