标记档案: 幽默

Need I say more?

Quiet Me

I’m an introvert. In today’s world where articulation is often mistaken for accomplishment, introversion is a bit of a baggage. But I have no complaints about my baggage, for I have been more successful than I expected or wanted to be. That’s one good thing about being an introvert — his ambition is aways superseded by the need for reflection and introspection. To an introvert, the definition of success doesn’t necessarily include popular adulation or financial rewards, but lies in the pleasure of finding things out and of dreaming up and carrying out whatever it is that he wants to do. 好, there may be a disingenuous hint of the proverbial sour grapes in that assertion, and I will get back to it later in this post.

The reason for writing up this post is that I’m about to read this book that a friend of mine recommended — “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” by Susan Cain. I wanted to pen down an idea I had in mind because I’m pretty sure that idea will change after I read the book. The idea calls for a slightly windy introduction, which is the only kind of introduction I like (when I make it, 就是说).

Like most things in life, extroversion, if we could quantify it, is likely to make a bell-curve distribution. So would IQ or other measures of academic intelligence. Or kinesthetic intelligence, for that matter. Those lucky enough to be near the top end of any of these distributions are likely to be successful, unless they mistake their favoured curve to be something else. 我的意思是, just because you are pretty smart academically doesn’t mean that you can play a good game of tennis. 同样, your position on the introvert bell curve has no bearing on your other abilities. Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, you will be badly and equally beaten if you try to play Federer — a fact perhaps more obvious to introverts than extroverts. Therein lies the rub. Extroverts enjoy a level of social acceptance that makes them feel as though they can succeed in anything, just like a typical MBA feels that they can manage anything despite a total lack of domain knowledge. That misplaced confidence, when combined with a loud assertiveness hallmark of extroversion, may translate into a success and make for a self fulfilling prophesy.

That is the state of affairs. I don’t want to rant against it although I don’t like it. And I wouldn’t, because I estimate that I would fall about one sigma below the mean on the extroversion curve. I think of it this way: say you go and join a local tennis club. The players are all better than you; they all have better kinesthetic intelligence than you can muster. Do you sit around complaining that the game or the club is unfair? 别. What you would have to do is to find another club or a bunch of friends more at your level, or find another game. The situation is similar in the case of extroversion. Extroverts are, 顾名思义, social and gregarious people. They like society. Society is their club. And society likes them back because it is a collection of extroverts. So there is social acceptance for extroversion. This is a self-fueling positive feedback cycle.

所以, if you are introvert, and you are seeking societal approval or other associated glories, you are playing a wrong game. I guess Susan Cain will make the rest of it pretty clear. And I will get back to this topic after I finish the book. I just wanted to pen down my thoughts on the obvious feature of the society that it is social in nature (duh!), and therefore extrovert-friendly. I think this obviousness is lost on some of us introverts who cry foul at the status quo.

To get back to the suspicion of sour-grapishness, I know that I also would like to have some level of social approbation. Otherwise I wouldn’t want to write up these thoughts and publish it, hoping that my friends would hit the “Like” 按钮, would I? This is perhaps understandable — I’m not at the rock bottom of the extroversion distribution, and I do have some extrovert urges. I’m only about a sigma or so below the mean, (和, as a compensation, perhaps a couple of sigmas above the mean in the academic scale.)

Bernard ShawMy wife, 另一方面, is a couple of sigmas above the mean on the extroversion department, 和, not surprisingly, a very successful business woman. I always felt that it would be swell if our kids inherited my position on the academic curve, and her position in the people-skills curve. But it could have backfired, as the exchange between George Bernard Shaw and a beautiful actress illustrates. As the story goes, Mrs Campbell (for whom Shaw wrote the part of Eliza Dolittle in Pygmalion) suggested to him that they should have a child so that it would inherit his brains and her beauty to which Shaw replied: “My dear lady, have you considered that it might inherit my beauty and your brains?“

滑稽, Annoying and Embarrassing

Now it is official — we become embarrassing, ridiculous and annoying when our first-born turns thirteen. The best we can hope to do, evidently, is to negotiate a better deal. If we can get our thirteen year old to drop one of the three unflattering epithets, we should count ourselves lucky. We can try, “I may embarrass you a bit, but I do annoy you and I am certainly not ridiculous!” This apparently was the deal this friend of mine made with his daughter. Now he has to drop her a block away from her school (so that her friends don’t have to see him, duh!), but he smiles the smile of a man who knows he is neither annoying nor ridiculous.

