If I like you less, does that mean I like you more?

I don’t know who or what I like anymore, since Facebook stole my dictionary. And now I’m wondering whether “like”-ing everything I read would actually devalue the currency of my good opinion. Like printing money, sort of. And vice-versa too, really. I mean, if you “like” my link or my post, I now ponder innumerable qualifying questions … How many “like” buttons has Nigel[endnote As it happens, I do have a Facebook friend of said forename. But, Nigel, if you chance to read this, rest assured you are not personally my intended reference point. It’s simply that you happen to share two syllables in common with my generic all-purpose hypothetical persona.] pressed today? Did he like them all as much? Or are some of his “like”s more equal than others?

So here’s my suggestion to Facebook’s cool bureaucratic dudes. They need to hire an actuary or two, to devise a formula to run on the server. The formula would generate a rating of the quality of each “like”. So, for instance, if Nigel’s “like”-ing history is such that he has already “like”d five links, four pictures and seven game high scores in the past twenty minutes, then my chest needn’t swell with too much pride when he “like”s my comment. That’s because his “like”, though not entirely insincere, has more of a mildly-better-than-a-mug-of-lukewarm-international-roast-instant-coffee kind of quality about it. If on the other hand, Nigel has only punched “like” on two other blog posts in the past two days, then I could rest secure in the thought that I sit well above at least an average flat white ristretto on his scale of life’s points of true meaning. That would be very helpful after a hard day.

This proposal is predicated on the assumption that the finite human spirit is capable of emotionally approving a restricted number of ideas daily. So, for instance, if you find my company rather flat this evening, you might consider the possibility that I’ve mentally dispensed my good opinion upon so many worthy thoughts today, that my affective capacity is at present reduced to a level equivalent to the physiological fortitude of a butter lettuce leaf on a 40° day.

I feel that if Facebook’s minions of power would smile kindly upon this my humble plea, the word “like” might remain a player of substance in modern English parlance for at least one more decade.

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Let’s get lexical

The lexical proficiencies of consultants Mercer are grossly under-utilised in merely serving the behavioural capabilities of educators at a single tertiary institution. National politics and news program ratings would lift immeasurably if such skills were harnessed by our Federal pollies now!  “Working families” is becoming decidedly tired. How about “vocationally productive nuclei” (VPNs)? We voters would be on the edge of our seats.

But the greatest need just now is surely in economic discourse. Mr Abbott and his loyal cadre would pay handsomely for a highly nuanced phrase to replace “great big new tax”. Something like “over-proportioned fiscal exaction” (OFE) would keep us all going for two electoral cycles at least. Both leaders are positively desperate for a cache of “electorally emollient synonyms” (EESs) for the toxic ’t’ word.  It can only be a matter of time before “levy” exhausts it’s soothing capacities. “Tariff”, “duty” and maybe even “excise” could last a few press conferences each, at a pinch.  Voter appeasement will then require a lexical skill only professionals can provide. My best attempt is “specific life-product utilisation grab” (SLUG). But what would I know?

Mercer, your country needs you!

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What language was that?

Now don’t come the raw prawn with us, Kev. “Programmatic specificity?” … Geez, mate, I sure hope the German pollies got that one. Just typing it into Google was nearly too much for me. Word of advice .. Just stick with shaking the sauce bottle and starving the lizards. We’ll know what’s up then.


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