Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Silas Marner and also, Stupid Questions

I'm reading "Silas Marner." It's the first George Eliot book I've ever read. The language is pretty difficult, actually, and it reminds me that I have really been sliding in the serious reading category. Well, what can I say? I like non-serious fiction. After I graduated college, I spent months only reading Stephen King. Anyway, I wish I had picked up an annotated version, if such a thing exists. I can't make heads nor tales out of some of the colloquialisms that are used.

On a completely different topic. There are those who say there is no such thing as a stupid question. This is a complete falsehood. Topping the list of stupid questions (and this obviously only applies to someone who has access to a computer and is computer literate) is any question that can be answered by going to Wikipedia or typing it into Google (in the cases where one or more of the first five results will answer your question). Actually, it isn't that the questions themselves are stupid. What's stupid is when someone wants me to take time out of my life to answer a question that is .37 seconds away from being knowable but for a few key strokes. If you don't know what a playbill is (for example), there is no reason to admit to that - just look it up! It isn't that hard. I concede that someone may have recently asked one of these so-called stupid questions and I might have just been out of patience at the time, but I see people sometimes and wonder how they can function in this world. I also admit that it is better to ask a stupid question than to do something just completely wrong.

We had this intern four or five years ago and I could not get her to file things in chronological order for the life of me. I told her at least four times that our files are in chronological order. It didn't occur to me until months after she left that maybe she didn't know what that meant. So if you have to ask, fine, ask. Maybe I should have sat down with her and filed things with her for a day to make sure she got the concept. That didn't really occur to me either.

In actual news, I'm not fully recovered from being sick. I don't feel sick, per se, but my appetite is not normal. I mean, I don't want ice cream any less, but everything else is questionable. It's great for maintaining a weight, but terrible for health and, I'd rather be healthy than thin. Usually.

1 comment:

  1. Never read this one either -- although I LOVE Victorian and pre-Victorian lit. Eliot's Middlemarch and Daniel Deronda are really great reads :)

    As for a stupid question, I do understand what you mean but I can't really ever tell people that a quick internet search will often yield an answer. And, of course, not everything on the web is accurate.

    My approach is typically this -- the only stupid question is the one not asked! Because you are right; if you don't know something, you are going look a whole lot dumber if you mess up. Better to acknowledge that you don't know something. That way, you give the impression of caring enough to learn.

    That was one of the scariest lessons to learn as a newly-minted rabbi. What if someone asked me something and I didn't know the answer?

    Possible response:

    "That's a great question. Let me get the answer/clarification/whatever and get back to you."