Friday, June 24, 2011

Irrational me

I read Hayley's Irrational Me post, and thought "I do some of those, but don't think they're irrational"

"- I say ‘bless you’ when people sneeze, despite there being no plague right now, and despite not being religious."

I just do this as it seems to me a polite social convention - I say thank you if it's said to me (despite on occasion being admonished as this kills fairies apparently). I'm aware of it's irrational origins, but think it's nice to be polite.

"- I cross my fingers for luck" and also "- I wish people luck."

These are linked. I wish people good luck, not because I think it will improve their luck, to me it means "I hope you do well", likewise, if I cross my fingers it means I'm signaling the same sentiments with my hands. I'll also say "Keep my fingers crossed for you" or similar - again that's the same as wishing someone luck.

Of course, my understanding of what I'm doing, and someone else's when they see me are different things, which is a good thing to bear in mind.

"- I say “jesus christ!” “Holy moses!” “for gods sake!” “go to hell!” “What in the name of God!” “for my sins” when I’m not religious" Whilst these exact phrases aren't things I regualrly say, there are similar things. Are they irrational though? Our speech is peppered with many references, not just from religion (the Bible enriches English I think, for example), but also literature - just think of Shakespeare. I don't think phrases with irrational origins are necessarily irrational.

You're very welcome to disagree, and say that all of the above actions are irrational foibles of mine.

This is what I regard as my only irrational trait: I support Man Utd. When they win, I am happy, when they lose I am sad. I don't even come from Manchester, but when at school (nearly 20 years ago!) a friend did, and he supported United. Not having a football team to support, and it being a necessity of the playground, Man Utd were the team for me. But supporting a football, or indeed any sports team, in this way, is totally irrational.

So skeptics, pop over to Hayley's blog and let her know your irrational habits, if you have any.


  1. In the same way I say "for f*cks sake!" but it doesn't mean I'm going to immediately fornicate.

  2. I very much hope the same is true of Scott Adams


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