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A matter of priorities.

by Dear Jon
March 1, 2002

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Sort 121_Dear Jon-A matter of priorities. ACTUAL LETTER TO DEAR JON:

Dear Jon,

I'm finding it harder and harder to read the PO. Not that I'm disenchanted with any of the writers; I just can't seem to find the time. What should I do?

Busy Reader

Dear Busy, If you cannot seem to find the time to read the PO, it is because your priorities are out-of-whack.

First of all, what else are you surfing for on the internet? Nothing else is as easy to navigate as the PO, along with the family-friendly content (which means we don't discuss topics like (edited topics) or use words like (expletives deleted.))

The internet can provide you with your favorite comic strip, the web-sites for your favorites sports teams, and....what else? Most of the sites are pornographic. If most of your conversation is in chat-rooms with "online buddies" then you are absolutely, positiviely, wasting your time.

Then there are those who take three hours a day to play games with other anonymous contestants. That is only marginally less pathetic than chat rooms.

So, step one to ordering your priorities: Forget the chat rooms and the on-line games. Cyber-friends really are not friends. Step two: Studies have demonstrated that productivity diminishes after 48 hours a week. Much beyond 50 hours, the employee actually does more harm than good to productivity.

Set boundaries at work. If your boss is a total dweeb, you will be glad you did, because if you lose your job for doing the right thing, you will be a happier person anyway.

Now that you are home in the evenings but not wasting all those hours in chat rooms, you can take the next step: Turn the television off.

Now see whether you can log in to the PO every Tuesday and Friday. I figure, twice a week, you can stay up-to-date on Dear Jon, still read any of the other slouchers who only write ONCE a week, and stay current on the forums. Two hours a week is all you need.

[The Webmaster chimes in:
You can also try this handy trick: print out the articles that interest you by clicking on the "Printer Friendly" button at the bottom of each article, and read them away from the computer. No pesky scrolling!]


Dear Jon,

When are you suppose to use i.e. as opposed to e.g.? Being a great writer yourself, I'm sure you can help me out.

I before e except after c

Dear I,

The two are abbreviations of Latin phrases "idiotus emptor" and "exemplar gratuitous."
"Idiotus Emptor" (i.e.) stands for any statement that should be able to stand alone, but beware of idiots who won't be able to take the hint. "Exemplar Gratuitous" (e.g.) is used by those who do not realize that their statements should have stood alone because everyone else gets the hint.

A woman writing for a largely male audience will cast a sentence like this:

"One of the distinctions between the sexes seems to be that while one is generally capable of variegated thinking among multiple simultaneous priorities (i.e. women) the other is generally handicapped by a one-track mind (i.e. men)."

A man would write the sentence this way for a female readership:

"Us guys are different from you dames because one of us can do lots of things at the same time (e.g. dames) and the other of us can't (e.g. guys)."

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