Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Smile, though your heart is aching...

SMILE MORE: this was chalked in bold blue yesterday, on the path from the University to the first-year students' halls of residence. A sinister reprise of the mantra of one of those helpers who stood outside the venues for London's Olympic Games, recorded by the BBC news in the act of encouraging everyone to REMEMBER TO SMILE. Time has moved on since then. Not much time, it is true, but enough to have undermined the value of merely remembering to smile. Now, we must remember to smile more...

When I was at school, a teacher used to reprimand us pupils for misusing the word "love": "I love Home and Away," "I love Mars Bars," etc. He found it objectionable that a verb expressing an extreme of regard was being cheapened by its association with instances of mild appreciation. But time has moved on since then. During which, at some point when no-one was paying much attention, the gold standard for language was abandoned, meaning cut its ties with anything like a reality, and the hyperinflation of experience was set in awful train.

Remember to smile, smile more, smile even more, laugh out loud, laugh until your face hurts, laugh until your head falls off, laugh until you cry.

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