Literature Abusers

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at
Fri Mar 23 03:24:58 EST 2001

On Thu, 22 Mar 2001 11:39:42 -0500, Miranda K. Smith wrote:

>Has anyone ever
>noticed the utterly inane things people tend to say when
>they see you reading a book while walking? It seems
>to be one of those sights that compels stupid comments
>from acquaintances, mostly variants on, "Watch where
>you're going!" issued in humourous tones.

I took a linguistics class in college in which we discussed, among other
things, the situations in which people are likely to strike up conversations
with strangers.  There were only a few of these, and one of them was when
the other person is doing something remarkably odd in public, like wearing a
clown costume or carrying a big bunch of helium balloons.  Reading and
walking falls into that category, I think.  Not that *I* think it's all that

I wish I could remember more from that class.  I don't know if it's the
lateness of the hour or just my general dim-wittedness.  It was fascinating
because it was so self-evident once the professor mentioned it; we all
immediately started remembering situations in which the rule applied.

Miranda's right, though.  People are just jealous of our talents.  Probably
of our intellectual prowess, too.  And how attractive we are--knowledge
being an attractive quality, never mind what those jerks in high school

Melissa Proffitt
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