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Archive for February 7th, 2007

Hold that thought; I have to cross the street

Wednesday, February 7th, 2007

Although I agree people should pay attention when they’re crossing the street, I’m not sure how effective an all-out ban on using electronic devices while doing so would be. But apparently, NY is considering just such a thing. From CNN:

New Yorkers who blithely cross the street listening to an iPod or talking on a cell phone could soon face a $100 fine.

New York State Sen. Carl Kruger says three pedestrians in his Brooklyn district have been killed since September upon stepping into traffic while distracted by an electronic device. In one case bystanders screamed “watch out” to no avail.

Kruger says he will introduce legislation on Wednesday to ban the use of gadgets such as Blackberry devices and video games while crossing the street.

I know personally from having driven and walked across campus with throngs of people on their phones, text messaging or listening to iPods, this is a problem. Even I’m guilty of paying less attention than I should when I’m on the phone and late for class or a meeting.

However, I don’t really see people holding a conversation on the phone walking a block, hanging up, calling back, coming to another intersection, hanging up, and so on. Likewise, I can’t imagine most iPod users would be up for mandatory pausing while they crossed the street.

But for that matter, let’s ban all forms of communication or distraction while crossing the street. Silence while you’re between sidewalks, people. Single file lines. You, put down that newspaper! And over there, stop reviewing those notecards. I don’t care if you have a test in five minutes. It’s for your own good.

I don’t have a solution for making people pay attention to their surroundings. Other than having parents reinforce to their children the importance of looking both ways before stepping off the curb. But that solution is so low-tech, it would never work.

I suspect this proposal would be nearly impossible to implement because it’s something nearly everyone does (including I suspect many of the legislators who’d be voting on it). I think it would be pretty much ignored by people too busy to care. Maybe I’m wrong. We’ll see.

It’s like, you know, whatever

Wednesday, February 7th, 2007

I am on a personal mission to eradicate all three of those phrases (“like,” “you know,” and “whatever”) from my vocabulary. I should also throw in “blah, blah, blah.” As that one seems to be a sore point, too.

It’s not that I’m not intelligent, and it’s not that I don’t try. I do. Honest. But I use all of those phrases entirely too often. And I think my editor is getting tired of telling me, “no, I don’t know what ‘whatever’ means, Meranda.” A force of habit I’ll need to break very soon.

I used to get daily lectures from my law professor on using the word like. I know I wasn’t alone in receiving the lecture, so I think it was also part of his mission to eradicate it from the entire student body’s vocabulary. I wish I’d listened more. Though, as I tried to explain to said editor, I have honestly gotten a lot better. I don’t sound like a “valley girl” per se, I just don’t sound as smart or professional as I could. But then, I think it’s a generational thing, because I don’t know one of my peers who doesn’t say any of those phrases more often than necessary.

Either way, it’s time to you know, like, get over my affinity for said phrases, or whatever.