where the writers are
Whippin' The Buggy-Horse, Old School Style...

Premise: when somebody uses a cellphone to record a despicable act --and there seems precious little video'd on cellphones these days ASIDE from despicable acts-- the TV news-anchor uses "videotaped" for the same reason they still say the culprit "dialed" that same phone.

Out. Of. Touch. And hopelessly so.

((NOTE: Before the tsunami of angry comments begin from the legion of folk who record cats dressed as Hobbit wizards, dogs dressed as infants, and infants dressed as ...heck, I dunno: squirrels, maybe-- let me hastily clarify my definition of "despicable."

(thoughtful pause) Yep. All those things qualify, too.))

-- Earl Merkel


A few e-mailed comments from Faithful Readers:


READER CAROLA: ok so what do you say? Cell-phoned? or just videod? record could be voice only. Yep, I'm out of touch. But what the heck: there are those who, if you pay in cash and want to get rid of spare change, look at the coins as if they'd never seen such a thing before.

READER MORGAN: Or if you give them the balance in change so you get a $5 or $10 back instead of change...their tiny little minds just can't wrap around the concept. I actually had one tell me 'DOn't you have a debit card?' Holy cow.

READER TIM: What I think is terrible is that we can no longer literally hang up on each other. That was, for a while, a satisfying part of my life.

@ Tim: if there's not an app for that, there oughta be.

@ Morgan: I use a card only at toll booths; it allows me to take the card back and say "Keep the change!" and thereby brighten their day. Try it, and please let me know the reaction YOU get.

@ Carola: Your plaintive inquiries --despite the fact you took this discussion into a wildly divergent essay on National Moneary Policy, or something-- nonetheless demand a two-part reply: 

(1) Probably no need to modify "phone" with a superfluous "cell." After all, is there any other type of phone anymore? (NOTE: landline'd grandparents are "grandfathered" in, and excepted from this axiom.)

(2) I've used "videoed," but my fear of made-up words (and the fact that so many phone-recordings seem to result in criminal charges) leads me to a solution I hope everybody adopts: any form of the verb "commit." i.e., "I'm committing a video."

It works well for me in other areas too, as in "I'm committing journalism" for my freelance work, or "I just committed a new novel" for my other production. (Short stories, being misdemeanors, I simply don't mention.)

I hope this idea takes off, and it IS getting attention; why, I just received an official notice inviting me to appear at a commitment hearing, as --I presume-- the keynote speaker. --EM