Saturday, July 24, 2004

lambsticks to you, too

so i am beginning my own foray into the realm of blogs. this will probably be a place where i can wax philosophical and process the things i'm thinking through. the nice thing about doing it in this sort of context is that i can get feedback from people, if they stumble across my page. i'll start by describing where the name comes from, because it ties in with something else i enjoy thinking about. i was out on a boat with several friends one day, and we'd been in the sun for a while, so things weren't all that sane. at one point one of them just started saying "lambsticks." so i did too. now we say it to each other all the time. as the original (or unoriginal, as the case appears to be) title of this blog, "work in progress," was already taken, i decided on lambsticks.

this makes me think about the way we use language. i can say lambsticks to either of these friends in a number of situations and it will carry meaning. they may not always end up understanding my intended meaning, but there will be meaning, even though it's a nonsensical word creation. a lot of language is like that. it "means" one thing, but in the context of friendship (or something worse, like enemy-ship) it can mean things that most people wouldn't know it could. there aren't too many other things to say about this, just that i often think about the way language functions in society. another good example i get stuck on is the "how are you?" greeting. most of the time people don't actually stop to find out how someone is. this bothered me for the longest time, but then i realized that in most cases they aren't asking a question at all, but performing a ritualized greeting process that our culture has taught most everyone. so i'm no longer offended when someone asks me how i'm doing and then just keeps on moving. they care enough about me to give an accepted greeting, and that's pretty good.

2 comments:

Jacob said...

Loosely related to the language topic ... 'hang out.' Just what exactly are we referring to when we say this? What am I hanging, and if we're hanging it out, where is it usually? I know what pops into my mind when I analyze the phrase, but I'm hoping to find some alternative explanation.
Carry on blogging, by the way. Also by the way, I see disturbing images in my mind when I see the word 'lambstick' written out. What's really odd is that I get a nasty taste in my mouth when I read it. That's what lambsticks means to me ... bile.

A.J. said...

I really enjoy your blog. I look forward to reading more posts.