I did a bit worse, 我认为. “You are not annoying; you are not always ridiculous and you are not 完全 embarrassing. 好, not always,” was the best I could get my daughter to concede, giving me a 50% pass grade. My wife fared even worse though. “哦, she is SOOO ridiculous and always annoys me. Drives me nuts!” making it a miserable 33% fail grade for her. To be fair though, I have to admit that she wasn’t around when I administered the test; her presence may have improved her performance quite a bit.

但严重的是, why do our children lose their unquestioning faith in our infallibility the moment they are old enough to think for themselves? I don’t remember such a drastic change in my attitude toward my parents when I turned thirteen. It is not as though I am more fallible than my parents. 好, may be I am, but I don’t think the teenager’s reevaluation of her stance is a commentary on my parenting skills. May be in the current social system of nuclear families, we pay too much attention to our little ones. We see little images of ourselves in them and try to make them as perfect as we possibly can. Perhaps all this well-meaning attention sometimes smothers them so much that they have to rebel at some stage, and point out how ridiculously annoying and embarrassing our efforts are.

May be my theory doesn’t hold much water — 毕竟, this teenage phase change vis-a-vis parents is a universal phenomenon. And I am sure the degree of nuclear isolation of families and the level of freedom accorded to the kids are not universal. Perhaps all we can do is to tune our own attitude toward the teenagers’ attitude change. 嘿嘿, I can laugh with my kids at my ridiculous embarrassments. But I do wish I had been a bit less annoying though…

百丽件

这里是法国的笑话,只有在法国很有趣. 我在这里提出它作为一个难题我的英语为母语的读者.

这位上校在法国军队是在洗手间. 因为他是通过减轻他的膀胱的中间业务, 他察觉这个高大一般站在他旁边, 并意识到它不是别人,正是戴高乐. 现在, 什么时候你发现自己一种俘虏观众的你旁边的大老板一两分钟的? 好, 你必须做出的Smalltalk. So this colonel racks his brain for a suitable subject. 注意到,厕所是一个优雅的尖顶部关节, 他冒险:

“百丽件!” (“漂亮的房间!”)

CDG的冰冷的语气表明他,他刚刚犯下的错误专业的艰巨性:

“向前看。” (“不要偷看!”)

English as the Official Language of Europe

The European Union commissioners have announced that agreement has been reached to adopt English as the preferred language for European communications, rather than German, which was the other possibility.

As part of the negotiations, the British government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has been accepted a five year phased plan for what will be known as EuroEnglish (Euro for short).

In the first year, “s” will be used instead of the soft “Ç”. Sertainly, sivil servants will reseive this news with joy. 还, the hard “Ç” will be replaced with “以”. Not only will this klear up konfusion, but typewriters kan have one less letter.

There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year, when the troublesome “ph” will be replased by “f”. This will make words like “fotograf” 20 persent shorter. In the third year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expected to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible.

Governments will enkorage the removal of double letters, which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. 还, al wil agre that the horible mes of silent “和”s in the language is disgrasful, and they would go.

By the fourth year, peopl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing “th” 由 “z” 和 “w” 由 “v”. During ze fifz year, ze unesesary “0” kan be dropd from vords kontaining “ou”, and similar changes vud, of kors, be aplid to ozer kombinations of leters.

Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German lik zey vunted in ze forst plas…

A Crazy Language

This crazy language, 英语, is the most widely used language in the history of our planet. One in every seven humans can speak it. More than half of the world’s books and three quarters of international mail is in English. Of all the languages, it has the largest vocabulary perhaps as many as two MILLION words. 不过, 让我们面对现实吧, English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren’t invented in England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren’t sweet, are meat.

