Brenda’s Blog – May 23, 2017
“End Road Work”
When you drive over 4000 miles in a month you spend much time looking at billboards and reading signs. A friend recently posted a query on Facebook about the kind of person who protests repairing potholes. “Why do they want to end road work?”
I laughed because the states of Illinois and Tennessee are bounded by either “Begin Road Work” or “End Road Work” signs. After awhile I literally wanted all of it to end!
My precious daughter in law has a well-deserved reputation as a non-fiction editor. She gave me a classic book on grammar for writers: “Eats, Shoots, & Leaves.” The positioning of commas and ampersands is critical to proper understanding. The notation in the zoo about the koala bear usually reads “eats shoots and leaves.” A world of difference!
The mispositioning of intent often creates more than a funny book title. When we assume we know why people behave in a certain way, we can make snap judgments. Then in a totally logical way (to us), we follow that path to discerning intent. There are broken relationships which are the outcome of a misconstrued word or casual action. We can forget where the relationship commas and ampersands go!
Another humorous road sign was the billboard featuring an attractive 20-something woman hugging a pig (or hog… I am a city girl, so I don’t know the difference). The text read: “Friends, not Food.” It was placed next to the exit to an extensive farm which undoubtedly supported the “Pork is the Other White Meat” philosophy. I already have more people than could possibly be considered authentic friendship. I do not need an anonymous pig. In my mind, the purpose of domestically raised livestock is for feeding all those others Facebook identifies as my friends.
Ride the road with me someday and we will find a world of philosophical discussions to be had – even without the Burma Shave signs! And keep a proper perspective as you roll.