To be fair…
In my last post, I pointed out some
wonk-a-donk unusual items I read in both my local newspaper and a magazine I mysteriously get.
One of my great blogger buddies, Vanessa, pointed out, and rightly so (in both my and her opinion), that I should explore what was behind the seemingly wingdingydonger of a made up word (can you believe people do that?) and the wha-ha-ha? of a headline. Maybe I was missing something and I over reacted. (I know. Hard to fathom.)
Let’s start with “supposal.” I suppose it’s as good a place to start as any.
Much to my surprise, I was wrong if I gave you the impression that someone in my local newspaper made up this word.
Supposal is a real word and it has been around since the 13th or 14th century, which (as we all know) was a very hunky dory time for the English language. They made up some humdingers of words back then. It’s just that most of them died along with the people using them who contracted plagues and had the poor sense to be witches during the Crusades. (If my Western history references are a little off, pardon me. I’m a blogger, not a freaking historian.)
Anyway. A supposal is an assumption or hypothesis or a concept that is not yet verified but that if true would explain certain facts or phenomena.
I don’t think that in the case of a negotiation between the hospital and the nurses’ union that Management was making a hypothesis regarding the nurses contract, but maybe they were trying to float a theory about how likely the nurses would be to throw a bed pan at them if they didn’t cave to all of the nurses’ demands. It’s hard to tell from the article because it was vaguely written using words from the 14th century and I’ve thrown away the paper.
O Magazine had an article about how changing hair styles would change your life. I thought that this claim was either overstating the power of hair (except when stuck in one’s drain) or understating the quality of one’s life (except when dealing with a clogged sink).
So I found the article online and took a look. Maybe there was something more to the better hair/better life claim than an attempt to appeal to women’s vanity and superficiality.
Again, much to my surprise, I was wrong. Sort of. There was more to the article than just the super power of hair.
To really zazz up your life and become the woman you knew you could be, you have to do more than change your ratty hairstyle. You have to glam up your face with movie-magic make-up and buy yourself a wardrobe that will set you back a few thousand dollars. But, hey, this is your life we’re talking about.
To prove all this making over is worth it, the magazine showed “before pictures” taken by a Polaroid camera circa 1970 after a particularly bad bout of insomnia or the flu and “after pictures” in a professional photographer’s studio with some sexy guy off camera telling them to “work it, Baby.” The change was impressive.
These women commented on how much better they felt and looked. Their confidence level soared. They could do anything…except replicate that look after sleeping and worrying about their credit card bill. Thanks Oprah. But there are plenty of articles in the magazine about how to be your authenti-self (as long as we’re pretending, I thought I could make up another word) and accept yourself for who you are.
I have a supposal for you: The level of a woman’s confusion and anxiety increases (as measured by calories consumed) in direct proportion to the number of articles read in any typical women’s s magazine.
Hey, it’s no accident that I have a lot of research publications. I know how to formulate a hypothesis. I just didn’t know that all those years I was also making supposals left and right.