We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write but fingers don’t fing, grocers don’t groce and hammers don’t ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn’t the plural of booth beeth? One goose, two geese. So one moose, two meese?

Doesn’t it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend, that you comb thru annals of history but not a single annal? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it? If teachers taught, why didn’t preacher praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? If you wrote a letter, perhaps you bote your tongue?

Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell?

How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and wise guy are opposites? How can overlook and oversee be opposites, while quite a lot and quite a few are alike? How can the weather be hot as hell one day and cold as hell another?

Have you noticed that we talk about certain things only when they are absent? Have you ever seen a horseful carriage or a strapful gown? Met a sung hero or experienced requited love? Have you ever run into someone who was combobulated, gruntled, ruly or peccable? And where are all those people who are spring chickens or who would actually hurt a fly?

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which an alarm clock goes off by going on.

English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race (哪, 当然, isn’t a race at all). That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible. And why, when I wind up my watch, I start it, but when I wind up this essay, I end it.

[Unknown source]

Ioanna’s Aisles

During my graduate school years at Syracuse, I used to know Ioanna — a Greek girl of sweet disposition and inexplicable hair. When I met her, she had just moved from her native land of Crete and was only beginning to learn English. So she used to start her sentences with “Eh La Re” and affectionately address all her friends “Malaka” and was generally trying stay afloat in this total English immersion experience that is a small university town in the US of A.

不久, she found the quirkiness of this eccentric language a bit too much. On one wintry day in Syracuse, Ioanna drove to Wegmans, the local supermarket, presumably looking for feta cheese or eggplants. But she was unable to find it. As with most people not fluent in the language of the land, she wasn’t quite confident enough to approach an employee on the floor for help. I can totally understand her; I don’t approach anybody for help even in my native town. But I digress; coming back to Ioanna at Wegmans, she noticed this little machine where she could type in the item she wanted and get its location. The machine displayed, “Aisle 6.”

Ioanna was floored. She had never seen the word “aisle.” So she fought and overcame her fear of Americans and decided to ask an employee where this thing called Aisle 6 是. 不幸, the way this English word sounds has nothing to do with the way it is spelled. Without the benefit of this knowledge, Ioanna asked a baffled and bemused clerk, “Where is ASSELLE six?”

The American was quick-witted though. He replied politely, “对不起, miss. I am asshole number 3; asshole number 6 is taking a break. Can I help you?”

一盘棋

当我还是一个十几岁, 我以前是在国际象棋还不错. 我的业余围棋生涯的亮点是在八十年代末,当我打 曼努埃尔·亚伦, 九时印度全国冠军和印度的第一个国际大师. 真, 它只是一个展览的同时, 和他玩 32 我们的. 真, 其他三人也打不过他. 还… 甚至比击败了冠军更令人满意的是事实,我的朋友, 所在亲切地叫库蒂, 被打先生. 亚伦. 要理解为什么库蒂的损失比我赢更甜, 我们要回去了几年.

日期 – 八月 1983. 地点 – 别. 20 马德拉斯邮件. (的门外汉 — 这是一列火车把一个来自我的家乡特里凡得琅的马德拉斯. 这些城市后来改名为特里凡得琅和金奈的爱国灵感的瞬间; 但我离开那段时间,喜欢老, 较短的名称。) 我是在火车去我的大学 (个人所得税, 马德拉斯) 作为一个新生. 我并不知道, 所以是库蒂, 谁是坐在对面的小岛在车上 (我们用来调用一个隔间或转向架。) 不久,我们攀谈起来,并认识到,我们打算是同学. 库蒂看起来像一个无害的字符 — 所有的眼睛闪烁, 厚厚的眼镜, 易笑容和大声笑.MandakOurWing.jpg

事情进展很顺利,直到他注意到在我的东西,我的磁性棋盘. 行, 我承认这一点, 我已经安排好了,这样的人会注意到它. 你看, 我非常自豪这个棋盘,我的 亲爱的爸爸 让我作为一个 礼物 (从一个表哥在工作 “海湾,” 当然). 库蒂说, “哦, 你对弈?” 他说,这几乎太随便, 那声调响起警钟,这些天, 由于经历像很快就蒸发在一列火车的那烘箱.

