Thursday 18 April 2013

Me me me

I had intended to have a bit of a rant, but I have partially mellowed in the intervening 24 hours. The subject matter was going to have been arrogance, but on reflection, I am forced to concede that I myself have a fairly large arrogant streak. It doesn't always surface, but it is there, buried not too deeply, and I dare say that it has reared its ugly head on more than one occasion on this blog. That said, without this unfortunate part of my personality, I doubt I would survive my chosen career path, which does require a certain forcefulness of character.

I photographed this Lemur
So, what had irked me? Despite my own failings, I have to say that I intensely dislike people thinking that they are better than they actually are. Self deprecation is where it is at really. People that have massively high opinions of themselves, and entirely without irony, well frankly they deserve all they get. It's an easy line to cross, but the example I found the other day hadn't just strayed across the central reservation, but was essentially travelling down the other hard shoulder. Wow, what a great analogy. Or perhaps a graet analogy?

I also mentioned spelling. I hate poor spelling (see, arrogance again). Getting your and you're right is not difficult. Neither is their, they're or there. He's and his? They are in fact different words with entirely different meanings. OK, so graet is perhaps a typo, but to find it in the context of "another graet find by me" is almost too much to hope for. Actually, I think it was "yet another graet find by me", which I think you'll agree is a notch further up the scale. How high an opinion of yourself before it becomes distasteful? This was, of course, in the context of birds and lists thereof. Reading down this particular list of birds, I couldn't help but notice strong propensity for the use of the singular pronoun. I found these birds. I was the finder. The finder. Me me me.

This Lorikeet was seen by me
Most people don't do that. They might mention it in passing, but no more. If on the rare offchance that I find a good bird, what I write might make it reasonably clear that I was the first person that jammed in on it, but I certainly wouldn't go down the me me me route. Why? One, it's distasteful, and two, I don't deserve it. My birding skills don't stack up against that kind of self-importance. I don't know the person in question at all, but I doubt very much that they're the birding God they think they are. Few people are. And generally they can spell great, and are intelligent enough to realise that the me me me route is largely unappreciated. I hope I'm not in the minority when I say that my first reaction when seeing this type of thing is "what a prick", and not "what a demi-God". Perhaps it's just me though. Oh, and did I mention I went to a Zoo at the weekend?

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