Elliot Swan is a freelance web and graphic designer as well as a self-proclaimed photographer who loves ranting about design, standards, and the web in general. But that's not what this site is for. No, he's got another site for that. What's this then? Why, let me introduce you to...

Accidental Procrastination | Things I didn't mean to think about when I should've been working.

I was:

It’s not my fault I’m a pessimist.

July 18, 2006

Americans have always been impressed by professional-sounding terms. Some of us like them so much that we invent multiple terms for the same thing then attempt to trick you into believing that they’re actually different.

The whole profession of doctorism (how’s that for a professional term) revolves around this exact system. After all, if doctors are going to charge so much, they’d better look like they actually know something we don’t.

How many times have you gone to the doctor to hear him say, “You hurt your leg”? Probably not very many. They’re much more likely to say something like, “You have a fracture of the femur,” which sounds much more professional.

We all know they just look it up on the internet when our back is turned. This is the only reason that I can think of for always having such crappy wallpaper–good distraction while they look it up (Hey, is that a BUTTERFLY on there?). But even so, they still like to pretend that they are actually smarter than us. So, they use these big words in order to prove they deserve the white coat:

“After much googling research I have come to the conclusion that the fetor comes from extensive feces.”

“What?”

“Your shit stinks.”

One more thing. How come I always end up with the practicing doctors? Just once, can’t I get a good one? I think that’s something my health insurance forgot to mention.

Big words aren’t just reserved to wealthy googlers doctors, however. Take the words optimism and pessimism. We like to define these with the oh-so-popular “half-full” and “half-empty” illustrations. People love to ask you that. Do you see your glass as half empty, or half full?

I hear this is one of psychiatrists’ favorite questions, which is also why I believe that psychiatrists are people who wanted to be doctors, but couldn’t learn how to use Google fast enough so settled for making up stuff on the spot.

I don’t need a psychiatrist to tell me whether I’m an optimist or a pessimist though, because there’s not too much difference. The only real difference between optimists and pessimists is that the half-full people tell you that “if life hands you a lemon, make lemonade,” while the half-empty people hate lemonade.

Stuff that other people said:

Now it's your turn.

  • I'm a nice guy, so I'll let you use basic XHTML such as <a>, <strong>, <em>, <blockquote>, and <code>.