Roysplainin—Crazy (part 2)


Short post—it’s more of a content warning really.

We’re picking up from part one, where we built toward the following:

When a word has a narrow range of meanings, the absence of context (explicit or implicit) isn’t so bad.

It can still suck. I just mean that it’s usually not as disastrous as miscommunicating a word with a wide range of meanings. As you might already know, crazy is one such word… Let’s take a look at some of those definitions:

  • mentally ill
  • neurodivergent
  • inappropriate
  • extreme
  • exciting
  • unpredictable
  • dishonest/mendacious
  • pathological
  • wrong
  • unconventional
  • impractical
  • awe-inspiring
  • horrifying

Though simplified and not comprehensive, that list illustrates how wide that range is. Crazy can mean something positive (e.g. awe-inspiring), but it can also mean something negative (e.g. horrifying)—sometimes negative beyond recovery… So what? Contextualize the word and it’s all good! What qualifies as context? How do you know you’ve provided enough? What influences how much context you need to provide? Communication’s more complicated than it might appear, a lot more abstract too… Examples help resolve (if not resolve altogether) that; so let’s take a look at one:

A.R. Rahman’s crazy!!

There. That’s simple enough. If you don’t know who A.R. Rahman is, that’s fine—more than fine really; it’s ideal! DO NOT LOOK HIM UP YET! The information each of us already has when assessing a situation changes a lot. In this case, not knowing will provide a nice contrast to looking back at the story with a more informed perspective. Next time we’ll look at situations involving that simple sentence at different points of the same story. For now though, I’m not in the mood to continue. I’m not too beat up about releasing this short post—perhaps because it flows disturbingly well with my narrative. Maybe I’m just being lazy. I don’t know. Maybe I’m just making excuses. We’ll figure that out in good time. For now, I’ll provide a content warning (for next time) that’ll shape your perspective before the story (formally) starts:

  • domestic violence
  • poverty
  • racism
  • sexism
  • inter-generational trauma

I’ll repeat the warning at the beginning of next part, rest assured.

I look forward to seeing y’all next time (but I also understand if I don’t)…

Thank you for your time,
Roybert S. Henanigans

P.S. 96: I’ve updated my Contact Me page explaining how you can help me if you choose to. This includes a messaging form, my gmail address, my Twitter account, and a donation button to my Ko-Fi page. I’ll update specifics gradually. If there’s one thing I could ask for above all else, I’d ask for two—then I’d use one of those two to say that the best way to help is to share my work with someone.

On a serious note, thank you so much for reading—it truly means the world to me!

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