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Today's quote:

Thursday, August 27, 2020

So ...


As provisionally appointed bursar of John XXIII College, I was able to stop it from going into bankruptcy and, over the next three years, repay all its million-dollar debts, but I was never able to stop its students, all those young aspiring lawyers, economists, accountants, etc. (end of thinking capacity) from saying 'awesome'. "Thank you for paying your college fees. Here's your receipt." "Awesome!" Really?


This is as far as a Catholic priest will go in acknowledging how the seemingly
impossible can be accomplished with typical German "Protestant work ethic".
After a long and successful career, the 'significant personal sacrifice' (even
though being a Man of the Word, Tom incorrectly uses 'on your behalf' instead
of 'on your part') was my misguided idea of giving something back by doing this
almost pro bono, despite it soon becoming an all-absorbing job which required me
to live on the job in the College. Would I do it again? Not even for the Pope himself!

For the record, here are two more most grudgingly given references by two Catholic
priests who thought that Protestants couldn't possibly be capable of working miracles:


I was reminded of this as I listened to a highly intelligent professional being interviewed on the radio, who started every one of his replies - I kid you not! - with "So ...", sometimes enlarging it to an "And so ..."

"And so" I've just added 'and so' to all those other empty, abstract words a speaker uses to fill in time while he works out what to say. Clichés - French for stencil - like 'going forward' which lacks all momentum, 'any time soon' which is not a different way of saying 'soon', just a longer one, 'prioritise' and 'proactive' which suggest vigour when there is none, 'opportunity' if it's just saying 'chance' in five syllables instead of one, and 'ownership', a horrible new way of saying that people have a choice. And, by the way, why use 'utilise' when you can excise 'tili'?

I'm not suggesting that William Shakespeare should have written 'boy meets girl and everyone dies'; the play would have lacked a certain 'I know not what', as the French say. What I am suggesting is that if you have something to say, better to say it simply and clearly even if it seems a little dull. Dull is better than dumb. So ...

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