Awesome. Just Awesome.

One can not, or ought not, nickname oneself. This is not a hard-and-fast social rule, but it is similar to the unspoken rule about not declaring oneself humble. The person who volunteers that he or she is humble often is not at all humble. An exception comes when the humble person is speaking self-deprecatingly.

Every once in a while, I have desired a cool nickname, a moniker that precedes me wherever I roam. “Lefty” is a great nickname—Steve Carlton and Phil Mickelson both carry that name with distinction, but I am right-handed. No one goes by the name “Righty.” “Write-y”? No. No one needs a nickname that is a pun, a rhyme no less, and would always need a follow-up explanation: “‘Cause he calls himself a writer, get it?”

“No. No, I don’t.”
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Hey! Buddy! What’s the Prob?

No one who asks the question, “What’s your problem?” is expressing an invitation to join them in the quest for a solution. It is a statement costumed as a question. In linguistics, this sort of accusation-posing-as-a-question/concern is known by a linguistic term that I have not yet researched and may not get to today. “Accusation-posing-as-a-question,” or APAQ (™ pending) works for me, though.

It is aggressively passive-aggressive only almost approximately one-hundred percent of the time that it is uttered. The person speaking the non-rhetorical non-question is profoundly certain of one thing, is philosophically sure of this, however: That they are not now doing, nor have they just been doing, nor were they about to do, something that falls in the range between perplexing to annoying to criminal.
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Keep Waving

In a column from 1996, I wrote, “The world should be more friendly, damn it.” Even in that pre-IM, pre-text, pre-now world of yesteryear, something was changing in our society’s social skill set, and a prematurely elderly person like me was taking notice and not liking it at all.

With tools like texting and IMing, matters have not much improved. However, that prematurely elderly person (I was 27 going on “Get off my lawn!” back then) has become an appropriately aged middle-middle-aged man.
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