Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The Deadly Pronouns

Pronouns are words used to substitute for nouns. They allow us to write in a more efficient manner. For the most part they are benign language elements. A few of them, however, are deadly, causing untold damage and injury. Think not? Read on.

The three most deadly pronouns are them, theirs and they. They can cause a fatal family of diseases known collectively as "yenems." The symptoms of "yenems" are multitudinous: dissatisfaction, envy, jealousy, greed,desire, advanced kinah, aggression, lashon horah, rechilus, motzi shem rah, scorn, anger, and divisiveness, just to name a few.

The organisms that cause "yenems" enter the body mainly through the eyes and ears, areas of the body that are too frequently left unprotected; the organisms can also be spread to others through the mouth. Once in the body the "yenems" bacteria immediately begin to affect vision and also begin to attack brain cells.

While human beings generally try to avoid other diseases and disease-causing organisms, it has been observed that most people actively put themselves in the position of receiving the "yenems" bacteria. In point of fact, the actually go looking for the bacteria. Yes, people want "yenems." It is the defining characteristic of the disease.

One branch of "yenems" also involves the pronouns I, me and mine. Researchers have identified the course of the disease as follows: Patient X sees Person A and immediately thinks "I want what he/she has!" Or perhaps "It's owed to me!" Or perhaps "He/she has theirs now I want mine!" The bacteria in this type of "yenems" is found in everyday household items as well as some rarer items: houses, household furnishings, jewelry, vacation trips, cars, clothing, electronic equipment. Occasions such as engagements, weddings, bar mitzvahs and the like can also activate the "yenems" bacteria.

Another branch of "yenems" works a bit differently. The pronoun we plays a major role in this branch. Those who are infected with this disease may begin to act irrationally. "We are the greatest!" is frequently heard coming from these sufferers. Sometimes it is articulated as "We are better than them!" This branch of the disease works in exactly the opposite manner from the branch discussed above. Sufferers of this version do not suffer envy of them. Instead, sufferers have an irrational need to eradicate them. "They are wrong!" they scream. "They should not be talking!" "They need their heads examined!" "They need to be eliminated to leave more room for us!"

And yes, there are some people who suffer from both branches of "yenems" at the same time.

"Yenems" has reached epidemic proportions. Doctors have no known cure for this family of diseases. "The only thing that people can do," they offer "is to strengthen their personal immune system. This can work to bring the disease under some measure of control. People should know, however, that once a person is infected, the disease may lay dormant in the body forever, emerging full-blown on very little provocation. Monitoring yourself is a lifelong job."

Little pronouns, lots of damage.


Anonymous said...

a) I'm really, really enjoying your honest & insightful blogging, and

b) what do the following mean?
3)motzi shem rah


ProfK said...

Kinah--jealousy, not petty

rechilus--when one runs around telling lots of other people things he has heard about or from others. Usually negative things and they may be true or false

motzi shem rah--when that which one relates about someone else is false and will result in a "shem rah," a "bad name" being given to the person being spoken about.

Anonymous said...

Mussar on the internet. Go figure.