但, 年轻而鲁莽,因为我是, 我没有听从警告. 我曾经想了很多我自己的日子 — 人格特质我还没有完全超越, 根据我的另一半. 所以我说, 同样随便, “是啊, 你呢?”

“是啊, 打开和关闭…”

“要玩游戏?”

“当然可以。”

经过几次开放的举措, 库蒂问我 (而钦佩, 我当时的想法), “所以, 你读了很多关于国际象棋的书籍?” 我还记得这清楚 — 这是正确的我fianchetto后, 而且老实说,我认为库蒂是后悔他的决定与这个未知的高手下棋. 我觉得他问了几个更多的问题在同样 — “你在打比赛?” “你在你的校队?” 等等. 当我坐在那里感觉不错, 库蒂是, 好, 下棋. 不久,我发现我的fianchetto对角线无可救药封锁三个我自己的棋子, 和我所有的碎片卡在糖蜜无处可去. 二十多痛苦的举动后, 这是我衷心谁后悔我的参展棋盘. 你看, 库蒂是印度全国象棋冠军, 在分初级组.

在我们的个人所得税的行话, 这是彻底的极化, 国际象棋游戏, 就像很多随之而来的游戏, 因为我一直在未来四年挑战库蒂. 你看, 我已经没有任何疑虑的战斗不可能赔率. 无论如何, 我学到了很多东西从他身上. 终于, 我可以和他一起玩盲棋没有棋盘的好处, 因为我们曾经我们从天目山路到IIT一小时的车程在一个深夜电影后做, 喊出来的事情,比如NF3和 0-0 多以团伙的其余部分的烦恼. 我记得告诉库蒂说,他不能做一个特别的举动,因为他的骑士在那方.

虽然我还记得这样的说法, 它是不太可能,我会看到的东西库蒂已经错过. 他总能看到一对夫妇的举动更深入和一对夫妇更多的变化. 我记得另外一个我们的火车游戏, 一个很少见的,我得势; 我宣布, 令人印象深刻, “在交配 14!” 库蒂想了一会儿,说, “不太, 第12招后,我可以逃脱。”

无论如何, 正是这种尴尬的第一次国际象棋比赛与库蒂,使得他的损失亚伦双重甜蜜. 库蒂后来告诉我,他已经错过了一个叉, 这就是为什么他失去了. 好, 这可能是. 但你不应该错过任何东西. 没有什么是不重要的. 没有在国际象棋. 不是生活.

照片由 soupboy

在办公室生存指南

Let’s face it — 人 job hop. They do it for a host of reasons, be it better job scope, nicer boss, and most frequently, fatter paycheck. The grass is often greener on the other side. Really. Whether you are seduced by the green allure of the unknown or venturing into your first pasture, you often find yourself in a new corporate setting.

In the unforgiving, dog-eat-dog corporate jungle, you need to be sure of the welcome. 更重要的是, you need to prove yourself worthy of it. 不要害怕, I’m here to help you through it. And I will gladly accept all credit for your survival, if you care to make it public. But I regret that we (this newspaper, me, our family members, dogs, lawyers and so on) cannot be held responsible for any untoward consequence of applying my suggestions. Come on, you should know better than to base your career on a newspaper column!

This disclaimer brings me naturally to the first principle I wanted to present to you. Your best bet for corporate success is to take credit for all accidental successes around you. 例如, if you accidentally spilled coffee on your computer and it miraculously resulted in fixing the CD-ROM that hadn’t stirred in the last quarter, present it as your innate curiosity and inherent problem solving skills that prompted you to seek an unorthodox solution.

