I recently finished a series called The Atlantis Gene. Overall, a good read. The first book was excellent. The second was good. The third drove me up the wall.
The author’s favourite word: Impossible. He has every character in the book say it every other page. By the time I got to the third book, I was ready to take said book and hit him in the head with it.
I can understand one character having a crush with a word. Hell, if you have been following me for a while, you know I have a long time affair with the word awesome. To me, everything is awesome. Good luck reading that last sentence and not getting stuck the the earworm song from the Lego movie. You’re welcome.
But most, if not all, characters in the book? Including all the aliens? Please.
All impossible means is that you don’t know how to do it.
That’s it. Or that no one has done it yet. Which effectively means you don’t know how to do it.
Every single thing humankind has done so far was impossible until someone did it. That is why we have the Guinness World Record thingy.
In fact, the best way to get something done, is to tell a nerd that it is impossible. See how long it takes them to achieve it.
So yeah. As I am sure you all have inferred by now, saying something is impossible is one of my pet peeves.
When people say impossible, what they really mean is “highly improbable”. Or “not feasible at the moment”. If you understand probability law, you know that the odds of something happening may be tiny, tiny. But there is always a chance, however small, that it will happen.
On the other hand, I suppose once could say there is always the chance, however small of something never happening. I’ll leave that one to the mathematicians.
4 thoughts on “Impossible Musings”
It is impossible to ride naked on the back of a rocket from Earth to the sun and back. Let me know when you’ve solved that one. ;)
I understand your frustration with words being used incorrectly. As a non-credentialed expert in semantics, I feel this kind of exasperation often. But don’t blame the words, dear Claudia. Blame those who use them incorrectly and a culture that doesn’t know any better, and worse still, is perfectly content to brutalize the English language.
(“You keep on using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”)
HAHAHAHA absolutely! I don’t blame the words. And in reality, the most I’d do is roll my eyes. Hate is too strong a word for something as silly as a word being misused. I like the word exasperation, though. It is a good word. It rolls nicely out of one’s tongue :)
But yeah, languages are a fluid, always evolving thing. And that in itself is good too because it changes as we change. Can you imagine if we were still speaking Middle English? When I was young and foolish, I didn’t want Spanish to change. I thought it was beautiful as it was and I wanted to preserve it just like that. Now I know better.
Exasperation I like especially because it sounds like what it means. Seriously, try saying “exasperated” without sounding exasperated. You have an extraordinarily low probability of succeeding!
hahahaha Yep. I like