When the technical and business worlds collide with real life, the results can be entertaining and instructive, giving insights into both. A couple of very clever guys, Tripp and Tyler, have leveraged this intersection to create (at least) two hysterical videos: A Conference Call in Real Life and Email in Real Life.
Why not push this into other areas? Back in the day when I was a software engineer, I dabbled in HTML. (Just enough to get myself in trouble.) In its simplest form, HTML involves a directive, i.e. an HTML command, that applies to all following text until an end marker, in the form of a slash and the same command, is encountered. For example, I can put text in italics by using the following syntax:
<i>This is in italics.</i>
…would appear on the screen as:
This is in italics.
It’s time to incorporate basic HTML notation in real life. That way, we can tell how to treat certain language and behaviors. Not only would this make intentions obvious to everyone, thus allowing us all to be prepared for what’s coming, it would be a boon for those of us who have trouble picking up both verbal and non-verbal cues.
Here’s a sampling of ideas that would improve our quality of life immediately, were they to be implemented across the board:
- <whine>They don’t make good movies anymore.</whine>
- <sarcasm>Oh, yeah, that’s a great idea.</sarcasm>
- <throwaway>I’m fine. How are you?</throwaway>
- <lie>No one respects women more than me.</lie> (In reality, no need for an end marker for this guy.)
- <defensive>As a matter of fact, yes, I am a vegan.</defensive>
- <flirt>Here, let me fix that strap for you.</flirt>
- <insult>Your words are like water to a drowning man.</insult>
- <braindamaged>I have a gun in my house to keep my family safe.</braindamaged>
- <gossip>It was probably someone else with that woman, but it sure looked like Jim.</gossip>
- <delusional>Steven Spielberg said he’d read my screenplay.</delusional>
- <selfpromotion>I wouldn’t say so myself, but some people call me a genius.</selfpromotion>
- <insincere>Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.</insincere>
You get the idea. Wouldn’t discourse be easier to follow if this notation were used? Which syntax would you like to see implemented?