My Very First Blog

My Blog
This is my first ever blog. Why am I blogging (and will anyone care)? Well, I think the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back was when my sister, Amy, started a blog recently. And, it’s not what you’d think. Sibling rivalry? No, I gave up on that when my mother declared a moratorium on physical violence between the children on the very day I grew to be taller than Amy and then she got like 1590 on the SATs. Rivalry was all downside for me. And, it’s also not because she’s usually about 10 years behind me in technology (she just got a Droid phone to replace her rotary dial phone). No, it’s because her blogs are really funny and interesting. Made me think maybe I could do the same thing. Be funny and interesting that is.

That’s actually a fair bit of pressure – the whole funny and interesting thing. What exactly do I plan to blog about (is blog a verb or just a noun – I’m still kinda new to this blogging thing so I’m not sure)? Probably a bunch of stuff that interests me – sports, politics, religion, sex (I’ll try to keep it PG13 so my kids can read it), and maybe some little stuff that really annoys the shit out of me. Sometimes I may blog (screw it, I’m gonna use blog as a verb) about some really deep serious stuff and other times I may blog in Seinfeldian fashion about nothing. You’ll tell me if any of it is interesting. Which brings me to the topic of my first blog….something really unimportant that annoys the shit out of me.

Yeah No
Have you ever noticed how many people respond in conversation with the phrase “yeah no?” I’m sorry, but what the hell is that all about??? Seriously, I’m no stickler for consistency, but that’s ridiculous. Which is it, yes or no?

Me: “Do you think it was a good move for the Redskins to pick up Donovan McNabb at QB?”
Dopey Friend: “Yeah no, I think he’s a better leader than Jason Campbell was.”

That reminds me, by the way, how much I friggin’ hate that pantload Daniel Snyder, the owner of the Redskins. I don’t know if he subscribes to this whole “yeah no” theory of linguistics, but he has systematically destroyed the thing I love most in life (sorry kids) – the Redskins. But, I digress (warning – I plan to do a shitload of digressing on this blog; if you don’t like that, go up and delete the bookmark you just carefully set right now).

I’m so annoyed by this “yeah no” thing that I decided to do a little Internet research on the topic. Here’s what I learned. Research shows that people use the phrase “yeah no” or it’s equally annoying and contradictory cousin “no yeah” about 0.20 times per million conversational words. Unless you are this dude Neil from the gym I go to, the average conversation is about 900 words per side. Neil is good for easily 9,000 words. And, his preferred time to stand 4 feet away from you and talk for 30 minutes without taking a breath is when he’s buck naked in the locker room. Awwwwwkward.

Anyway, if my math is correct, this means that for the non-Neil conversationalist, there’s about a 0.02% chance you’ll say “yeah no” in any given conservation. Sorry, seems low to me. Also, it turns out that young people “yeah no” more than older people – not surprising given the near total disregard for grammatical ethics demonstrated by today’s youth. Apparently, men “yeah no” more per conversation than women, but that’s mostly because, shockingly, we say about 5-6% more words per conversation than women do (I’m still wrestling with that one, gals).

Some folks really take this to an extreme. I have one friend who I call the “Master of Yeah No” who can rip off like 4 or 5 in a row? As in, “yeah no yeah no yeah no yeah no” all in rapid succession. Depending on what answer I was hoping for from her, my emotions swing wildly during this conversational see saw. And, numbers aside, it just really annoys me. Am I making too much out of this? Well, yeah no.

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About Bruce Robertson

Bruce Robertson is an amateur writer and professional provocateur
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8 Responses to My Very First Blog

  1. Yeah, no, I totally get it. But Tim hadn’t noticed. Joke’s on him – now he won’t be able to stop noticing! Dude, I do NOT want to hear any crap from you about brains, you with all the letters after your name. And the way I recall it was that as soon as you got bigger, I decided I was a pacifist — hoping that snottiness would defeat brawn. So glad you’re blogging!

  2. Tim says:

    Great blog.

    “we say about 5-6% more words per conversation than women do.”

    Not a chance, unless the sample consisted of drunk lawyers or politicians.

  3. Blueloom says:

    OMG! I can’t stand it! Amy blogs. Nora blogs. Knoxie (the very annoying dog Bruce refers to and who is really a very cute dog) blogs. Probably Chinook & Saguaro blog, either together or separately. Am I going to have to join the ranks? Maybe I can make a name for myself simply by being a blog reader.

    Welcome to blogging, Bruce!

  4. Jules says:

    “I’m still wrestling with that one, gals”
    Did you actually call my gender a “gal”? I think coffee is free at McD’s for seniors. I’m just sayin’ (which should be your next rant, that phrase is all the rage with youngsters these days)
    Love to read Brucisms. This will make me very happy to read when days get long and beer runs short.
    This is gonna be good…..

  5. Jules – thanks for reading and commenting on my first blog. What’s wrong with “gals?” I thought about “dames,” “broads,” or “chicks,” but thought I might offend. I thought gals was ok. But, here’s the funny thing. I saw your e-mail address and sat there wondering, “who the hell is Janie Haus? I don’t know anyone named Janie, let alone Janie Haus?!” Then, it hit me – J.A. Niehaus. OK, so bring on the free coffee at McDonald’s. I’m toast.

  6. Julia says:

    If you’re going to make shocking assertions such as the 5-6% words more per conversation one (I’m with Tim on this), please include your source. See http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/003420.html for other points of view (the first joke is a pretty good one).

    BTW I can tell you and Amy are related because your blogs feature a lot of the same, um, vocabulary.

    Looking forward to reading more!

    Julia

    P.S. The family photo is a really, really nice one.

  7. bill says:

    It could be worse, you could live in the south and hear people say”might could”. I hate that.

  8. Nora Fox says:

    Oh, I love this. Thanks so much. What an amazing and humorous family

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