word choice

estimated 4 min read

Ok, I lost this post the first time I wrote it. Now I’m tired. Let’s see how fast I can retype it.

[nb: i’m a bit cranky retyping this and i think i’m missing a point i wanted to raise. please keep that in mind while reading it. I may edit more it in the morning. I hope I don’t hurt anyone by my word choices. It’s not my intention. I just had my mind opened by using a word in a different application than I had used it. Or at least maybe seeing it in print did this to me.]

I’m slowly catching up on my newspaper and magazine backlog. Today I had to trek all over the isle of Manhattan so I took a bunch with me so I could (for perhaps the first time EVER) lightly my reading load as I went.

And then I encountered the 24 December 05 issue of The Economist.

The following blockquotes are from The Economist 24 Dec 05, page 65.

I started off reading a nice article by the former foreign editor on his return to Lundazi, Zambia 40 years after he spent some time teaching there in the time between high school and college.

The new plague
Basic tuition is provided free, but the fees for boarding and any extra lessons come to nearly $200 a year, and uniform costs almost another $40. For most families, that is a fortune: about 70% of Zambians live on less than $1 a day. But in the past a family that could muster enough to start sending a child to school would usually be able to see the endeavor through. Today that is often untrue, simply because so many families are falling apart.

You still there? Good. Ok, at this point my brain was more conscious than it is now and it was thinking oh dear [email protected](s) (I’ll choose mine, you choose yours) — the plague of divorce has come here? how horrid! And then I read on.. I’m not saying living on less than $1 a day is good, that didn’t shock my brain, however horrid THAT thought is.

In the list of students, the letter S (for a “single” orphan, ie, a child who has lost one parent) or a D (for a “double” orphan) occurs ever more often against the names as the classes grow older … The cause is AIDS.

Ok, sadly the AIDS epidemic doesn’t shock me. It still saddens me to no end, but this isn’t what caused me to write about it 6 hours later (twice, since I lost the first one). Do you see it? Read it again. The word choice I found interesting and I have in 16 years never heard it uttered (at least not in my prescence). Which is it? Single orphan. I find it interesting and am torn from wanting to slug someone if they tried to label me as such (which is, actually, quite true) and I am not ignorant of the fact that I could become a D (2 years on mom now has better blood pressure than I DO). When at my inlaws over yontifs with yizkor it’s difficult that we’ve run out of room for the yarzeriet candles and cannot “pass the match around”. I’m thankful that my husband has no comprehension over why I think about it for myself and other friends and colleagues who have lost or may soon loose a parent. The sudden loss of my father 16 years ago (well, sudden to me and I think to my mom too) was difficult but made us stronger in many ways (and weaker in others). I’m not saying a one parent family due to death (or divorce) is easy. Under any circumstances. I’m not saying that being an orphan is demeaning. I just never thought of applying this word to me. Not yet at least..

ANYWAY.

Something postive. Today I taught the most WONDERFUL 88 year old man to use email. He is such an inspiration. I love his daughter greatly and enjoyed teaching her a year and a half ago. He is just incredibly cute and has travelled to amazing places and was so much fun. His keeper is a dear too (he’s loosing his short-term memory but still has amazing function). I can’t wait until I see him next (Feb 8th). My day had some more goodness in that I spent some extra time “staying” at a client’s apartment and playing with his cats while I did some coding for a non-profit I assist with and waiting for him to leave the office. Purring cats make me happy. If someone can make a robot cat (better than this) I will be first on line.

Oh and I’m working on the next wig post. I’ll try to post it before London. Miriam I will try to mail the combs tomorrow. It helps to take the envelope WITH you when taking it to be weighed for postage. ;)