What's brought me back to my keyboard is a burning desire to raise awareness of some societal ills that must be dealt with. I cannot sit idly by anymore, and I implore you to share this message with the masses. Together, we can make a difference. Below is a list of sayings, people and practices that must be retired for the continued improvement of civilization. Why? Quite simply, we can do better.
- Inserting "Gate" Behind Any Scandal: When the Patriots were found to be taping practices, it was Spy-gate. When the Saints' defense was maiming opponents for financial reward, it was Bounty-gate. The fact is adding "gate" doesn't even fit. Watergate is an office and residential building along the Potomac River, made famous when it was bugged by associates of President Richard Nixon (a fellow Duke grad). The next time someone affiliated with the NFL does something ridiculous (just refresh espn.com), ignore the urge to add name + "gate". We can do better.
- Strollers: Wikipedia defines an externality as the cost or benefit that affects a party who did not choose to incur the cost or benefit. The effect can be positive or negative. A classic example of a negative externality is a car alarm. The device may dissuade a would-be thief by engaging an extremely loud alarm or voice command, if you purchased your alarm system from Darrel Issa. However, the new classic example is the stroller. Looking back to the last century, we saw the stroller evolve from the large pram type to small and now to the SUV equivalent strollers sometimes found today. While they provide utility to the child, who can snack, nod off or just take it easy and the parent, who doesn't have to hold the child or deal with a fatigued kid after a long day, the rest of us are left footing the bill. Strollers are in the way on the subway, sidewalk, grocery store, airport and basically every area of the urban environment. Do us all a favor and get one of those reverse baby back packs and/or buy your kid a matching pair of Asics. And if you have to use a stroller, buy one of the small fold-able ones, please.
- Mitt Romney, Presidential Candidate: The New York Times, even in these dark times for print journalism, is still the standard bearer when it comes to daily print media in the US. Working by their motto "All the News That's Fit to Print", the Times is still the apex for journalists and those that want to be informed. That being said, on October 14, 2014, Josh Barro tells us why 2016 may be Mitt Romney's year. Let's put all politics aside, and just get back to the theme of this article, We Can Do Better. Who knows, maybe Hillary Clinton is feeding this to the press? I'll leave you with this question, how would you like the task of exciting the Republican base or any moderate voters to vote for Mitt given his personality and 2012 performance. If Mitt throws his hat in the ring again, I predict the Tea Party will be bidding on rights to the moveon.org domain name.
- Using the Term Hashtag in Spoken Conversation: Throw in LOL, SMH or whatever abbreviations you use in text messages or Twitter. There's nothing wrong with using abbreviations when you're texting on the go, depending on your audience. There's also nothing wrong with participating in and utilizing Twitter as the incredible, real-time information source it is. Do yourself and all of us a favor, use the appropriate language in the appropriate setting. Never is it appropriate to use the term hashtag, unless it directly relates to a Twitter.