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Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Microstory 2057: Precision of Language

Generated by Hypotenuse.AI text-to-image AI software
The interview went about as well as it could. He didn’t seem to have a problem with the fact that I didn’t have a résumé. I spent so much time traveling the bulk, and dealing with all sorts of wildly different people, I almost forgot how unusual I am. I’m neurodivergent, which doesn’t mean much in the extreme diversity of the multiverse, but it matters here. The reason I’ve been saying this planet is boring is not just because the headlines are pussycat tame compared to the kind I’m used to, but people seem to be mostly humorless too. At least when people back home would make absolutely dreadful approximations of jokes, I knew that they were trying. They wanted to be funny, they just weren’t very good at it. Metaphor, simile, analogy, hyperbole; these all go over these people’s heads. By that I mean, you failed to comprehend it, not that an object moved over your physical head. I told the interviewer that I’ve been to a thousand parks in my day, and he wanted to see my log of them, which he assumed I would need in order to come to such a precise figure. He didn’t understand that I didn’t mean it literally. I’ve just been to a lot, but probably still under a hundred, I don’t know. When I explained as much, he understood, so these people are not like Drax in the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. They don’t have to take things literally, but it’s not intuitive for them to pick up on things like sarcasm and emotional nuance, and they have to think about it for a moment once you clarify. Fortunately, they also don’t seem perturbed about it, like the society in The Giver, which emphasizes something called precision of language. Listen to me, making pop culture references that you don’t get, because these stories don’t exist here. I guess that’s what I’ll do with my time. You do have fiction here, but it’s got to be different than the kind in other worlds if they’re more about just telling the story, and less about the poetry. Hopefully I hear back from the garden soon. I’m ready to get my hands dirty. Just so you understand, getting one’s hands dirty is an idiomatic expression that usually means being able to put in the work to accomplish something, rather than just sitting by and letting others do it. It can sometimes mean doing something bad, but it doesn’t have to. In my case, it’s to be taken seriously, though, so don’t worry. Gardening is dirty work.

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