Monday, April 25, 2005

How to Express Yourself and Get Away With It...

When was the last time you wanted to speak your mind and couldn’t find the right words to use? Especially when you want to express your displeasure! Saying something drastic may ruffle too any feathers and who knows, the feathers may belong to someone who is higher in the pecking order! What do you do then? Here is a solution; give went to your steam in English. English?! Before you let your pessimism run wild, try this, "You cantankerous caitiff, nugatory cipher and an arriviste!" See to it that you have a deadpan face and day it fast enough to prevent any of those words to be retained in the memory of your flummoxed victim long enough to rummage through the dictionary to find out what that means. Let us replay the sentence in slow motion and analyze its various elements. 'Cantankerous' means short tempered, 'caitiff' is coward, 'nugatory' is worthless, 'cipher' is a person of no importance, and an 'arriviste' is a person who is ambitious and self-seeking.

Einstein once said, "There are two things that are infinite, one is the universe and the other is human stupidity. But I am not sure about the universe". If your dear friend simply does not get your point, which a kindergarten kid would understand at the very first attempt, the best compliment would be 'cretin'. Not enough? Anserous, asinine, misintelligent, thick-witted, fatuous, lummox, blunderbuss, loutish, noddy and so on! Having covered a part of the infinite wavelengths that stupidity can manifest itself in, let us proceed to deal with people who are crooks. So specialized they are in their fine art of filching that you wouldn't know that something was amiss until their malfeasance has already been bestowed upon you! But once you realize it, you can go at them with, "pirate, freebooter, buccaneer, picaroon, rover, corsair, searover, rifler, cutpurse, latron, despoiler", although many of these words refer to pirates, the fact that you were left all at sea by them is reason enough to use them.

Then there are these people who love three things in life. They are, to talk, to talk, and to talk. And as the quantity increases, obviously, the quality steadily decreases. They beat around the bush, meandering aimlessly, maundering away to glory, providing a cure to insomnia in some and giving headaches to some less fortunate! They usually are friends who you wish weren't! Since they won't even let you interrupt them, you might as well say this prayer in your mind - "Oh God, if You hadn't given them so much of an ability to babble, chaffer, drone, circumlocute, harp, to ramble, to be pleonastic, prolix, verbose, the world would be a quieter and less miserable place!"

Now come the most dangerous kind--even Dale Carnegie would not be able to tell you how you can make friends with them or influence them. They are the ruthless achievers who would bulldoze their way to the top of the ladder of success (what other kind of ladder would support a bulldozer?). Morality, righteousness, and altruism are strange words to this demon in the guise of your friendly colleague. Spreading a rumor, canard, and slandering names is part of the daily routine. This diabolic casuist wouldn’t mind publishing your research paper as his/her own and believes that the end justifies the means. Such a person would be Machiavellian.

Although it was fun reading these words, it may not be much fun using these words to hurt people or rather their egos and feelings. Each new word gives us a new way of expressing our feelings and adds a new dimension to our personality. But it should not be a new way to throw the spanner in the works of any organization! You are right; this is the ‘handle with care’ warning that comes with anything dangerous!

(This article of mine had been printed in Education Times, Pune, December 30th issue with the title "Vocalise Your Reflections")

2 comments:

Shruti T A said...

Wow. I don't have the words. But I bet you do! Keep writing!

Purple haze said...

Wow ! you just put the words back in my mouth ...now i am gonna use all tthe words in my vocabulary ..fearless ly ..muhuahhaaaaha