On the Carpet:

Another Useless Word

IMG_7881.JPGIt’s hard on me, this series. Each week I wonder when the well will run dry, when I’ll offer something really dumb. The usual writer neuroses…

Plus I’m a true fan of words, language, diction. I love all of it! Without words there’s no humanity. Words matter! So picking on them… it’s awkward.

I’m not down on words, actually. I frown on some of the ways they get used, especially when people get lazy, using vague generalities.

Hence this week’s word:


The useless word of the week is “NORMAL.”


Google offers multiple definitions:

As an adjective: “conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected.”
“Synonyms: usual,    standard, ordinary, customary, conventional, habitual, accustomed, expected…”
As a noun: “the usual, average, or typical state or condition”
As you can tell, “normal” is rather subjective. It’s meaning depends heavily on the standards and expectations of the people involved. By itself, it means basically nothing.
It depends on circular reasoning. What’s normal? It’s what people decide it is. How do they decide? By the definition of normal. And so it goes.
Normal can be abnormal somewhere else, or at a different time. Homosexuality was abnormal, a mental illness in fact. Then it wasn’t: it became normal! Except for those people who disagree. Which is normal or abnormal itself, depending on who you ask.
What’s abnormal? Well, anything that lies outside normal. See above.
People try to “be normal,” because social approval comes with some really nice perks. Trouble is, it means lots of different things, changing all the time. It’s boundaries are quite fuzzy, not a good sign for a word devoted to nothing but defining the boundaries it doesn’t actually define. Yet people sling this word around all the time, as if it adds something to the conversation. Of course, that’s perfectly normal…
Is it?
You tell me.
About Big Red Carpet Nurse (1750 Articles)
Along with other stuff I enjoy that pays the bills (a plus!), I'm a budding nurse comic. I plan, like fake Opthomologist Rand Paul, to create my own professional organization solely so it will grant me a Doctorate. In my case, the org will be something like the AANC (American Association of Nurse Comics), and it will (trust me on this point) agree to make me the first ever DNC: Doctor of Nurse Comedy. I'll keep you posted!

7 Comments on Another Useless Word

  1. I’ve decided to bury “normal” and its effects. I’ve decided to be “extraordinary”. It’s much simpler than we’ve been taught.


    • Normal is a gaol for those who would live as herd animals, eating grass, giving milk, following the leader, thinking as little as possible. I, too, demand far more than normal. Extraordinary sounds like just the thing, along with a dash of eccentric… 🙂


  2. I agree with you. Normal is so very vague and subjective.


  3. “The pursuit of normality is the ultimate sacrifice of potential.” Faith Jegede
    “What makes you different or weird, that’s your strength.” Meryl Streep


  4. Human Interest // December 1, 2014 at 11:55 am // Reply

    Reblogged this on Human Interest.


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