February – isn’t that a funny word.  Y’know, phonetically speaking.  That “r” after the b is a real treat and yet you find yourself wondering – what made someone decide that the second month of the year should be called February.  Frankly, this question can be asked of all the months.  I’m sure some genius somewhere has the answer on the history of the words, but I really don’t care. 

That’s right, I’m asking a question to which I really don’t care about the answer.  Welcome to “polite society” and “the American Mainstream Media”.  This is not a complaint, it’s a fact of life – we all do it.

“How are you today?”  is supposed to be answered with “Fine, yourself?”  (Ok, the grammar teacher in me wants to inform you all that the correct response is actually, “Well, thank you.  How are you?”   Well is an appropriate response to “how something is” not good or fine – you can’t BE good or fine in that context, it doesn’t fit the terminology.)  I digress… 

Anyway, we ask questions to be socially correct or to make ourselves seem intellectual.  “Did you hear the rhetoric regarding the Republican review of the President’s economic package?   Wouldn’t you say some of their ideals are detrimental to the overall fabric of democracy?”  (This is a true quote of a question asked by a coworker.)   Ok, so I actually have been half-way following this story.  I have some general feelings on the topic, but do I feel the overall “fabric of democracy” will be affected?  I don’t know.  I mean, offhand, probably not – No, I think democracy as an ideal is stronger than the economic platform on which it stands.  This country has been poor before and managed to survive and strengthen.  But, as it turns out, my coworker really didn’t care about the answer.  The question was just a starting point for him to espouse his personal feelings in an overly articulate manner that was intended to make him look exceptionally intelligent.

I personally got “pompous turd” out of it, but that’s just me. 

There’s actually nothing wrong with doing this – I know, I know “What am I saying?!”, but it’s the truth.  Intelligent conversation for the sake of discussion and conversation without actual investment in the outcome is not a bad thing.  It sparks debate and ideas that usually get back to someone who IS invested and appreciates the rhetoric. 

I just wonder how much our usage of this type of dialogue affects our ability to trust others and share genuine concerns.  How many times do we hold our tongue on the assumption that “they really don’t care anyway” and how many times does that thinking lead us astray?  Did the people in the housing industry have questions about practices in the early years that they never asked because “no one really cares anyway”? 

Not that I expect an answer…  I’m just asking.