I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means...

I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means...

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News articles abridge confusing concepts through syntax, vocabulary, and, often, intellectual query. Some articles are efficacious: discussing topical events, evaluating perspectives both audacious and prudent. Some articles promote sedition and confusion, often concomitant with the former group of articles.

For the lazy sybarite and those novice in the art of lexicography, this article offers no respite. So, I beseech you, deny your scurrilousness and join me in embracing our collective, dusty, neglected dictionaries and consider this word:

Inconceivable—not capable of being imagined or grasped mentally; unbelievable.




In the enchanting movie, "A Princess Bride" our lovable but incompetent Sicilian crime boss Vizzini says the word “Inconceivable!” after his every attempt to outsmart Wesley fails. Time and time again during the movie we hear “Inconceivable!!” knowing all too well Vizzini is improperly using the word “inconceivable.” Vizzini is finally corrected when one of his posse, the Spanish master swordsman Inigo Montoya, says, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

Have you ever stopped to think, “What was Vizzini doing wrong?” or maybe “Well, he was just being hyperbolic!” Well I have, and I present to you three options and you, dear reader, may decide just how mistaken Vizzini is.

Option one: Catachresis—A misuse of a word; an application of a term to something which it does not properly denote.
Vizzini, while planning the heist to kidnap Buttercup for ransom, accidentally established “inconceivable” to be a synonym with “improbable.” This happens all the time with the word “literally.” From doctors and drama queens to politicians like Chris Traeger, the word literally has almost developed another definition: figuratively.

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Vizzini wants to express disappointment and shock that his plan failed. He doesn’t mean to use the textbook definition of inconceivable, rather he has a case of catachresis. Bam. Option one.

Option two: Lethologica—The inability to remember the correct word.
Moments that take your breath away may also give you a severe case of lethologica. Also, extreme stress. Or maybe, it's just a word you don't use that often. Picture this: You’re at Super Bowl 45 and Christina Aguilera is singing the national anthem. Pretty easy gig for a singer like her, right?


But you noticed something weird about it: she forgot to say the word "rampart's." Slipped her mind. She probably hadn’t ever used the word rampart outside of singing that song. Thus, lethologica. Vizzini is probably not accustomed to failing at his job. With Fezzik the Giant and Inigo the swordsman at his side, the team of bandits were underperforming. And Vizzini, blindsided by their failures, forgets the word improbable. But he has to say something! Thus, inconceivable. Option two.

Option three: Sophomania—A delusion of superior intelligence.
Vizzini has surrounded himself with a less-than-intelligent muscleman and a Spaniard whose English is considered sub-par. This option presents Vizzini as a mastermind who is not really a master of his mind. Sure, he managed a few tricks and understands dialectics as if he were Hegel himself. However, delusions being delusions, Vizzini thinks he can simply say whatever he wants and assume it is correct because his surroundings propagate that behavior. Are the blunders truly inconceivable? Of course not. But does that word help him to assert his influence over his two subordinates? Hell yes. Option three.

Though this is really a trivial matter and there is no true answer why our Sicilian friend has a bad case of malapropism, I hope you’ve learned a little bit about some words. And maybe even about yourself? Wait… news articles that make you think? Inconceivable!

Note: My money is on option one.

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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.
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Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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Dear Senator Walsh, I Can't Wait For The Day That A Nurse Saves Your Life

And I hope you know that when it is your time, you will receive the best care. You will receive respect and a smile. You will receive empathy and compassion because that's what we do and that is why we are the most trusted profession.

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Dear Senator Walsh,

I can't even fathom how many letters you've read like this in the past 72 hours. You've insulted one of the largest, strongest and most emotion-filled professions.. you're bound to get a lot of feedback. And as nurses, we're taught that when something makes us mad, to let that anger fuel us to make a difference and that's what we're doing.

I am not even a nurse. I'm just a nursing student. I have been around and I've seen my fair share of sore legs and clinical days where you don't even use the bathroom, but I am still not even a nurse yet. Three years in, though, and I feel as if I've given my entire life and heart to this profession. My heart absolutely breaks for the men and women who are real nurses as they had to wake up the next morning after hearing your comments, put on their scrubs and prepare for a 12-hour day (during which I promise you, they didn't play one card game).

I have spent the last three years of my life surrounded by nurses. I'm around them more than I'm around my own family, seriously. I have watched nurses pass more medications than you probably know exist. They know the side effects, dosages and complications like the back of their hand. I have watched them weep at the bedside of dying patients and cry as they deliver new lives into this world. I have watched them hang IV's, give bed baths, and spoon-feed patients who can't do it themselves. I've watched them find mistakes of doctors and literally save patient's lives. I have watched them run, and teach, and smile, and hug and care... oh boy, have I seen the compassion that exudes from every nurse that I've encountered. I've watched them during their long shifts. I've seen them forfeit their own breaks and lunches. I've seen them break and wonder what it's all for... but I've also seen them around their patients and remember why they do what they do. You know what I've never once seen them do? Play cards.

The best thing about our profession, Senator, is that we are forgiving. The internet might be blown up with pictures mocking your comments, but at the end of the day, we still would treat you with the same respect that we would give to anyone. That's what makes our profession so amazing. We would drop anything, for anyone, anytime, no matter what.

You did insult us. It does hurt to hear those comments because from the first day of nursing school we are reminded how the world has zero idea what we do every day. We get insulted and disrespected and little recognition for everything we do sometimes. But you know what? We still do it.

When it's your time, Senator, I promise that the nurse taking care of you will remember your comments. They'll remember the way they felt the day you publicly said that nurses "probably do get breaks. They probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day." The jokes will stop and it'll eventually die down, but we will still remember.

And I hope you know that when it is your time, you will receive the best care. You will receive respect and a smile. You will receive empathy and compassion because that's what we do and that is why we are the most trusted profession.

Please just remember that we cannot properly take care of people if we aren't even taken care of ourselves.

I sincerely pray that someday you learn all that nurses do and please know that during our breaks, we are chugging coffee, eating some sort of lunch, and re-tying our shoes... not playing cards.

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