But resist all temptation to own up to your mistakes. Integrity is a great personality trait and it may improve your karma. 但, take my word for it, it doesn’t work miracles on your next bonus. Nor does it improve your chances of being the boss in the corner office.

If your coffee debacle, 例如, resulted in a computer that would never again see the light of day (哪, you would concede, is a more likely outcome), your task is to assign blame for it. Did your colleague in the next cubicle snore, or sneeze, or burp? Could that have caused a resonant vibration on your desk? Was the cup poorly designed with a higher than normal centre of gravity? 你看, a science degree comes in handy when assigning blame.

但严重的是, your first task in surviving in a new corporate setting is to find quick wins, for the honeymoon will soon be over. In today’s workplace, who you know is more important than what you know. So start networking — start with your boss who, presumably, is already impressed. He wouldn’t have hired you otherwise, would he?

Once you reach the critical mass in networking, switch gears and give an impression that you are making a difference. I know a couple of colleagues who kept networking for ever. Nice, gregarious folks, they are ex-colleagues now. All talk and no work is not going to get them far. 好, it may, but you can get farther by identifying avenues where you can make a difference. And by actually making a bit of that darned difference.

Concentrate on your core skills. Be positive, and develop a can-do attitude. Find your place in the corporate big picture. What does the company do, how is your role important in it? 有时, people may underestimate you. No offence, but I find that some expats are more guilty of underestimating us than fellow Singaporeans. Our alleged gracelessness may have something to do with it, but that is a topic for another day.

You can prove the doubters wrong through actions rather than words. If you are assigned a task that you consider below your level of expertise, don’t fret, look at the silver lining. 毕竟, it is something you can do in practically no time and with considerable success. I have a couple of amazingly gifted friends at my work place. I know that they find the tasks assigned to them ridiculously simple. But it only means that they can impress the heck out of everybody.

Corporate success is the end result of an all out war. You have to use everything you have in your arsenal to succeed. All skills, however unrelated, can be roped in to help. Play golf? Invite the CEO for a friendly. Play chess? Present it as the underlying reason for your natural problem solving skills. Sing haunting melodies in Chinese? Organize a karaoke. Be known. Be recognized. Be appreciated. Be remembered. Be missed when you are gone. 在一天结束时, what else is there in life?

成熟

复杂是法国发明. 法国人的主人,当涉及到培育, 更重要的是, 复杂销售. 觉得有些贵 (因此优雅) 品牌. 机会是一半以上的那些的春天在脑海中会是法国人. 而另一半将是明显的法国冠冕堂皇的崇拜者. 这复杂的世界统治是令人印象深刻的泰国的规模和人口的小国.

你怎么拿在印尼制造的手袋, 拍一个名字,只有的买家屈指可数可以发音, 并出售它的利润 1000%? 您可以通过倡导精致做; 由是,别人只能渴望成为一个图标, 但从来没有实现. You know, 有点像完美. 难怪笛卡儿说了一句听起来很像, “I think in French, 因此,我!” (或者是它, “我认为, 因此,我是法国人”?)

我对法国的管理有世界其他地方吃东西,气味和味道像脚的方式感到惊讶. 我站在法国,当世界热切用自己辛苦赚来的面团部分吞噬了这样的怪物如肥鸭肝的敬畏, 发酵乳制品, 猪肠充满血液, 蜗牛, 小牛肉内脏和诸如此类的东西.

法国管理这一壮举, 不解释产品的优点和销售的这些点, 啊哈…, products, 而是通过完善怀疑在谁不知道自己的价值,一个无比复杂的显示. 换句话说, 没有广告产品, 但你尴尬. 虽然法国不知道他们的体格, 需要的时候,他们做的看不起你一个令人钦佩的工作.

我得到这个复杂的味道最近. 我承认了我的一个朋友说,我从来没有可以开发鱼子酱口味 — 法国精巧的典型图标. 我的朋友斜眼看了看我,告诉我,我一定吃错了. 然后她向我解释吃它的正确方法. 那一定是我的错; 怎么会有人不喜欢鱼卵? 她会知道; 她是一个优雅女孩SIA.

