Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Question of the Week

This week's question:

"Is there anything easier done than said?"
-Lisa, Ft. Worth, TX

This question places "done" against "said" in regards to "anything," Lisa, and I like it. We have to consider, however, whether this question is meant to be taken absolutely literally, or with respect and regard for our culture's assumed understanding of the statement, and because of this discrepency, the question is somewhat unanswereable.
Look: With "done," things are pretty obvious, I think. To "done" something, one has to perform the act of doing it, one has to complete the task. So if the "anything" is purchasing a puppy, than to "done" it, one would exchange currency or credit for a dog. If the person does not (a) spend money, or (b) receive a dog for the money, than they have not "done" the "anything."

With "said," things are a little less obvious, and we could go in two directions, and this is where the outcome can change, based upon our definitions of the question.
1) "Said" can mean the physical, vocal-chord-vibrating act of making the phrase "I want to buy a puppy" come from a body, regardless of whether anybody is within hearing distance, and regardless of whether anybody understands the phrase.
2) "Said" can mean the act of communicating the idea "I want to buy a puppy" to another person who understands the statement.

One (1) is somewhat interesting, in that it highlights the basic fact that talking or vocalizing or creating speech is by no means simple. Before language, in fact, everything was easier to do than say. And for a baby who can't speak, everything is easier to do than say. If you're old or incapable of speech or in possession of a speech disorder, than most things may be very difficult to communicate to another person, and instead of saying "I ne-ne-ne-ne-ne-need th-the c-c-ca-ca-c-cat-c-ca-c-cat-cat-cat-catsup" you might as well just get up and get the fucking ketchup.

Two (2), however, is, in my opinion, a more thought-provoking definition of "said." Two (2) suggests that another person has to understand that you are saying "I want to buy a puppy." So if I were in Italy, I'd have to know Italian, or I would have to learn to conjugate the verb "to want"; the verb "to buy"; the noun "puppy." And some Italian-speaker would have to understand me when I said this.
Two (2) is also concerned with how difficult it is for me to peat the phrase. A person's comfort in speaking is related to their confidence in speech and their audience. Am I comfortable saying "I want to buy a puppy?" or would it be easier, insofar as I'll have to teach myself Italian and be confused, to just go out and buy the puppy and not talk about it? If, for instance, the "done" is having sex with twelve people at once, and the "said" is talking about having sex with twelve people at once, to a group of four young girls, in front of their mother, in church, then it would probably be easier to just do it, because the discomfort and embarrassment in talking about it in that particular setting would be more emotionally taxing than the act of having sex with twelve people would be physically taxing.

7 Comments:

Blogger Stanley said...

I attack the question. It was apparently easier to say "Is there anything easier done than said?"

I would have done things right and said: "Is there anything more easily done than said?"

But then again, I'm a dick.

{P.S. Someone should express my apology if I offended Dana's guest on Sunday. I really think she's great.}

6/4/06 2:39 AM  
Blogger Ryan said...

{I don't know whether she was offended or not, but she certaintly had the right to be. You were a fairly massive dick. Even for you.

And furthermore, the nondick move, Stanley, would be for you to get off your ass and apologize yourself. Dick.}

6/4/06 8:24 AM  
Blogger Stanley said...

Well, since I've severely restricted my Jenkins-hanging-out time, chances are I won't see her anytime soon. But I certainly would prefer to express my sincere regret in-person. I suppose if the Jenkins hosted more teas and other social events, I might have a chance to interact with her. But nary a tea appears on my social calendar.

6/4/06 10:27 AM  
Blogger Anneth said...

A quick "easier done than said," Google search returned the following sweet lyrics from that facerocking band The Badless:

Like a fire burning in the kitchen sink
Like a choir that can’t agree on what to sing
Like a wild raging river that just can’t find the will
You change your mind a thousand times, deciding to stand still

Better to live than to explain
Better to write than to have read
Better to cope than to complain
Better in your hands that in your head
Easier done that said

Like a dying flower that just don’t give a damn
Like a higher power nobody cares to understand
Like a horse on a merry-go-round spinnin’ at a county fair
Just running ’round in circles not gettin’ anywhere

Better to guide than criticize
Better to lead than to be led
Better to act than to analyze
Better in your hands than in your head
Easier done than said

Like a tree that doesn’t grow ’cause it’s afraid of the sky
Like a lamp that doesn’t glow and doesn’t wonder why
Like a cigarette that’s burnin’ on the side of the road
A little less concern and no telling where you go

Better to live than to explain
Better to write than to have read
Better to cope than to complain
Better in your hands than in your head
Easier done than said


Yes, yes. I just wanted to post a long tirade of nothingness on your blog. Yea Badless!

6/4/06 10:32 AM  
Blogger bikkhouschka said...

(oh jeez. wha d'u do this time stanley?)

lovely post ryan. thank you. i am entertained and i giggled.
and also.
what about the doingness that it is to say something?
just putting it out there.

6/4/06 11:38 AM  
Blogger t(h)om said...

I love that "Lisa"'s question inspired your response to begin with reasoned, organized rhetoric, only to finally arrive at "having sex with twelve people at once." A perfectly logical progression, if you ask me. [which noone has.]

I find most things I contemplate eventually climax in similar fashion:
"What should I have for breakfast?" while having sex with twelve people at once.

"Did I leave the oven on?" while having sex with twelve people at once.

"Is there any hope for the democratic party?" having sex with twelve people at once.


That's a lot of dick moves. exhausting.

6/4/06 2:07 PM  
Blogger Anneth said...

well organized discourse always ends in sex with 12 people. sometimes more. it all depends on the length of your discourse.

the girth of your discourse is important too. the ability to touch upon numerous topics with your discourse is very appealing.

hmmm...better not said than said?

ah well.

poop.

6/4/06 3:18 PM  

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