Thursday, August 16, 2007

SoHo, August 2007

The online magazine Slate said Tuesday that this column from The New York Times may be the “worst op-ed ever written.”


The worst ever?

When I first read it, I thought it was sort of charming and curmudgeonly, if entirely predictable. It’s all been said before, that’s true. Jokes about triple-skim no-foam lattes are so ‘90s.

But the worst ever?

I’ve been taught in recent years that a good guideline is to avoid superlatives. Don’t say something is the best, or the first, or the only. Doing so invites contention, and this is a perfect example. If you say something is the worst, well, it really better be -- and this isn’t.

On a totally different subject, I did see “The Simpsons Movie” last night. I’m happy to report that it’s hilarious, just as one would expect. What made it even funnier for me were the two gawky teenagers sitting in an adjacent row. They were 15 or so, one with braces and a skateboard and the other with the funniest, most indescribable laugh. Every time he laughed, I laughed at his laugh. It was contagious!


Anonymous said...

But was the Simpsons movie the MOST hilarious movie ever? Just kidding. I don't believe in "best" or "most", don't believe in "never" or "always" either, though I fall into saying those things sometimes in an effort to express my natural enthusaism.

LOVE today's pic, of course!

Anonymous said...

i love being made to laugh by someone elses laugh. this made me laugh

Anonymous said...


If you're like me, it doesn't take the use of superlatives to make me question - I find contention everywhere since reality is fully subjective. ;-)

Anonymous said...

The column wasn't so bad--We live in a Coffee world! I see his point. For me, a freak who has been enjoying black coffee since age 14, I get h the server suggesting extras, and have to say, no thanks-just black.

Yesterday at Seattle's Best, I asked for "a small simple house blend coffee, plain." The server asked about additives anyway - I said no thnx.

Then she came back to me before preparing the coffee...
"You want that COLD?"
Oh... ICED she meant--

no, just plain hot coffee. I like old diners & bodegas for coffee --no confusion at all.

Anonymous said...

Reya: Yeah, I use them too. You can't avoid them completely. And after all I guess it's safe in, "George Washington was the first president." (I thought of you when I took that pic!)

Pod: I'm on a really slow connection so I can't watch that video immediately...but I can't wait! :)

JDZS: And avoiding superlatives doesn't necessarily mean you'll experience NO contentiousness. (In fact, a little bit might be good!)

Ched: I always get a simple tall coffee at Starbucks: $1.84, and no stress! :)

Anonymous said...

Steve, I think the op-ed piece was far from the worst I've seen. Beyond stating the obvious about the Starbucks experience, the writer makes an interesting point. So many things that workers used to do have been shifted to the consumer.