这件事让我想起了另一个时候,我给另一个朋友说 (显然不如优雅,因为这SIA女孩) 我没太在意脱颖而出的Pink Floyd. 他喘了一口气,告诉我永远不要说像那样任何人任何东西; 人们总是喜爱的Pink Floyd.

我应该承认,我有我的调情与成熟的较量. 我的复杂程度最满意的时刻来到时,我设法以某种方式工作法语单词或表达了我的谈话或写作. 在最近的专栏, 我设法溜进 “座谈沟通,面对面,” 虽然单纯的打印机扔掉口音. 口音一挥手增加复杂程度,因为他们混淆了赫克读者.

该暗自怀疑,法国可能是拉动我们一快一爬上了我,当我读到的东西,斯科特·亚当斯 (迪尔伯特的成名) 写. 他不知道这是什么ISO 9000 FAD是所有关于. 这些谁获得了ISO认证自豪地炫耀, 而其他人似乎贪图它. 但没有人知道它到底是什么? 亚当斯推测,它可能是一个恶作剧一群在酒吧设计喝醉酒的年轻人. “ISO” 听起来很像 “从昭通马啤酒?” 在一些东欧语言, 他说:.

难道这精致的时尚也成为一个恶作剧? 一个法国阴谋? 如果是, 脱帽致敬法国!

Don’t get me wrong, 我不是反法国. 我的一些最好的朋友是法国人. 这不是他们的错,如果别人想模仿他们, 按照他们的美食习惯和尝试 (通常徒劳) 说他们的舌头. 我做到这一点 — 我发誓,在法国,每当我错过一个羽毛球拍轻松. 毕竟, 为什么要浪费一个机会,听起来复杂, 是不是?

金钱 — 爱它还是恨它

无论其存在,d'etre可能, 有必要对更多的, 和难以抑制的贪欲. 和矛盾, 如果你想尝试解渴了一下你的贪婪, 做到这一点的最好办法是风扇在别人贪婪. 这就是为什么电子邮件诈骗 (你知道, 尼日利亚银行家请求您的帮助移动 $25 无人认领的继承万元, 或西班牙彩票渴望给你 67 万欧元) 仍持有的迷恋让我们, 甚至当我们知道我们将永远不会爱上它.

还有就是热衷于其他人的贪婪和信心作业方案之间只差模糊的线. 如果你能拿出一个方案,让钱为别人, 并保持法律 (如果没有道德), 那么你将让自己很有钱. 我们最直接地看到它在金融和投资业, 但它是非常比这更广泛. 我们可以看到,即使教育, 传统上认为更高的追求, 的确是对未来收益的投资. 从这个角度观察, 你会明白在各类学校的学费和工资毕业生命令之间的相关性.

当我开始写这个专栏, 我以为我做了这个新的领域被称为金钱的哲学 (哪, 希望, 在我之后有人会说出), 但后来我读了一些关于心灵的约翰·塞尔的哲学. 原来,没有什么专利的这个想法, 也不应作出的任何现金, 可悲的是. 钱从哪里来客观的社会现实,这是非常不现实的保护伞下. 在他的社会现实建设的论述, 塞尔指出,当他们给我们一张纸,说这是法定货币, 他们实际上是建设资金由声明. 这不是一个关于它的属性或特性的声明 (喜欢 “这是一大杯水”) 这么多的意向性的声明,使得东西是什么 (喜欢 “你是我的英雄”). 我是一个英雄的区别 (也许只有到我六十岁) 和金钱是钱,后者是社会公认, 它是客观现实的任何.

我的结论与唠叨怀疑这篇文章中,我可能没有人认为我的观点不够好. 我开始用的前提下,钱是一个虚幻元的东西, 并结束了其主张客观现实. 我的这个矛盾可能是我们用金钱集体又爱又恨的反映 – 也许不是一个坏的方式结束这个专栏毕竟.

照片由 401(ķ) 2013