Pet Peeves · 25 March 2023

Some people like to make pet peeves their ammunition.

I stole the idea of a question of the day from one of my colleagues. It is a good way to get things rolling in the morning. Just ask a question that everybody needs to answer. It only takes a few minutes and it can be a good way to take roll in the morning. And the students usually have fun with it. Thank you, Seth.

Well, I ran out of questions to ask, so I asked what questions my students thought would be good questions of the day. They had some great responses. I should have written them down. As it turns out, I did write them down. The second time I asked for good questions of the day. Yes. I am sometimes a little slow.

At any rate.

One of the good questions I got was, “What is your pet peeve?”

I asked that question one day, but I did not answer the question like I usually do. In fact, I said, “I do not have many pet peeves, but I would not tell you if I had any. I would not want you to use them as ammunition.”

Nobody really asked what that meant because I think it is pretty obvious. But I will explain here anyway.

Many years ago, I told a few of my coworkers one of my pet peeves. Actually, it was not my pet peeve. It was just something I did instead of swearing. I was much younger then and did not think about the implications of telling anybody my deep dark secrets. Okay. Not really secret. Not at all dark.

(I must digress for a moment to tell a true story. I have not sworn much since the third grade when my mom told me I could not do it. Which is a true story. I think I used a naughty word at home one time in elementary school when everybody else was learning to swear. Mom said not to do it so I stopped. No muss. No fuss. And I never really swore much even as an adult. Just because my mom said not to. Nobody wants to dissapoint Mom.)


My coworkers gave me grief for many years after I told them my deep dark secret (I already said it was not a deep dark secret, but it sounds better that way). These wonderful women who had no ill will or malice in their bodies tormented me for years. It was great fun. At least for them. Just a bit embarrassing for me. It did teach me a couple lessons though.

The first lesson I learned from the whole episode was not to tell deep dark secrets (even if they are not deep, dark, or secret). The second lesson was that sometimes people use deep dark secrets against you. I guess it is just human nature. Pick on Miyoshi. Everybody does. Oops. Wrong lesson.

So if you ever tell anybody what your pet peeves are, be aware. Some people like to use pet peeves (and deep dark secrets) as ammunition.

© 2023 Michael T. Miyoshi

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The Brightest Person in the Room · 18 March 2023

I am always the brightest person in the room… Until somebody else walks in.

You know people who are the brightest people in the room. Who are always the brightest people in the room. No matter who else is in the room, those people are the brightest. And if all those brightest people in the room happen to be together, you still know somebody who is the brightest of the bright. I am not that person. In fact, I am only the brightest person in any room until somebody else walks in.

I do not say this in false modesty or because I want pity. In reality, I wish I was saying it in false modesty. But I know the truth. I know that there are lots of somebodies out there who are smarter than I will ever hope to be.

You might think this is self deprecation. And to some extent it is. After all, it must be since I tell my students that they should not think of me as the smartest person in the room even if I am the only adult there. After all, I have had so many students who are smarter than I have ever been. As a kid or even now.

Which is not to say that I have nothing to offer them. I offer my students a place where they can learn and grow. And I offer them my experience and hopefully a bit of wisdom.

Yes. Part of that wisdom is that we ought to be humble. But that is not really why I tell my students I am not as smart as they are. I let them know that I am not the brightest person because I want them to understand that I am human. That I make mistake. That I do not know everything.

Too many students think that their teachers are the fount of all knowledge. They think that their teachers are infallible. They think that their teachers are incapable of being corrected. And yes, some of those thoughts have been placed there by some of their teachers. But I do not think by most. I would think, I would hope, that most teachers let their students know that they are fallible and do not know it all.

But that is not really my point at all.

I am happy to only ever be the smartest person in the room until somebody else walks in. I am happy because it means that I can learn from anybody. And I do. I learn something from everybody. Maybe not directly, but I learn by observing and listening. I want to know what other people know. Which I do by observing and listening.

I do not know that I say much in my blog. Today or any day. But that is okay. After all, it is called Musings for a reason. And I suppose that I am done musing for today. I am done musing about being the brightest person in the room until somebody else walks in.

© 2023 Michael T. Miyoshi

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Nounify Verbs and Verbify Nouns · 11 March 2023

Maybe it is just me, but I think it rather annoying when people nounify verbs and verbify nouns.

Have you ever noticed that people create nouns from verbs and verbs from nouns? And that it seems to be happening with greater frequency? I have. First of all, I think it strange. Second of all, I think it annoying. Third of all, I wonder if there is any way it will ever stop.

Maybe it is just me, but I think it strange when people nounify verbs and verbify nouns. One of the first times I was annoyed was when people in education used certificated. “Certificated?” I thought. “When did that become a word?” Well, it must be a real word nowadays because my spell checker does not even flinch at it. Oh sure. There is a word CERTIFICATE, but it is usually pronounced with a short vowel sound. Like when you get a certificate for participating. A participat certificate. Something like that. (Yes, I spelled participate wrong so that you might try to sound it out and rhyme it with certificate.)

At any rate. I could not and still cannot bring myself to use that word. I have a certificate to teach, but I would not say I am certificated. At least not without gagging or kicking myself for using the word. It is hard enough writing the word. It sticks in my craw as it were.

Like I said, I found the word strange at first, but then, I found it annoying. But I could only say so to a few people since the word was in such wide usage. Which is annoyingly how words get lexiconized. People use and misuse a word long enough and it gets stuck into the dictionary. Dictionaryized or lexiconized, as it were. Annoying.

Unfortunately, I do not think that verbifying nouns and nounifying verbs will ever stop. People start using nouns for verbs all the time nowadays. Think about it. You gotta man up. (Verbifying the noun man.) Or you…

Well, I cannot think of anything right off the top of my head. But I know they are out there. Verbs being used as nouns and nouns being used as verbs.

(By the way, if you really want to verbify a noun, all you need to do is put “ize” at the end. It ought to work. And sometimes you can just use the noun as a verb anyway and nobody will question you. That same trick seems to work with nounifying a verb. Just use the verb as a noun. Of course, you might want to add “ify” to the end if you are unsure of yourself. Try it. Just creationify some word by adding “ify” to it. Try it, you’ll like it. Or you’ll gag on the words you try to lexiconize.)

Well, that is about all the complaining I need to do about nounifying verbs and verbifying nouns. And for all our sakes, I hope that they (whoever they are) never lexiconize nounify and verbify.

© 2023 Michael T. Miyoshi

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