Thursday, November 30, 2006

One more $25,000 Question

Were there more efficacious ways to help--ways that wouldn't have given an opportunity for some to treat Bellevue like a piñata?

Probably.

--Mike

6 comments:

headoutofthesand said...

So tell me--honestly--do you start with a sentence and then get a thesaurus to pick out alternate words? I used to do that on my high school term papers thinking it made me sound smarter.

Then I went to college and they actually counted off for that because they wanted our writing to be clear and concise.

Seriously, you crack me up. Isn't it so much easier to just say efficient? But maybe it's fun for you--I dunno--like a hobby finding words that 90% of the human race has to look up...umm...but, not me, of course. :)

Mike Bratton said...

Since you asked...

Seriously, you crack me up. Isn't it so much easier to just say efficient?

No, because the definition of "efficacious" differs enough from "efficient" that the meaning of the sentence would've been changed, just as it would if I'd used "effective," a nearer cousin to "efficacious."

Now, I'm the kind of geek who used to read dictionaries for fun (blame the spelling bees for that), but I have never, not once, ever used a thesaurus, the thesaurus function on a computer's word processor, a website, or any other aid for composition. The way I write is virtually identical to the way I speak.

Odd that you mention grading--I've always, for whatever reason, had teachers in both high school and college who took the opposite path, challenging me to broaden my vocabulary while developing a precise, sagacious writing style.

But maybe it's fun for you--I dunno--like a hobby finding words that 90% of the human race has to look up...

For me, it's not so much a matter of fun per se as it is a matter of precision.

umm...but, not me, of course. :)

I would never have presumed otherwise.

:)

--Mike

church_musician said...

Um..I'd just like to interject...the word "efficacious" is not that weird and I'm guessing more than 10% of the population knows what it means. As a fellow word lover/lover of precision, I have to stick up for you here Mike. Clear and concise is good, but using the word "efficient" here wouldn't be less clear and less concise than Mike's word. I'm weary of poor logic and subjective reasoning. For example: "I don't know this word, I would have to use a thesaurus to use this word, therefore Mike must be doing the same." I wish we would all be:
1. less sarcastic
2. less personal
3. more logical
4. less speculative
5. more humble

church_musician said...

correction: by "wouldn't be less clear" I, of course, meant "WOULD be less clear"
(sometimes I fail to be precise!)

headoutofthesand said...

ha!

church_musician,

You crack me up, too. Maybe Mike should rename his blog the Mike-Bratton-for-those-of-you-in-the-top-10%-of-vocabulary-only blog.

And if you think that Mike isn't sarcastic and is humble (to use some selections from your list), then please come down and buy some beautiful ocean-front swampland I am selling next week.

:)

But, golly gee whiz, I'm just a simple 'ol boy. It sure would've been easier if he'd have said:

"The $25,000 Question. Were there better ways our church could have used $25,000 to produce the desired effect of helping another church in need that would not have offended a significant number of our conservative, image-conscious members who would like to avoid "all appearance of evil"?

Probably."

church_musician said...

headoutofthesand:
And if you think that Mike isn't sarcastic and is humble (to use some selections from your list), then please come down and buy some beautiful ocean-front swampland I am selling next week.

REPLY:
I said I wish everyone would be less sarcastic, more humble, etc.
everyone. me, you, mike, and all creatures great and small.

I may be a little sensitive to the idea of you dismissing words simply because you don't know them. there are people out there in the world of academia who already don't take christians seriously because we've made so many things trite and we seem almost too "spiritual" to think clearly. and i think to some, we're notorious for being almost anti-intellectual. those people in the world of academia might not come to Jesus in droves, but they might be a little more attentive if they saw us loving God with all of our minds AND hearts and souls. now, i'm not saying you hate words or that you hate using your brain. i fear somehow you may infer this and i want to go ahead and preempt that inference. what i'm saying here is not personally connected to you. it is an idea and thoughts that i've been thinking for years. your comment simply reminded me that people can tend to almost scoff when another person is either learned or just uses a vocabulary that isn't mainstream in certain spheres. if mike were to use the same sentence in say, an english class, no one would flinch. he has used words i've had to look up, but i was glad to learn a new word. he also used "curiouser and curiouser" which I knew to be andy griffith inspired. anyway, so you can say the sentence your way, and mike can say it HIs way, and we can all get along. haha. (i'm halfway serious. we could all stand to be sweeter, ey? after all, unity among the brethren IS John 17). ok, sorry to go off on such a tangent.