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Maree’smusings

March 31, 2020 April 2020 No Comments

SIGN LANGUAGE

  We all have important things to say, and in times like the present, communication – from a distance! – is vital to keep us all united, and has become a whole new ball game. We’ve had to invent new and novel ways of doing this, although many of the old favourites still work. The ‘thumbs-up’ or ‘fingers crossed’ remain OK – just make sure they’re well-scrubbed. A slight upward incline of one’s head took off, and a touch of the elbows went viral but not for long.

Do you have a T-shirt or two with a message on it? There’s no harm in that. The KEEP CALM posters from previous times of national disaster have been popular and this appropriate instruction is now plastered on shirts instead. Going up a level, perhaps the message should be DON’T PANIC. For example: DON’T PANIC .. BUY! Due care with punctuation is required with this one.

The computer and your mobile phone have now become an even more essential way of distance communication. I don’t know how the #hashtag thing, or twitter work. Evidently they are ways of saying short, snappy things. In a recent copy of the Sunday Star-Times, (thanks, team, for continuing to deliver it) columnist David Slack defines Twitter as ‘a place where reasoning likes to crawl away and die’ and Kylie Klein-Nixon considers the perils of scrolling to be ‘falling into a Twitter hole – an endless thread of tweets lead you deeper and deeper into the steaming cesspit that is social media’. 

That’s way too much information for me. Someone has even thought of putting #iso on their T-shirt so they don’t have to explain social distancing. Tweets are always short, if not sweet, and the former says it all. Sadly there’s no way to abbreviate ‘unprecedented’ which is the mot du jour right now.

Fortunately there are still emails and txts for the less tech savvy, of course. Mine are invariably peppered with emojis. A ‘picture is worth a thousand words’ after all. I wonder if some wag will invent a co-vid one, although it’s sad that the virus bears an uncanny resemblance to what used to be my favourite licquorice allsort – the one covered in hundreds and thousands. Perhaps not, then.  

Coffee mugs – the fashion is to have them decorated with something you want to say. My most-used one says ‘KEEP SMILING .. it makes people wonder what you’re up to’. These days, I’m not entirely sure myself. It’s rather challenging to get up to anything here with no swimming pool, movie theatres and so on. S’MUG might be a better bet. Or perhaps the aforementioned #iso.

I’m sure many Martinborough people will remember the big hedge in town with FOXY clipped into it. This instigated many rumours about its significance, but quite respectably turned out to be the breed of the owner’s dog. There’s a similar one in Dunedin, at least twelve years old, which shouts I LOVE LOIS. This ‘clip art’ bit of fun also went viral and has resulted in a very successful fundraiser for the local hospice. All from a loving husband ‘hedging his bets’, after being reminded by the said Lois to cut the hedge, and wanting to communicate his devotion.

So even though communication has become a bit of a challenge and we might have to invent new ways of doing it, it can be done. And must be. Spread the love, not the virus. 

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