From: "Steve" <email@example.com>
Subject: Is it a secret code?
Date: Mon, 2 Apr 2007 20:00:34 -0400
If it is, I guess I'm fucked.
I really shouldn't care why you can't seem to spell "skills" correctly - but it seems such a singular error. You don't misspell "nut-crunching" (although one might argue that a deliberate error, such as "nut-krunching" might convey the agony [the "aggh-oh-neeee"?] more effectively; James Rand had a grandfather who though that "crinkled" should be spelled "krinkled") and you don't even misspell "dies". "Skills" is the only word you misspell - and you do it absolutely consistently.
So what in Hell is the reason?
Or must I read all preceding installments of the blog? If so, go ahead, look strange.
Once upon a time, I was gratuitously different. Then I grew up.
Eric C. Sanders
tired old fart - who finds the Empathy Theory of Yawn Contagion very persuasive.
using the boss's e-mail address
When I read the above email last night I assumed it was spam--you know that crazy surreal spam spewed onto the nets only to confuse filters--until I got about halfway through, and realized he was referring to something I posted on my blog 15 months ago. (The post described how mirror neurons might engender our "theory of mind skillz" and "empathy skillz" (but less so in people with autism, who must settle for "mad card counting skillz," if they're lucky.)) So I replied:
Please pass the following on to Mr. Sanders. Much obliged.
Thanks for reading my weblog. Nope, no secret code. Just a bit of bloggy irreverence. Skillz is a common rapper and hacker spelling of skills. (See http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=skillz.) As it's often applied to rhyming and fragging (performing well at the rap game or the video games), I found it mildly amusing to apply it to theory of mind and empathy, capacities not advanced through practice, nor thought to enhance street cred(ibility.) In fact, quite the opposite, as wasting fools with style often requires a certain blithe bravado. Well, maybe a rep(utation) for strong theory of mind skillz can garner props (proper respect), as it's pretty cool to say you're all up in your opponent's head, psyching him out, but the use of cog sci terminology still renders the linguistic juxtaposition subtly farcical. And as for autistics with "mad [=significant] card counting skillz," some autistics--the idiot savants-- might have stupendous skills, but, god bless em, they'll never have skillz.
I admit, adding quirk to one's prose can make one look strange, but that's how I roll.
P.S. Are you from Roseville, MI?
No reply today but I'll keep you posted.