Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Things They Should Invent Words (and Natural Consequences) For

We need a word and natural consequences for that thing where people assume that the goal/motivation behind a particular action of yours is different from your actual goal/motivation, and then lecture you because that action isn't to achieve the goal that they've unilaterally attributed to you (which you aren't even trying to achieve in the first place).


"You shouldn't buy those Cortland apples.  You should buy Gala instead because they're organic."

Except my goal isn't to eat what's most optimally healthy or environmentally friendly, my motivation is to eat what's most yummy to me.

"You shouldn't buy that used widget on ebay.  You can get newer widgets for cheaper at Big Box Store."

Except my goal isn't to get the cheapest widget, it's to get the specific widget that's worked for me in the past when other widgets haven't.

"You shouldn't buy a new condo. The maintenance costs will go way up."  

Except my goal isn't to have maintenance costs that never go up, my goal is to live in a brand new building in a suite that no one else has ever lived in before.

Any ideas for names for this phenomenon or attendant natural consequences?


laura k said...

Possible words: Shouldisms? Shouldosity? Assumination? Lecturitis?

Possible natural consequences: Their tongue falls out.

OK, that's kind of gross, but FFS!

impudent strumpet said...

I like assumination!

It also occurred to me in the shower that this concept could be made broader, and include the phenomenon where you ask people if they can recommend a product or service that meets specific criteria and they recommend one that doesn't meet those criteria on the basis that it meets other criteria that they think are important.

(Example: I'm looking for apples that are like Cortlands and unlike Red Delicious, and someone says "You should eat blueberries, they're in season!")

laura k said...

It's the shoulds that makes it so annoying, for me. If I said I was looking for apples that were similar to Cortlands, and that made you think *fruit*, and you said, "I don't know too much about apples. But blueberries are great right now," it would be a conversation - not an assumination.

Have you thought of any natural consequences? Maybe they are forced to buy an inferior product in a really annoying transaction on ebay.

impudent strumpet said...

Hmmm...you get to force them to live their life in accordance with one of priorities (of equal value)? So in this case you get to tell them what fruit to eat?

Not as satisfying as I'd like though, because it does nothing to make me happy if someone else is eating my preferred fruit, and it isn't strong enough to elicit schadenfreude.