A series of articles about stuff you might already know.
I won’t apologize for assuming you don’t know something I write about. When humanity was at its peak, people yearned for knowledge. Now that we are on the decline, people with knowledge are ostracized or labeled “elitists”. Today, the hoi polloi asserts its right to ignorance. And thus the term “mansplaining” is born.
What’s “hoi polloi”? You can Google the phrase. But if you’re like me and you prefer not to break your concentration with a web search, I will provide a quick mansplanation. “Hoi polloi” is Greek for “the many”. The fact that I know and use the term is, according to most dictionaries, a sign that I am a classist and an elitist looking down on the masses from my rich, well-educated throne. News flash, I’m fairly well-educated but I’m not rich. Education is how members of the hoi polloi can distinguish themselves and improve their station in life. But current groupthink frowns on anyone with a formal education. I took the time and trouble to give you this information; I value your time. It doesn’t mean that one of us believes themselves to be better than the other. It’s a lot easier to skip a paragraph than to launch a search.
My favorite topic to mansplain is grammar. Grammar is related to spelling, so be prepared for a challenge. If you’ve seen the chyrons on the morning news, you realize that spelling is a dying art. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then by all means read on.
The simplest grammatical error is the its/it’s homophone error. I don’t care if you already know that “its” is a possessive and “it’s” is a contraction of the phrase “it is”. Just as there is no apostrophe in his or hers, there is no apostrophe in “its”. As in the phrase“let’s”, there is an apostrophe in “it’s”. It’s that simple. Yet even the most sophisticated grammar check, in its finite wisdom, will make incorrect suggestions in an attempt to help. Rather than lean on that crutch, I recommend you memorize this short sentence “It’s time for freedom to raise its flag.” Better yet, scrawl it on a post-it, but pay attention to the apostrophe! It’s critical an apostrophe be put in its proper place.
Feeling appalled that I just mansplained one of the simplest grammatical curses? I’m terribly sorry for attacking you with patronizing information. I understand that learning is unpleasant for you. Too bad. You’ve read this far, so it’s too late!
Just in case you didn’t understand my spelling remark above, allow me to mansplain. Chyrons are those irritating feeds of information that run left to right across the bottom of a news screen. They’re named after the software company that invented the distracting graphics software. Even in top-tier newscasts, you will be shocked to see appalling spelling gaffes. If you’re watching the morning local news, the chyron is a repository of egregious errors.
As a man who likes to share his knowledge, the idea that I need to apologize for including common knowledge in my conversation is a bit crippling. I’m an introvert and don’t often enjoy talking to people. When I do talk, I feel most comfortable doing so in “teaching mode”. So today I’m claiming my right to mansplain without apology. If you don’t like gleaning nuggets of wisdom in a sea of knowledge, please, just end our conversation politely. I’m not very good at ending conversations, so I welcome the help.
Coming next: Mansplaining the homophones “There/Their/They’re”