Wednesday, May 11, 2005


A few things I wonder:

1) When did "scrapbook" turn into a verb?
2) Do people realize there is a difference between a conservative Christian and a Christian conservative? I'm one, but not the other.
3) Are labels ever helpful? Does it give you a clearer picture of me when I describe myself as a Republican or do you automatically think I've been lobotomized by the right-wing media? I think labels blur true identity. I shun them, but sometimes I use them reluctantly as a short-cut because really, who has time to read a year's worth of blog posts?

But I don't really want to be swept into any category like so many crumbs on the floor.

I decided today that when one woman presumes to speak for All Women, she ends up speaking for no one, not even herself. I get annoyed when I read in a book or article how "women" feel about this or that. I speak for myself, no one else. I've never had trouble speaking up.

Just ask my seventh grade teacher. I was sent to the principal's office for being mouthy. I was only asking questions. Why did we have to go over every single answer on the worksheet? My teacher did not appreciate my impertinence.

So I shut up in class for the next five years. Kudos to that teacher for shutting me down.

But I digress. All I'm saying is, "scrapbook" is a noun, not a verb.


Blogger Judy said...

I passionately hate to have labels put on me.

I do SO love words. Mostly for the design element, it seems. I frustrate my family to no end, as I have coffee in the canister marked 'tea'. Flour in the one for 'sugar'...and on and on it goes.

I'm sort of like that. I'm in a canister labeled something that I am not.

I go to a church that traditionally believes a certain way about some things, yet, I don't.

I'm openly pro-life, and not at all for putting prisoners to death.

I have made scrapbooks for other people, yet I don't have any of my own.

I home schooled my eldest, yet only attended one formal 'home school' event, ever.

I've yet to figure out why anyone thinks it's a good idea to go to war. Still, I voted Republican.

There is much on which my husband and I disagree. Even more that my children and I disagree about. So, if it becomes necessary to wear a label, let it be said of me...

'She did her best to love God with all her heart, soul, mind and strength and her neighbor as herself.'

(and she's do some rubberstamping)

5:08 AM  
Blogger Angi said...

Labels, something I've been struggling with myself for the past several months.

I think sometimes people get lost in the label, forget who they are, that's what happened to me.

I've spent the past year figuring out what is me, and what is the label. I've never felt as much at peace as I do now,and I still have a lot to figure out.

5:30 AM  
Blogger -epm said...

(and she's do some rubberstamping)

See! I told you! Madness and rubberstamping, I said. But would you listen? Noooo. They get you hooked on scrapbooking, er... making scrapbooks, and then it's on to the hard stuff. Before you know it you're strung out on ink pads and trying to score some glitter.

No one ever listens to grumpy guy in the corner. No one.

I agree with your comments on lables, though. All too often they're used to play on our prejudices; to divide and marginalize people. It seems they are used more often to obfuscate than illuminate.

6:43 AM  
Blogger weorwe said...

I love what Judy said.

As for scrapbooking, I like it as a verb. Then again, I was a linguistics major in undergrad; one major concept was the difference between prescriptive grammar (i.e. the French Academy, working to preserve the language) and descriptive grammar (i.e. just describing how language works, including the way it changes).

6:45 AM  
Blogger weorwe said...

I forgot to add my comment about labels. On my blog I call myself a musician and a Christian, rather than a Christian musician. My music is mostly instrumental, for one thing; without lyrics I think it's difficult to assign definite meaning to music. For another, I don't want to limit myself (or be limited) to the sacred, as if there really were a sharp divide between sacred and secular.

6:49 AM  
Blogger Ginger said...

I used to have a room mother who cranked about labels. (For many years I've thought of her as the quintessential "Mother from Hell") As in, "Don't you dare label my child." That made me think a bit about the whole issue.

Frankly, I think labels are useful as an efficiency measure, a jumping off spot in terms of getting a handle on what's going on. They mean you might not have to start at Square One in figuring out a person or situation.

However, as with all efficiency tools, their usefulness does end rather quickly. That occurs at the precise point that listening must begin.

Just my opinion.

7:38 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

I think people give too much power to words. not in how they can hurt you or uplift you, but I've heard people say, "don't speak that on me, or on my kid" just saying something outloud doesn't make it true. it's the same with labels. calling yourself a Republican might mean something different to me when I call myself a Republican. I think we use labels to help us with definitions, the only problem with that is, everyone defines things differently. for example, "scrapbook" verb or noun?

7:48 AM  
Blogger Catharine said...

Ooo... Ooo... can I add another "noun, not a verb" to the list?


"Parent" is a noun, not a verb.


7:59 AM  
Blogger Tina said...

Once I had an IM conversation, with someone I didn't really know. I told him I was fairly conservative, and he conjured up images of someone with her hair pulled back tightly...a stern radio worshipping type person, with no intelligent or independent thought process. It was really funny to me! I meant something completely different. The process of explaining myself, and listening to his opinions was very interesting, and eye opening.

8:24 AM  
Blogger tab said...

hmm, there are times that labels can be good---however, this really only works as long as you have the same definition of the label as the labler or labelee. It's hard not to use labels but I do try to avoid labels that are vague, mean and/or not accurate.

For instance, dh has an aunt from out of state---Dh didn't take too kindly to her calling him a "redneck". I don't know about you but in our books, that's is derogatory and a putdown. However, she never ever meant it like that--her definition of a redneck was someone that lived out in the country and owned guns. Based on HER definition, we do fit it and there's nothing wrong with it....however, based upon our own definition (and everyone else I know) it's an insult and not true of how we are at all.

11:07 AM  
Blogger rev-ed said...

Two thoughts:

(1) I often use this adage, which I've simplified: "Never assume that everyone shares the same frame of reference." When you use labels, you make that assumption.

(2) A man once told me that he believed civilization began to go downhill when the word "party" began to be used as a verb. I'm not so sure he's not right. ;)

11:17 AM  
Blogger The Dung Beetle said...

I agree with much of what you posted here...

I despise labels and broad, sweeping generalizations... especially seeing how, though I could be labeled as liberal as they come, I often have the urge to scream "Get a job!" at pan-handlers by freeway exits.

1:30 PM  
Blogger Julana said...

This reminds me of an old English prof I had who was ranting away about the misuse of words one day. The only offender I can remember was the use of "access" as a verb.

11:08 AM  
Blogger Tracy said...

What do you call it when you DO "scrapbook" then? :-) Having to waste all that extra time to write or say "PUTTING THINGS INTO my scrapbook" or "WORKING ON my scrapbook" just wastes valuable scrapbooking time :-)

7:40 PM  

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